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Will My 4G Phone Become Obsolete When The 5G Network Is Rolled Out?

October 28, 2021

In this post we will try to answer some of these more common questions,
including how the arrival of 5G will affect existing 4G networks.

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Will My 4G Phone Become Obsolete When The 5G Is Rolled Out?...

By: SignalBooster.com, April ,30, 2020

We have heard so much hype over the past few years about 5G and the amazing gigabyte speeds and lower latency that will allow us to download a full-length movie in just seconds. However, things have changed and now 5G is not just a story - it is becoming a reality. In 2019, all four major carriers in United States rolled out their version of 5G. Today, users can buy 5G phones that can access faster speeds on those specific networks. And even though many people still do not really understand what 5G is all about, most consumers are looking forward to experiencing unique benefits of 5G. It will greatly affect their daily lives.

Part of the confusion about 5G is the fact that many questions have not been adequately answered about this new fifth generation wireless networking technology. And of course, 5G still has not realized its full potential in most areas, so users are wondering when 5G will be available to them and whether their 4G phones will work on a 5G network.

What Is 5G?

5G is the shortened term for the fifth generation of wireless communication standards. We started with 2G, which were the standards that governed wireless telephone calls. At that time there was no mobile web. We then moved to 3G, which allowed users to use their smart phone to surf Internet. With amazing speeds of 4G, video streaming was enabled, supporting a wide variety of apps that required reliable, sustainable connectivity. And now we are moving to 5G, with its low latency and superfast speeds.

When Will 5G Be Available?

5G is already here, however many people can't access it at the moment. Sprint, T-Mobile, AT&T, Verizon have all launched their 5G networks. However, one of the problems is that there're only a small number of 5G-compatible smart phones available for purchase on the market today. This number is growing as we speak. Unfortunately, many Americans who own iPhones think they already have 5G. But that is because 47% of ATT subscribers are under the assumption that their device is 5G-capable. The truth is that AT&T's 5G Evolution doesn't come close to hitting the speeds expected from 5G.

Last year, in 2019, 10 million 5G connections were made worldwide. It is expected that by the year 2023, this number will increase exponentially to around 1.01 billion 5G connections worldwide.

It is anticipated that adoption of 5G technology will deliver the following advantages:

  • More smart devices will be able to simultaneously connect. 5G will support 1 million devices per .38 mi², whereas with 4G only 2000 devices are supported.
  • There will be reduced lag time, or latency, on cellular devices. Response time will be cut which will increase real-time data transfer.
  • 5G technology will deliver super-fast, fiber optic network speeds peaking at 20 GB per second. This is why we are being told we will be able to download a HD movie in just seconds.

The Big Question

Most people simply want to know whether they will be required to purchase a new phone to access 5G technology. See below for our advice.

Do I Need To Purchase A New Smartphone Or Will 5G Work On A 4G Phone?

Don't rush out and buy a new 5G phone right now. It is true that wireless carriers are currently rolling out 5G in USA. Their ultimate goal is of providing nationwide coverage. But this process is going to take time. According to the CEO of Verizon, by the end of 2020 approx. half of U.S.A. will have access to 5G. By the year 2024, only half of Americans will actually own a 5G phone or other devices.

No, 4G LTE shutdown will not be happening for atleast a decade. Therefore, the thing to remember is that 4G will not be going away anytime soon, regardless of how fast the 5G network grows. The plan is for existing 4G LTE networks to be used by carriers well into 2030. 5G networks are not being designed to replace 4G, rather they are designed to work in conjunction with 4G networks. Therefore, no one really knows when 4G will be phased out because cell phones that are 5G-capable will still be using 4G technology for quite some time to come.

Which Carriers In US Are Offering 5G Cell Phone Service?

All four of the major carriers in US of A - Verizon, Sprint, AT-T and T-Mobile have launched their 5G network. But there're still very minimal coverage areas. Certain locations in certain cities have coverage, but the majority of Americans are not able to access 5G at the moment. Let us take a closer look at each of these four carriers and the areas they are currently covering:

  • Verizon 5G Ultra-Wideband has coverage in specific locations in 34 US cities. Take a look at the Verizon coverage map at its website to determine if there is 5G coverage in your area.
  • Sprint True Mobile 5G has coverage in certain areas in 9 US cities. Take a look at the Sprint coverage map at its website to determine if there is 5G coverage in your area.
  • As of February 2020, AT&T's 5G coverage is limited to 10 major cities in the US. It has provided maps at its website to highlight specific AT&T coverage locations in each city.
  • T-Mobile estimates it will be able to provide coverage for 200 million Americans in 2020.

Check the T-Mobile coverage map at its website for up-to-date 4G LTE and 5G areas.
While these four carriers have functioning 5G in just a few US cities, their networks are still expanding and all plan on launching 5G in many more locations throughout the coming year.

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