Wow, that was quick.
35 apps updated via mobile data in less than a minute.
That works - with 5G.
The new radio technology promises up to 1 gigabit per second and extremely fast response times.
More and more antennas are being activated every week, and cell phone providers are raising the bar.
The entry-level tariffs with the high-speed lane cost between 20 and 40 euros.
Pure LTE tariffs - also quite fast - are sometimes significantly cheaper.
So the question is: Is it worth switching to 5G?
"At the moment I still refer to 5G as marketing," says Thorsten Neuhetzki.
The mobile communications expert at the technology magazine “Inside Digital” sees no great benefit for private 5G tariffs in the next one to two years because the network expansion is only just beginning.
5G is not just 5G
So far there are only a few real 5G antennas, says Neuhetzki.
A large part of what the mobile network providers currently call 5G runs via 4G and 3G antennas and the infrastructure behind them.
The connection is still fast, just a long way from what 5G can ultimately achieve.
In addition, not every smartphone sold as 5G-capable can handle the current technology consisting of LTE anchor cells and 5G turbo, says Neuhetzki.
5G-capable smartphones are available from just under 230 euros, such as the Moto X 5G from Motorola.
However, not all models can also implement all 5G modes used
His verdict: "So far, I see little added value for normal private customers from 5G." At the moment, most users are better served by a well-developed LTE network.
But 5G could not do any harm either.
“The big advantage is that you have been quite alone in the 5G network so far.” And the fewer users, the faster the individual surfs.
People in the big cities in particular find good reasons for 5G.
Here, the network is already well developed in some areas, and you benefit from fast downloads and response times.
"At Vodafone you sometimes get decent 5G in poorly developed rural areas," Neuhetzki noted.
Maps show 5G coverage
The expansion cards of the three network providers Telekom, Vodafone and Telefónica (O2) show how good the 5G connection is on site.
But it is worth taking a look at the details here.
You can see whether there is 5G locally by clicking on your own address on the Telekom network expansion map.
Berlin-Prenzlauer Berg theoretically gets up to 1 gigabit per second (Mbit / s) via 5G, in practice it's more like 300 Mbit / s.
In the NRW-Mittelstadt Erkrath there are “only” 75 Mbit / s via 5G in some places.
That is significantly slower than a well-developed LTE network.
If you even get 5G - the map of Germany still has quite a few gaps.
It looks best at Telekom.
Several cities, more densely populated areas and larger traffic routes are shown as being supplied.
But the further you zoom into the map, the more white spots appear.
It is similar with the competitor Vodafone: network coverage in cities and many white spots in the area.
Telefónica is not quite ready yet.
The goal is stated on the website to supply “large parts of Berlin, Hamburg, Munich, Cologne and Frankfurt” with 5G by the end of 2021.
1 & 1 Drillisch, the fourth provider with 5G licenses, will start building its own network.
Until then, Telefónica's cellular infrastructure will be used.
And even later, customers of 1 & 1 Drillisch will switch to the Telefónica network at unsupervised locations.
The 5G network is growing
If you ask the Federal Network Agency (BNetzA) about the expansion status, you will hear that the German 5G network is on the right track.
At least when measured against the expansion speed of previous standards such as UMTS (3G) and LTE (4G), 5G is already much faster.
At the same time, the expansion of the LTE network is continuing.
It is up to them which technology the network providers use to expand and meet the BNetzA requirements.
According to the BNetzA, by the end of 2022, for example, they have to supply the main traffic routes in Germany and 98 percent of households with a bandwidth of 100 megabits per second (100 MBit / s).
By the end of 2024, all other federal highways are to be supplied with at least 100 Mbit / s as well as all state and state highways, the seaports and the most important waterways and all other railways with at least 50 Mbit / s.
This can be done with LTE or with 5G technology.
In perspective, one can say: 5G is worthwhile in expanded areas - and the expanded areas are growing.
"It doesn't hurt," says Thorsten Neuhetzki to those willing to switch to 5G.
The worst that could happen is that in some places you could travel more slowly in the 5G network than in the LTE network.
“But don't buy a 5G cell phone just to have a 5G cell phone.” The same goes for tariffs.
"To be honest: LTE does it too."
What does 5G cost?
At Telekom, almost all smartphone tariffs are activated for the 5G network.
“5G, where available,” they say.
The prices start at 39.95 euros per month for 6 gigabytes of data volume (excluding new customer, age or other discounts).
"With your tariff, you will use the new 5G network technology domestically in the future," says Vodafone.
Here the prices start from 29.99 euros per month for 4 gigabytes of data volume (without new customer, age or other discounts).
5G is available from 39.99 euros per month, where available, but with a limited maximum speed of 10 megabits per second (Mbit / s).
For 44.99 euros there are 120 gigabytes with a maximum of 300 MBit / s, for 49.99 euros there is unlimited data volume with 300 MBit / s (without new customer, age or other discounts).
1 & 1 Drillisch:
With its brand 1 & 1, 1 & 1 Drillisch currently has two tariffs on offer.
For 40 gigabytes of 5G (in the Telefónica network) you pay 19.99 euros in the first six months, then EUR 34.99).
100 gigabytes per month cost 24.99 euros in the first six months, and 39.99 euros thereafter.
The "white spots" in the mobile network should finally disappear
5G is to become the new cellular standard everywhere in Germany.
The operators are currently working feverishly on converting their networks.
The reality for many Germans is currently still "zero G".
Source: WELT / David Schafbuch