5G speeds: Here’s how much faster new internet speeds will be

The speed of new 5G technologies promises to usher in a world of new apps and services. But exactly how fast can we expect 5G to be?

Joe Hanlon
Managing Editor
Read More
November 23, 2020
1 min read

The launch of the iPhone 12 family of smartphones introduces new 5G technology to a large number of consumers who may not have been aware of it before. Many telcos are working hard to build 5G networks across Australia, and soon we will be able to download, stream, and surf at speeds previously unimaginable.

But how fast are we talking? We could tell you that you can currently expect a 4.5x speed bump from 4G to 5G, and that the difference is up to about 200Mbps on average. We could say that this is just the tip of the iceberg (and that my personal best 5G speed is 808Mbps).

But It can be difficult to visualise a concept like download speeds and after a while, the big numbers can seem meaningless. So instead, how about we apply the speed improvements of 5G to something we all love to hate: long-haul flights.

As you know, Australians can now take a direct flight from Perth to London, but it takes a back-breaking 17 hours and 20 minutes to complete this journey. What if the advancement in mobile internet speeds were matched by advancements in aviation? How long would this flight take?

What this illustrates is that the jump from 4G to 5G is not a minor boost. A decade ago it seemed impossible to imagine watching TV and movies on our phones, and now it is something that lots of people do every day. New 5G networks will open up our gadgets to a range of new possibilities, and while it is hard to imagine exactly the kinds of things we’ll be doing in a decade from now, our 5G future makes it possible.

Methodology: To compare flight durations to cellular network speeds, we sourced average download speeds from 4G and 5G networks from Opensignal. We then converted the difference in speeds between networks to a non-stop flight from Perth to London (17:20 duration).

Want to learn more about 5G?
Joe Hanlon
Written by
Joe Hanlon
Joe has been reviewing tech and gadgets for over a decade having worked at CNET, TechRadar and telco comparison site WhistleOut.

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