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Leeds One of the First to Have 5G: What it Means for Consumers


In the UK, a recent report shows that of the millions of smartphone users, more than 15 million are ready to make the switch to 5G networks. Over the last several years, the promise and hype of 5G have been touted by the world’s biggest and best mobile carriers. Boasting ultrafast speed and stronger connections, 5G is meant to improve the mobile capabilities of many. However, despite expansion to 5G in the United States and Asia throughout the last year, the UK has been somewhat slow to adopt the 5G trend. Fortunately, several busy cities have been selected to be part of the initial rollout of 5G network testing, including Leeds.

Starting late this year, Leeds will be one of the location EE taps for 5G expansion. This expansion is part of a phase two rollout, following extended 5G service throughout London, Cardiff, and Manchester. Because the UK spent several years and a significant amount of capital moving from 3G to 4G capabilities, there is less of a push to transition to a faster, more reliable network. Butconsumers are ready for the change, and phone carriers are starting to take notice.

Why 5G?

The biggest draw and subsequent anticipation for 5G mobile networks is the speed that comes with the enhancement. While there is no official speed standard for 5G, some expect connections to be up to ten times faster than the current 4G network. With several trials already in place and successful rollouts in other countries, consistent download speeds of 2.8GBps were achieved. However, experts suggest that given the tendency for disruption and issues with distance, most consumers will have a less noticeable difference between 4G and 5G speeds on a day to day basis.

Another promise of 5G is the connection reliability – promised to be far better than 4G connectivity. Most mobile users are not negatively impacted by 4G connection issuesin their daily lives, so the move to 5G may not provide significant, recognisableimprovement right away. However, there are greater implications for a more reliable mobile network, including further reach in industries like healthcare, construction, and manufacturing.

What Consumers Can Expect from Carriers

The transition to 5G in Leeds and throughout the UK will come with some changes for consumers, not just on the speed and connectivity front. According to a finance expert from Money Pug, a website used to compare mobile contracts, a change in pricing for 5G providers has not yet been announced. However, many expect that a small premium may be attached to mobile phone contracts when 5G is made available to the public. Given the increased speed and reliability, carriers have a reason to increase the price of contracts, and so they likely will.

Consumers interested in switching to a 5G carrier or 5G phone need to do their research before making the move. It is essential to compare contracts to see what benefits are offeredfor the cost, and how much more the monthly expense is with 5G enabled. The total cost may not be much higher than current mobile contact options, but consumers should expect to pay more when 5G reaches Leeds and surrounding cities later this year.

The Future of Mobile Networks

Both the United States and Asia have invested heavily in building out the infrastructure needed to make 5G mobile networks a reality for consumers and businesses alike. The UK is slower to adopt the updated technology, but the demand from the market is now requiringa change among mobile carriers in the country. Although there is no specific arrival date for a full launch of 5G, some believe the network capabilities, as well as an increased number of 5G enabled smartphones, will be in the UKby 2020. A full rollout of 5G networking is anticipated by the end of 2025, with millions of consumers transitioned over by that time.

The promise of speed and stronger connectivity from 5G networks has yet to be delivered, even in countries where expansion has already begun. However, consumers can expect positive changes in their mobile experience as 5G become more widely available across the UK in the coming months and years.

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