Five reasons why SA is ready for 5G

Downloading a two-hour movie on 3G takes about 26 hours; on 4G it takes just six minutes

21 August 2020 - 10:43 By Tiana Cline
The Huawei P40 lite 5G is available for R9,499 at
The Huawei P40 lite 5G is available for R9,499 at
Image: Supplied/Huawei

You’ve seen those digits in the corner of your smartphone screen: 4G, 3G ... sometimes even LTE. This is how your phone connects to the internet. G stands for generation and the number indicates where you’re at in terms of speed, reliability and connectivity.

Right now, 4G is the most common mobile network used around the world to make calls, send messages and surf the internet but 5G is already here — a faster network with the potential to change our digital lives, forever.

1. A need for speed 

Using your smartphone to stream series or watch high-def videos online? Downloading a two-hour movie on 3G takes about 26 hours but on 4G, it only takes six minutes. On 5G?

You’re looking at 3.5 seconds. 5G is fast, really fast. Speed (also known as bandwidth, data transfer rate or connection speed) is the ultimate test for wireless network performance and there’s nothing quite as speedy as 5G to date.

2. Real-time data

Being able to send and receive information in real-time using a 5G network is a huge game changer. It’s about more accurate data where time and speed is no longer an issue. Imagine using a mobile device to control anything from drones to robots, more efficiently and wirelessly, over a 5G network ... but also Zoom calls that don’t freeze and events or conferences where everyone can join the network and experience the same kind of connectivity.

3. Oh-so-responsive

But it’s not just internet capacity, with 5G the response times are much faster too which means a more streamlined smartphone experience. 5G is about 10 times more responsive than 4G. This makes a big difference when using any software that connects to satellite data for information (think maps) or powering your smart home network.

4. Gaming is getting better

Different types of smartphone users need the internet for different things. Mobile gamers require faster response times and greater data capacity than someone who just wants to check their social media. 5G means playing a smartphone game in real-time with zero lag — it’s the end of buffering and could bring a console-like experience into the palm of your hands.

5. Be an early adopter

5G is already available in SA in certain areas (you can use a map like this to check if you have coverage) and it’s only getting better. As the network operators continue to rollout this newer, faster network, smartphone manufacturers will follow by bringing out devices that can take advantage of everything 5G offers.

If you have a 5G compatible phone, you’ll be able to future-proof your current mobile device and take advantage of this next-generation network.

When it comes down to it, 5G is more than speed. It’s a huge breakthrough in how devices connect to the internet and to each other and that comes at a price.

If you’re looking to invest in a 5G smartphone right now, the most affordable option is Huawei’s impressive P40 lite 5G smartphone.

This article was paid for by Huawei.