We’ve been talking about 5G wireless years before it became a reality. It seemed the top three wireless carriers were jumping all over each other trying to be first and best at this next generation wireless technology. A curious thing is happening. Now that it is growing and available in certain areas, why is it that carriers are not focusing as much on it as they once were?
We’ve been waiting quite a long time for 5G speeds to transform our world. Verizon Wireless, T-Mobile US and AT&T Mobility have all advertised their 5G speeds for quite a while. So have all the MVNO resellers like Xfinity Mobile, Spectrum Mobile, Altice Mobile, Pure Talk and others.
So have smartphone makers like Apple iPhone, Google Android, Samsung Galaxy and more. In fact, Apple just introduced their third 5G iPhone called the SE. So, if that’s the case, we should all be swimming in 5G.
So, why aren’t we?
The fact is, most American’s still cannot get 5G speeds! Some of the blame goes to the user who has not yet upgraded to a 5G device. Some of the blame goes to the wireless carriers who only offer 5G in a limited area so far.
Bottom line, the 5G experience has been disappointing so far.
I spend quite a bit of time talking with people everywhere. I get interviewed by the media from all corners of the country. I attend countless conference calls with executives and investors.
I ask them which smartphone they use, who their wireless provider is, if they are happy with their choices and if they get 5G speeds yet.
What I learn is quite eye opening.
Many users I speak with are happy with their wireless service provider. However, they are not happy that they don’t get 5G. Not yet anyway. They feel left out of this wireless revolution that everyone is talking about.
Now, even if they did get 5G speeds, they would not be able to do much with it yet. That will come over the next few years.
However, users are getting quite upset at upgrading their smartphones to 5G devices and they still cannot get it.
Many consider this a waste of time and money.
This is the problem in a competitive marketplace. Every competitor tries to be best and first and the customer does not get what they thought they were buying.
Some say they thought they were getting it because it says 5G on the screen. However, after we check the speed using a testing app like Ookla SpeedTest, they are disappointed to learn they are still only getting the slower speeds.
So, the icon on the screen is just a symbol. It does not indicate the speed of your connection. This is deceiving.
The good news is many users in cities nationwide do get fast 5G capability at some point during the day. However, it is nowhere near everywhere the way the advertising, PR and marketing would have you believe.
That’s the power of marketing and the wireless industry uses this to win market share from the other competitors.
The truth of the matter is upgrading the nations wireless networks to 5G takes time and money. In fact, it takes years and billions of dollars.
This is not new. This is the way it has always been in wireless. It always takes time and money to upgrade a network from one generation to the next.
That’s why 5G is far from everywhere.
Users would understand if it was explained to them. However, you don’t hear that in all the advertising and marketing.
Every wireless company seems to talk about 5G like it’s something you will get everywhere you use wireless.
This is simply not the case. Not yet anyway. In fact, it will be years before we come close to that. And that is both disappointing and confusing the marketplace today.
You see it all depends.
·It depends where the user is standing at the moment.
·It depends on the carrier they use. It depends whether the cell site they are using has been upgraded to 5G.
·And it depends if they have upgraded their smartphone to a 5G device.
The average person really does not understand or care to understand the differences. They hear the advertising and marketing, and they believe something that is simply not true.
Most people see and hear 5G on all the advertising, public relations and marketing and they see 5G on their screen, so they incorrectly assume they get it.
In reality, most users do not get 5G. Not yet anyway.
Looking at the wireless carrier service maps and entering your zip code shows you what color or speed your home or office is in.
I checked. In my case, all three wireless carriers, Verizon, T-Mobile and AT&T say I am in the 5G footprint. You would think that’s great.
However, that’s not true. I have multiple 5G smartphones. My experience is I am not connected to 5G period.
And this is the same thing I hear from other users I talk with, no matter the carrier.
If that’s the case, why do carriers continue to stretch the truth?
I continually test wireless smartphone competitors and networks and have experienced this discrepancy firsthand. Plus, I have talked with countless other users nationwide on this topic.
I ask them the same questions and get the same responses.
5G speeds are simply not there for most users yet. That means there is a discrepancy between marketing and reality with regards to 5G today.
This problem is the same with carriers and smartphones. Most users do not realize they need a new smartphone to get 5G speeds. In fact, because the carriers put a 5G icon on the screen of every smartphone the user thinks they get it.
Remember, you cannot access the 5G portion of any network without a 5G smartphone. Period.
As time passes and as users upgrade their smartphones to 5G devices, they will be able to see faster speeds, if they are in a cell site that has been upgraded.
If everything is all lined up, the 5G speeds users get is incredibly fast. I have seen it and used it and it is incredible. But it is still rare.
It will take time, but eventually we will be accessing 5G the majority of times we use our smartphones at some point.
That’s the way the wireless industry has always worked.
The way the wireless world works is all service providers, and all the smartphone makers jump all over each other trying to claim they are the first to offer 5G or they are the fastest. No one wants to be left behind.
Each carrier wants to be first and best in the mind of the user. This is for their market share and for their stock price.
It seems the first several years of any next-generation wireless jump is mostly all talk. It’s about marketing, advertising, public relations and hype. The reality takes much longer to come to pass.
So, if you switched smartphones to a 5G version or if you switched carriers in search of a fast 5G experience, unless you are in the area where the cell sites have been upgraded, you are disappointed.
Bottom line, I have found the superfast 5G signal is around, but not everywhere. It is spreading, but not as fast as the marketing would have you believe.
Just know that we have seen wireless upgrade from 2G to 3G to 4G and now to 5G and it always takes time. Upgrading the wireless networks is always a time-consuming process.
So, we must have patience. Today, it would be nice if the wireless carriers and smartphone makers would not confuse the marketplace with exaggerated claims.