By Indi Rooney
More and more businesses are ditching landlines and opting for cellular phone services for their teams. Business connectivity has been a problem in the past, but with the hype around 5G, the fifth-generation wireless network, many businesses are hoping that this will no longer be an issue.
But then again, maybe you’re just wondering, “What the heck IS 5G and why does it matter to me?” We’ll get you caught up in no time.
What is 5G?
5G is a new cellular standard that carriers say will reduce network congestion, be more reliable and push data much faster.
The G in 5G means it’s a generation of wireless technology. This technology is bringing three new things to cellular-loving folks: bigger channels that help to speed up data, more responsive capabilities and the ability to connect more devices at once.
There are variants of 5G. The one the cool kids talk about is known as “millimeter wave.” It lets carriers transmit data at incredibly fast speeds. But the downfall here is that its signals travel shorter distances so companies such as Verizon have deployed these in optimal locations such as sports and entertainment venues.
But, even if you disregard millimeter wave, the regular 5G networks overall are still faster than current 4G networks, which is good news, even if you’re not at a big venue!
Should I care about 5G?
Oh totally! The broad shift to 5G won’t necessarily knock your socks off, but you will probably notice a marked improvement in your cellular experience. Plus, in many areas, it’s faster than when you connect to Wi-Fi, which is just rad.
Will it be available everywhere?
In 2019, Verizon started rolling out their 5G millimeter wave networks. In fact, at the start of the 2019 NFL football season, Verizon launched 5G in NFL stadiums across the nation, most notably New York, Chicago, Miami, Houston and our hometown Seattle, WA. Overall, Verizon expects their regular 5G networks to be accessible nationwide this year.
Will I need a new phone?
Short answer: Yes. There were only a few phones compatible with the new standard that were armed with a 5G modem to connect, most saw no meaningful improvement to their cellular networks last year. However, many are predicting that at least 15 smartphones products will be 5G compatible this year and as the technology becomes more common prices should drop.
Will it cost me more?
Maybe. It depends on your carrier and many are still trying to figure it out. Check with your wireless carrier to see what they are offering.
We do have one bright side. NPP members receive a corporate discount on Verizon that provides eligible business members, from mom-and-pops to enterprise companies, 22% off their Verizon monthly access fees. Once a business has the Verizon NPP discount, they can even share a Verizon deal with their employees. Treat your team to our Verizon employee discount. Then get your 5G capable phones and take the faster network for a spin… for less.