Should your next smartphone be 5G ready?

If you are looking out to upgrade your smartphone and have taken a look at the latest offerings by different brands, you’ll find the new USP. It is the latest (yet to arrive in India) 5G wireless technology which is the buzzword among the Indian smartphone market right now. All the brands are fighting it out in the mid-range of smartphones to provide cost-efficient 5G models.


So naturally, one question raises in our mind do we need to shell out some more bucks to get the latest 5G phone now or 4G phone is the bang for the bucks? To help you make an informed decision let's look at when the rollout of 5G might happen for common people in India.


What’s 5G & 5G vs 4G:


5G is the latest wireless technology and the successor of the 4G technology we currently use. It promises high-speed data speed with low latency and higher bandwidth compared to the 4G network. 5G can offer 20 times the maximum speed compared to 4G with a latency of less than 10ms. Latency means the delay caused when data is sent and received back. 4G networks have a latency of 20-30ms which is nearly twice or thrice that of 5G.


The advantages of 5G play a crucial role in network implementation in autonomous vehicles, IoT, cloud gaming services, Augmented Reality, and Virtual Reality, etc.


When can we expect a 5G rollout in India?


Many countries such as the USA, China, UK, South Korea, etc. have deployed 5G technology. In India, two operators Jio and Airtel have shown their interest in bringing the 5G technology to India. Currently, the 5G technology is in the testing phase in our nation with Jio and Airtel successfully testing 5G capabilities. Going by the recent trends we might see a 5G introduction in late 2021 or 2022.


Recently the parliamentary panel produced a report regarding the 5G technology that recommended the usage of 4G for the next 5 to 6 years. The prime reason for the delay in implementation in India is the financial crunch faced by companies in India. Also, the high investment required to set up 5G infrastructure in the Indian subcontinent contributes to the delay of 5G rollout to public use.


Even the spectrum auction in March this year emphasized more on the 4G spectrum only. However, despite all these issues Ericsson Mobility Report, suggests that by 2026 India will have about 350 million subscriptions that will account for 27% of all mobile subscriptions.


Should you invest in a 5G smartphone?


Practically speaking it is always advisable to go for the latest technology because even if you buy a 5G phone you can still use 4G or 3G services. But one should not buy a smartphone only because it has 5G capabilities, rather choose a phone that fits your needs. The rollout of 5G in India might take a year or two in the meantime there might be some new technologies that might enhance the existing ones.


If you can hold on to your current phone for some time you can strike a better deal than now, as new phones are being launched each week and you’ll have a good bunch of options to choose from based on your requirements. Be vigilant and choose accordingly!


Article by

Kathir Gowtham R S

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