The Impact of 5G on the Average Consumer

5G design

The discussion of 5G has been around since 2016 and begun implementation in 2018. It is being touted as “the next big thing” and is supposed to provide incredible speeds of data-sending, increasing the interconnection between devices and networks, and removes the data strain by sending information through a connection of network devices instead of through physical data centers.

Even though there has been a long discussion of 5G, and has been in effect since 2018, there is still a large percentage of the U.S. that has not seen the implementation in their area. It is possible that the full implementation of 5G may not arrive in the rest of the U.S. for several more years. So far, only a handful of major cities have 5G capabilities, and even then the reception does not cover the whole city. Instead, it is only available in small pockets of the cities, limiting the effectiveness of the network service.

Benefits

The benefits of 5G include:

  • Strong increase in speed (think practically 0 secs)
  • Can handle more connected devices (greater bandwidth) than 4G
  • Can include automated cars and create “smart” cities
  • Allows networks to split into sub-networks

Drawbacks

Some drawbacks include:

  • Full implementation of 5G networks will take years
  • Need 5G enabled device to use the network (you’re current iPhone 11 won’t cut it – sorry)
  • Will cost billions to set-up the network all over the U.S.
  • Network systems will have to be in close proximity to one another in order to be used
  • Implemented too fast without proper network security

Final Thoughts on 5G

While there are plenty of benefits and drawbacks to 5G; in the end, it does provide a better user experience for consumers. The ability to download high amounts of data in less than a second does sound amazing. Although, many fail to look at the big disadvantages like the risk of cyberattacks due to expanding the 5G network too fast and not focusing on strengthening the security of the network. Network providers tout all the benefits, but they do not acknowledge the risks they put their customers in. Consumers need to understand the pros and cons of 5G, and to begin researching how to implement new tools or practices in order to protect their data from hackers who wish to use the security flaws to gain access to others’ information.