What is 5G mobile?

Mobile | 2 March 2020

5G is the latest generation of mobile technology and is the next evolution of Australia’s mobile networks following 3G and 4G.

What are the benefits of 5G?

5G technology brings three main benefits to the table:

  1. It’s faster because it has bigger channels (think of it as a bigger freeway with more lanes) –this allows higher speed downloads and uploads for activities like streaming and sharing on social media;
  2. It has lower latency – meaning quicker response times and increased responsiveness for activities such as gaming;
  3. It has greater capacity – so many more devices can be connected to the network at the same time.

How does 5G compare to 4G?

5G will allow you to have faster speeds and lower latency (i.e. faster response times) when compared to 4G. In real terms, this means that you are less likely to deal with disruptions when sharing videos from crowded areas or notice as much buffering on high-quality videos on your newsfeed. Instead, you’ll get a faster, more stable connection.

Please keep in mind that 5G is a very new technology and 4G continues to provide great performance and meet the needs of Australian mobile users, such as those connected to MATE’s great range of 4G mobile plans!

Will 5G use up more of my data?

This depends on how you use your 5G service. For example, if you increase the amount of time spent streaming video then yes, your data usage will increase. However, 5G alone does not require more data to use, it is the applications which you use that may consume more data.

Will I need a new 5G device/handset to access 5G?

Yes, you will require a device that is 5G capable and is compatible with your mobile provider’s 5G technology. When outside of 5G areas, these devices will continue to operate on 3G or 4G (depending on specific device capability).

When will 5G devices/handsets be available?

Some 5G devices are already available in the market today. Samsung, HTC, LG and Oppo already provide 5G capable devices in Australia.

What would I need to get 5G?

To access 5G services, you would need:

  • A 5G compatible handset/device;
  • A 5G plan;
  • To be in a 5G coverage area.

How will technology change with 5G?

The possibilities 5G offers are extensive but these will come in stages. In the short term, 5G will deliver high speeds, low latency and unlock capacity for thousands of new devices to work together on the network. This has the potential to enhance your experience of activities that you are familiar with today, such as streaming content on your mobile device or sharing on social media.

In the future, 5G could enable activities such as immersive gaming experiences, smart cities, remote robots, holographic video-streaming and more. The true power of 5G will be realised when used in conjunction with other technologies such as software-defined networks, network slicing, the internet of things, cloud computing, machine learning and artificial intelligence. These technologies have the potential to enable use cases that are not even heard of today.

I’ve heard about the negative health impacts of 5G – is it safe?

Unfortunately, we have seen some confusion online that we believe is the result of misinformation from community groups advocating against 5G. We are confident 5G adds no risk compared to existing technologies.

We rely on the expert advice of both the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA) for overall assessments of health and safety impacts. The WHO and ARPANSA advise that there is no substantiated scientific evidence that radiofrequency technologies that operate within national and international safety standards cause health effects.

You can read an independent assessment from ARPANSA here.

Further to this, research shows that 5G Electromagnetic Energy (EME) levels are similar to 3G, 4G and Wi-Fi. The 5G EME levels measured were found to be well below the safety limits, and in many cases over a thousand times lower.

When will 5G be available with MATE mobile?

Currently, we are unable to provide specific timing for 5G as the rollout is only in its early stages. Rest assured we will keep you updated.