Android and iPhone alert! Why your new phone will soon look very slow

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If you’ve recently purchased a new smartphone it’s almost certain that you’ll have heard about 5G. This latest network technology, which now comes as standard in almost all new handsets, offers much faster speeds than the older 4G signal with it fully capable of whizzing files and films to phones at over 300Mbps. At that rapid rate, an HD Hollywood blockbuster would take just two minutes to download.

It’s impressive stuff but things are about to get much more complicated and it could leave owners of new devices, such as the iPhone 14, feeling pretty miffed.

It’s expected that, within the next few months, UK telecoms regulator Ofcom will open up licensing for another network technology called 5G mmWave.

This platform offers even faster speeds and increased bandwidth which means more people can access blisteringly quick downloads at the same time.

Although this signal can’t travel as far as standard mobile technology it can handle far more capacity over shorter distances.

This makes 5G mmWave perfect for people-packed cities, sports stadiums and bustling train stations and should mean phone owners never face losing access to the web no matter how busy the area they are in.

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Recent tests, during the US Superbowl, showed members of the crowd seeing downloads in excess of 2Gbps despite thousands accessing the network at the same time. That incredible speed, which is around 27 times faster than the UK’s average fixed-line broadband, would mean a movie could be downloaded in a matter of seconds.

It’s likely that 5G mmWave services will begin rolling out in the UK within the next few years but there is a massive problem as many phones on sale today are not compatible with this technology.

For example, iPhones sold in the US – where 5G mmWave is widely available – already include this upgrade but buy the same device in the UK and it simply can’t access those rapid downloads. The same goes for versions of Google’s Pixel devices which also get this technology depending on where they are purchased.

It basically means that some devices purchased now could look hugely inferior far sooner than owners would be hoping for.

Now, you might be thinking what is the point of faster downloads but US firm Qualcomm, who produces some of the market-leading 5G technology, says it will have a host of benefits.

Along with speeding up phones in congested areas, it’s hoped that mmWave could also bring better broadband to homes and businesses in remote areas that can’t currently access fixed-line fibre speeds.

Another benefit is that phones using 5G help to free up that older 4G signal meaning customers who haven’t upgraded should also see a boost to their speeds.

“5G mmWave devices powered by Snapdragon can deliver speeds 16x faster than regular 5G (sub-6). With blazing fast data transfers of up to 10 Gigabits per second, you can stream, share, backup and enjoy mobile content with the speed and quality you deserve,” the US firm explains on its website.

With global mobile data traffic expected to grow by 260 percent between now and 2028 there will be a bigger need for better networks to cope with the increased demand.

5G mmWave will certainly help take some of the strain just be aware that your current smartphone probably won’t be compatible with it and that means splashing out on yet another upgrade.

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