What is 5G and when?

Explained Simply

5G simply stands for fifth generation and refers to the next and newest mobile wireless standard

What happens and when?

Bidding will begin closer to the time of release where networks will pay huge sums to use the infrastructure with rollout expected to be around 2020.

How Fast Will 5G Be Compared To 4G?

Even though we are always thinking of the future, with 5G in mind, yet 4G still is not covered in all areas and is not quite as fast as what it could be or as strong.

There are still improvements on the 4G network to come in the UK, this includes even getting a signal in some areas.


The standard set for the initial download time for 4G is around 50 milliseconds whereby for 5G it will be 10 times as fast, meaning latency will be aonly 1 millisecond.

In terms of downloading a film in HD, you will probably be looking at around 10 seconds, the same on 4G will take around 10 minutes.

Which UK networks will have 5G?

The networks are yet to bid, but it will be expected that the main 4 of course, will take it up.

These in-turn have MVNO partnerships, with the likes of Sky Mobile, Tesco Mobile, Giffgaff and many more. These will then be able to connect when their MNO agrees the timescale

4G Mobile Phone Deals

Of course 4G is available now, with a bit of a wait until any 5G infrastructire is in place in the UK, you are possibly at least a few phones away.

So if you are looking for a 4G phone right now, we compare the market.

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Wireless Technology Release Timescales

  • 1G - It's way back in the 1980's when the mobile phone arrived, with it's huge phone models and poor analogue signals, the days of the hippy were born.
  • 2G - Text messaging was released and the world went crazy for it, along with MMS - the 1990's and the text message still goes strong.
  • 2.5G - GPRS enabled networks and phones gave us a text based internet service on the move.
  • 3G - The 2000's saw the launch of the first iPhone connecting to the 3G network, which gave us a network that was seen as speedy enough to view the internet on the move.
  • 4G - 2013 the 4th generation of mobile phones, with compatibility to connect to the faster data speeds that 4G has made available
  • 5G - Expected in 2020