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Even though there are no 5G enabled devices for us to use yet, Telstra are busy rolling out the world’s first 5G capable wi-if hotspots. And although we can’t use these speeds yet, and those using the hotspots will only get 4G, it’s kind of a breath of fresh air to be first on the list for once! We all know the disappointments we get in Australia where technology is concerned, so to be the first in the world to have 5G hotspots, if unusable to their full potential, is actually exciting! Surely it’s preferable to have the technology there for when we need it in the future, rather than be acres behind and clambering to catch up? With possibilities of gigabits per second speeds, up to 20x the fastest current speed anywhere in Australia at the moment (much higher than any current NBN speeds), 5G does sound promising! When you weigh it up against the struggling NBN network, which has been nothing short of a disappointment with delay after delay and underwhelming speeds, it’s no wonder people are looking for an alternative. So will 5G make NBN obsolete? The problem lies in the fact that, obviously, many companies put caps on our usage of data, in comparison to the USA and UK, who have long had ‘unlimited’ data phone plans. A second problem with this is that 5G is not available on the go yet, only in the hotspot areas, with rollout due to start next year and be completed by 2020. Due to rollout costs and the time it’s going to take, 5G may not end up defeating NBN internet, but we may see them co-exist as both projects complete around the new decade. Either way, it’s finally an exciting time for the internet in Australia, with some more competition looming for the NBN from the 5G network, speeds are going to get faster and we’ll have more choice, even if we have to wait a few years for it.
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