You Asked, We Answered: What is 5G?

The next giant leap in wireless technology is on pace to arrive next year. 5G is the fifth generation of cellular technology, and field tests have indicated that it will deliver greatly enhanced speed, coverage and responsiveness for wireless networks. It’s been estimated that 5G network service will provide speeds 10 to 100 times greater than what we currently experience with 4G LTE.

When describing cellular networks, you’ll commonly hear the terms 3G, 4G, and LTE. This new terminology, “5G,” simply refers to the fifth generation, meaning it is the next and newest mobile wireless standard being developed under recognized international guidelines. A new mobile generation has appeared about every 10 years since the first “1G” system was introduced in 1982.

Smartphone apps and features like email, GPS, video streaming and Internet browsing rely on sending and receiving data across a cellular provider’s network. Each successive generation has managed to significantly increase the speed by which this happens, and the latest 5G tests have delivered the fastest responses yet—even faster than anything you can get with a physical fiber-optic cable into your house. To put that into perspective, that means that with 5G, you’d be able to download a season’s worth of your favorite streaming program in seconds!

But it isn’t all about speed. 5G has been referred to as a “foundational technology” that will provide a viable platform for marvels like self-driving cars, virtual and augmented reality, and even medical services like remote surgery. The responsiveness of 5G is critical for things like playing an intense video game in virtual reality, or for a surgeon in San Francisco to control a pair of robotic arms performing a procedure in New York. That’s because the speed of 5G will provide a virtually lag-free connection

But this doesn’t mean you need to rush out to buy that first 5G smartphone just yet. 5G network service won’t be widely available until 2020 or beyond. Wireless providers are still testing and rolling it out slowly in select markets. While some 5G smartphones are expected to come out this year, the access they have to utilize the technology will be fairly limited.

So how will the arrival of 5G affect Consumer Cellular and our customers? The answer is—only for the better! We’re always updating our choice of devices to make sure you have access to the latest technology. All of the smartphones we currently carry are 4G LTE capable, so rest assured that when 5G finally zips into the market, we’ll be more than ready to bring that to you, as well.

20 Thoughts on "You Asked, We Answered: What is 5G?"

  1. Uvon Perkins says

    I love Consumer Cellular I wish I could convince more of my acquaintances of the fact that it is all you want it to be. I just need to keep costs down as much as possible well still helping you all to make a little money. thank you

    reply to Uvon

  2. Marna Murphy says

    We love out CC. However, cell companies really need to look at rural areas for connectivity. Our works in certain areas of our house, but not others and we even invested in a booster. Would love to see this addressed as well as how fast it can work. They only seem concerned with people in cities and their connectivity.

    reply to Marna

    • Ashley at Consumer Cellular says

      Thanks for your feedback, Marna! It will be interesting to see what the future holds, and how these increased connection speeds help all of us.

      reply to Ashley

  3. Michael Mack says

    I hope Consumer Cellular offers the 5G for computer internet and streaming tv. I’m happy with the way Consumer Cellular does business unlike most internet providers.

    reply to Michael

  4. Jim Stevenson says

    I agree whole heartly. This could not be easier to use.. You can change plans and options without any complications, penalities, or additional costs or fees.. An excellent gift. Highly recommended. 5 stars.

    reply to Jim

  5. Kevin P McCarthy says

    will 5G come with a big price tag?

    reply to Kevin

  6. Danita O'Leary says

    Does Consumer Cellular work with phone to phone calls? Right now all my kids, and us, have Verizon. I would be interested in this if so.

    reply to Danita

  7. David Merren says

    Best deal I have had in a long time.

    reply to David

  8. sally says

    current customer:
    what happens if and when you get 5G in Washington/Seattle and we cant afford to buy that 5g android smart phone from you ?, will you give us a break on the price, i know the 5G phones are going to be super expensive , i will have to revert back to a flip phone when that happens , and wait for the prices to drop…..

    reply to sally

    • Ashley at Consumer Cellular says

      Thanks for asking, Sally! Since 5G is just in the beginning stages, your current phone will continue to work well for some time. We’re committed to offering affordable phones for our customers now and in the future. We appreciate you posting, and we hope you have a lovely day!

      reply to Ashley

  9. Edward white says

    Consumer cellular need to have an unlimited data plan for their network. That and the fact that after your 20gb of data is gone the data speed “decreases”. I say that in quoatations because after your data is gone you can barely look up a place to get something to eat. Please fix this problem before you lose a valuable customer to a network that offers what every network should offer standard which is unlimited data.

    reply to Edward

    • Nicole at Consumer Cellular says

      Thank you for posting, Edward. We appreciate your feedback regarding your plans. While we don’t have plans to increase the data usage available with our service at this time, we have passed along your feedback. If any changes are made, we will be sure to notify our customers.

      reply to Nicole

  10. Greg says

    who will roll out 5G 1st? Verizon or AT&T?

    reply to Greg

    • Nicole at Consumer Cellular says

      Thanks for the question, Greg. We do not know exactly when, or by which provider, 5G service will be released first. If this in any way affects our customer’s service, since we do use AT&T towers (as well as T-Mobile), we will be sure to let our customers know.

      reply to Nicole

  11. Bernie Grossman says

    Heading to Vegas in late June and see that AT&T has 5G Evolution. My phone was an AT&T and now has a CC SIM card. Will I be able to get their 5G?

    reply to Bernie

    • Nicole at Consumer Cellular says

      That’s a great question, Bernie. If the 5G Evolution (5G E) service is available in that area and your phone is compatible, then you should see an indicator at the top of your phone where “4G” or “LTE” normally are. If not, then your phone will connect to 4G LTE service instead. Since this cellular technology update is fairly new and managed by AT&T directly, there is limited information available.

      reply to Nicole

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