The first 5G phones hit the market in early 2019, but three years later we’re still in a transition period – most flagships have 5G, a typical mid-range has it too and even some entry level. However, 4G phones are still being unveiled and there are many countries without active 5G networks.
This week’s question is simple: are you using 5G on your phone? There are many reasons why you may not have changed yet, ranging from “not available in my country” to “don’t need it”.
Often the answer depends on your carrier. As a new addition to networks, 5G coverage is still spotty. Also, you may need a new plan to access 5G, but you may not want to renew just yet. And you definitely need a 5G-capable phone, which you might not.
Global 5G coverage in mid-2021 (source)
Luckily, virtually all phones these days support LTE, as some carriers shut down their old networks. But even that is no guarantee. For example, AT&T in the US is sending replacement phones to people who are still using 2G/3G handsets in preparation for the 3G shutdown (which is scheduled for next month, 2G is already gone). The day when everyone will have a 5G-enabled phone is still a long way off.
Are you using 5G on your phone? and if not, why not?