When you sit down and watch TV, you usually can’t avoid a commercial from a cellular company trying to convince you to switch your phone plan to their “5G coverage.”
Is 5G really worth it though?
According to cnet.com, 5G is much faster than 4G and can reach speeds above 1 Gbps. If that’s true, it’s extremely impressive, as the Wi-Fi in most homes is only about 100 Mbps. Going from 100 Mbps to 1 Gbps is a mind-blowing speed increase. This begs the question, can you get it in your area? If so, then what do you need in order to receive 5G?
To answer the first question, it is important to look at the 5G coverage maps from cellular providers. From the three big cellular companies, Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile, there are very different areas of 5G coverage. The three coverage maps in their entirety are shown below.
The T-Mobile Coverage Map shows that most of Herkimer and even Herkimer College receives a good 5G connection. Other neighboring towns like Ilion and Frankfort also have some 5G coverage. In the coverage category, it looks like T-Mobile passes.
For AT&T, there is 5G coverage at Herkimer College and throughout most of the town of Herkimer. There is coverage in Ilion and Frankfort, but it is much more scarce. The map also shows some areas with little squares of 5G, and the surrounding area still 4G. I would say if you live in an area with a large amount of surrounding 5G, then it is a safe bet that you’ll receive coverage. AT&T gets the pass.
Verizon is where things really go downhill. There is no 5G coverage in Herkimer or the neighboring towns. Utica doesn’t even have coverage! The closest place with coverage is Syracuse, which has “Ultra Wideband” coverage. According to Verizon, Ultra Wideband coverage allows users to stream 4K videos and play multiplayer games on the go! Even though Ultra Wideband sounds revolutionary, there is no 5G coverage in Herkimer and other surrounding areas. For the coverage category, if you live in Syracuse or in NYC, it passes! If you don’t, then Verizon, unfortunately, fails.
If you live in an area where your provider has 5G coverage, that’s great news! However, even if you have 5G coverage, you must have the right plan and device. From the three major cellular providers compared above, 5G is included with all unlimited plans at no extra cost! This means that you need the correct device for 5G.
Most phones that are out right now are not compatible with 5G. A few of the best 5G enabled smartphones on the market right now are the iPhone 12, Samsung Galaxy S20, and the Google Pixel 4a. These 5G enabled smart devices can range anywhere from $499 to $1199.
Now that you have the facts, will you make the switch?