If the network providers are right, 2020 will be the year that 5G takes its first step into commercial distribution. Qualcomm is releasing their new 5G-based chip, and 5G phones are entering production. The only question is, can you get 5G where you live?
Here are a few handy ways to check if you can get 5G; and if not, when you can.
Checking Worldwide Availability
Let’s start off with the only map you may need. If you want general, simple coverage on where 5G is in your country, try the Ookla 5G Map. This is a global map that shows all the areas where 5G is rolled out, being rolled out, or plan to be rolled out to. It doesn’t show you the signal strength for each individual city, or a heatmap on the hot and coldspots for signal coverage; however, it’s a quick way to find out if your city has 5G, and who’s supplying it.
For US Coverage
For more in-depth coverage for the USA, try Cellular Maps. You can take a look at each carrier and the cities they currently supply 5G to. You can either sort the maps by the provider to see how far each one reaches or check the city coverage maps to see who comes out on top locally.
For UK Coverage
If you’re in the UK, you can enter the postcode into the handy 5G Coverage Checker. Enter your postcode to see who’s rolling out 5G in your area, or who has plans to. If someone is rolling out 5G already, you can click the “exact coverage” button to see where the hotspots are.
For Australian Coverage
For those Down Under, be sure to check out the Whistleout 5G Progress Tracker. This website has individual heatmaps for the different providers and the cities they’re supplying in. It’s a useful way to check which provider is giving the best signal for your area.
For Individual Carriers
At the moment, there aren’t many other interactive maps for other locales. As such, if the first link doesn’t satisfy your needs and you’re not in the above locales, it’s worth paying a visit to the websites of your country’s network suppliers and see what they have planned. If they do have 5G in the works, they may also have their own coverage map for you to use.
Is It Worth Getting a 5G Phone?
Of course, you can’t use a 4G phone to connect to a 5G mast. You need a phone that’s built to handle 5G signals, and phone manufacturers are getting phones out the door right now. At the moment, however, a 5G phone is an expensive commodity; as such, it’s more of a luxury than a necessity. If you have the income to support the four-figure cost of a 5G phone, more power to you; otherwise, it’s perfectly fine to continue using 4G and hop on the 5G train when phones are cheaper and coverage is better.
The Future Is 5G
5G isn’t everywhere yet, but there is progress being made in specific countries. Now you know how to check the world’s progress towards 5G completion as well as a few websites for specific countries that go more in-depth.
Is 5G in your area yet? Let us know below.