Colchester could benefit from 5G by the end of 2019 experts are suggesting, yet some areas still can’t get mobile signal at all.
5G – which stands for ‘fifth generation mobile networks’ – has been hailed as the fasted mobile Internet ever, with experts predicting that a full HD film could be downloaded ‘in a matter of seconds’. However, some residents in outlying towns and villages are still struggling to get enough signal to make calls or send SMS. Such areas are commonly referred to as ‘Not Spots’.
Mobile phone providers have looked at alternative connection methods over the past few years, which use a customers home wifi connection to connect calls. Examples include Vodafone Suresignal and Wifi Calling; neither of which have been helpful to people with basic mobile phones.
One resident of Wivenhoe told the Herald that her mobile signal was “pants”.
“It’s patchy and annoying”, she said.
Rural areas still missing out
Although most central areas of Colchester already benefit from 4G, other areas including Wakes Colne, Boxted, Fingringhoe, Thorrington and Layer Breton only receive patchy signal, according to OpenSignal. It’s unclear whether the infrastructure in these areas will be upgraded before 5G comes to the Town.
In additional to poor mobile phone coverage, many of these areas are still unable to receive fixed broadband speeds of more than 5mbps, as Openreach infrastructure upgrades tend to focus on the most populated areas.
“To make matters worse, upgrades to the infrastructure often only occur where it is economically viable. This inevitably results in areas of low population density being excluded”, says Andy Betts of broadband.co.uk.
5G could hit Colchester by the end of 2019
The race is on to have 5G ready for commercial use by the beginning of 2019, with some countries already testing the Qualcomm Snapdragon X50 5G modem; a chipset which can provide 5 gigabits per second download speeds.
5G is expected to hit the UK market in the early part of 2019, and Ofcom have already released details of their 5G rollout which utilises a 60 GHz spectrum. Major cities will see the first installations of 5G, which the technology expected to reach towns such as Colchester by the end of 2019.
Will I be able to receive 5G speeds on with my current mobile phone?
To receive 5G signal, your mobile phone handset will need to be built with a 5G chip. Current 4G handsets don’t have that capability, so you’ll need to upgrade to a 5G capable handset to benefit from the 5G network. You won’t be able to retrofit a 5G chip to a 4G handset.