Australia’s internet/NBN situation is a dumpster fire, that much is true. But while our broadband is second-rate, our mobile network is actually pretty good and it’s about to get even better as 5G gradually replaces 4G as the telecommunications standard.
But there’s one big problem with 5G at the moment and no it’s got nothing to do with 5G hurting you. That’s complete bollocks.
The issue has to do with 5G’s data plans and how they’re nothing more than a money-making ploy for the rich daddies upstairs right now.
5G offers incredible speeds up to just under 500Mbps (but can “theoretically” reach up to 2Gbps), which is nearly 10 times faster than the fastest 4G speeds we’re getting right now. This means downloading movies and games will take seconds instead of hours, and streaming shows on Netflix at the highest quality possible will be a cinch.
However, using 5G will burn through your data like a hot knife through butter. Let’s say you have a generous 20GB monthly data plan with your 5G connection and you want to download a couple of 1GB movies, a 3GB TV show, and a 5GB game.
That’s 10GB of stuff and downloading everything on 5G will take you… 20 seconds.
Even if you limit yourself to just everyday stuff you do, such as using Instagram, tweeting stuff, emails, browsing the web and random YouTube videos, you’re going to chew through your 20GB of data in mere days.
Now some might say “why not just get the biggest data plan?” but that’s only viable if you’ve got dosh overflowing from your pockets.
There are only a limited number of devices that support 5G right now, all of which are quite expensive, and the most data you can get right now is 150GB, which will set you back $172 a month. Throw in all the excessive data usage fees you’ll inevitably get and that $172 a month will likely double.
Of course, you could just not use 5G but that’s just ludicrous because why wouldn’t you use it if you have it?
As it stands, 5G is a great idea on paper but without reasonably priced unlimited data plans, the technology is nothing more than a way for telecommunications companies to line their pockets with your moolah.
Having said all that, we’re still a little while away from 5G becoming standard as coverage is still relatively limited at the moment. Here’s hoping that they figure out whole cheaper unlimited data issue before 5G is available everywhere or we’ll be stuck with all this great tech with no viable way to use it.