Starting in August, America’s four major wireless carriers began rolling out 5G networks. But while AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, and Sprint now all offer 5G, there are two caveats to consider. First, coverage is not expansive just yet. Second, 5G works only on 5G-enabled smartphones. Therefore, to use 5G, you will need to own a 5G-enabled smartphone and be subscribed to a carrier that offers 5G in your area.
How to choose a 5G carrier?
So, suppose you are living in Chicago. Your options in terms of carriers will be Sprint and Verizon. In terms of smartphones, the former offers LG V50 ThinQ 5G, Galaxy S10 5G, and Motorola Z4 and Z3. The latter, on the other hand, offers both the LG V50 ThinQ 5G and Galaxy S10 5G, as well as HTC 5G Hub. While there is a limitation in terms of the number of carriers available, more will appear in the near future. But in case you want to get ahead of the 5G revolution, here are two things to consider in choosing a 5G carrier:
It’s all about location
Where you live will likely determine which carrier you will choose. AT&T offers the most expansive 5G coverage, as it has rolled out 5G in 21 U.S. cities. However, AT&T’s 5G network is, as of now, only for businesses. So, if you want 5G for personal use, you’ll have to choose Verizon, Sprint, or T-Mobile. Of these three, Verizon is next to AT&T in terms of coverage with 5G already live in 10 cities. It is followed by Sprint, which now offers 5G in 9 cities. T-Mobile is last in this regard, having rolled out the technology in 6 cities so far. But those numbers are expected to increase rather quickly. Each carrier has committed to expanding coverage within the year. With that in mind, it would be best to check with the carriers themselves if 5G will be available in your location.
It will cost you
CNET’s article on comparing 5G carriers notes that 5G phones are not cheap, as they are generally priced above $1,000. For instance, the Galaxy S10 5G costs $1,300, while the LG V50 ThinQ goes for $1,222. Of course, you can always pay for the phone on a monthly plan. In this case, T-Mobile offers the most affordable plans, starting at $30 a month and going up to $50. In contrast, Sprint and Verizon’s plans start at $80 a month and can be as high as $95. The monthly option may seem like a cost-effective choice, but there is a downside to it. That is, in a year or so, you will probably still be paying for a first-generation 5G phone. Not to mention your choices are limited, especially given the number of 5G-enabled smartphones already out on the market. The good news is that more phones will be released soon with the .
Your 5G carrier will change how you work
5G is set to change how people and businesses operate. In particular, 5G will have a positive impact on those who work remotely. With Yoss reporting that one-third of Americans are now working freelance, there is now a huge demand for faster network speeds that can keep up with the modern business world. Remote workers using a 5G network will be able to share large files while on the move and have seamless video-conferencing tools. This means that in the future they won’t be constricted by location, as they would be with a 4G connection. If you work remotely, you should choose a carrier that has the capabilities suited for your job.
With 5G still in its infancy, there is not much choice available. However, when it comes to choosing a carrier, the above options show that you can tailor your selection to suit your needs. Whether you are using it for personal use or your work, it is crucial to consider the different options.