Although 5G networks are coming soon, they don’t come without their share of disadvantages. In fact, I’d venture to say that there are more disadvantages than advantages of 5G networks. Let’s take a look at the five major disadvantages so you can be better informed when the inevitable changes occur in your area. The Five Major Disadvantages of 5G Networks
Data Will Become Even More Expensive
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How much are you paying for data? Even if you aren’t, it doesn’t take a lot to realize how expensive mobile data can be. With 4G networks, companies like Verizon Wireless and T-Mobile charge as much as $60 per month just for a single gigabyte of high-speed data. That may not seem like much—especially when you consider that most people only consume a few hundred megabytes of data each month—but it adds up over time and can wind up costing users more than $1,000 in just one year. Over five years (at which point these carriers will begin to roll out their 5G networks), that figure leaps to well over $5,000. Yikes!
Cellular Devices will be Expensive
Given that cell service prices are already relatively high, it’s possible that owning a smartphone on a 5G network could be financially prohibitive for most people. For instance, an iPhone XR with one month of unlimited data costs $750 per month. The average salary in America is just over $50K per year, meaning anyone making less than that would struggle to afford such a device while also keeping up with other basic living expenses.
Unfortunately, paying more money just to have better service doesn’t seem like an equitable solution to keep phone prices affordable; it will likely mean you pay more for lower-tier phones that simply aren’t worth as much money as higher-end models.
5G Radiation Risks
The problem with 5G network is its high-frequency range. It uses millimeter wave technology to transmit wireless data at incredibly fast speeds. But due to its high frequency, it’s also very hard to control and even more problematic: Since millimeter waves don’t travel far from their source, signals are blocked by trees, buildings and other physical structures — meaning that your connection can drop out if you’re walking down a busy street or taking a trip on public transportation. There’s also evidence that suggests exposure to wireless radiation of any kind can increase your risk for cancer.
Very Slow Speeds
When you use a 4G network, you can download an HD movie in 20 minutes. When using a 3G network, it might take 40 minutes. That’s because data is transferred at very high speeds – fast enough to stream and download large files. With a 5G network, you’ll have to wait more than 50 minutes just to watch an HD movie and downloading will be impossible. The reason? The maximum speed with which data can be transferred on a 5G network is only 25 Mbps – faster than your home Internet connection but nothing compared to what we are used to with mobile networks today.
Very Difficult on Phones
The primary way we’ll use 5G networks is through our smartphones. But phones are already pretty good at communicating with cellular towers: 4G LTE can deliver download speeds up to 1 gigabit per second, which means we’ll have to be very strategic in how we utilize our extra bandwidth. Why? Because many people won’t experience 5G on their phones until well into 2019 and 2020, when carriers roll out additional infrastructure to support it. So if you’re looking for lightning-fast downloads via your mobile device, you might want to wait a little while.
What are some disadvantages of 5G?
The only major drawback to 5G, for now, is that it requires more time and money than 4G. But that should be expected: new technologies always require an upgrade in time and cost. But when you look at what’s possible with 5G technology—things like driverless cars and virtual reality—the costs seem well worth it. The biggest challenge we’ll face as we move to a fully-connected world will be how quickly we can get used to all these new technologies.
How will 5G affect me?
Even though we don’t know yet how 5G networks will affect us, there are still ways to prepare for their release. First and foremost, you need to ask yourself if you even want a 5G network in your home at all. If so, consider limiting your exposure by turning off your mobile device when it’s not being used and keeping it away from areas that can pick up radio frequencies, like on kitchen countertops or near bedside tables. When carrying it around outside of those locations, keep it tucked away in a purse or briefcase instead of using a holster or clip on belt.
What is the security risk of 5G?
As more and more companies push for a faster rollout of 5G networks, there are growing concerns about security, from both a technical standpoint and public safety. The infrastructure that powers any given wireless network is not secure on its own; instead, it’s made up of various components from multiple suppliers. That creates risks across all layers—from physical access to back-end systems to compromised vendor services. Some researchers have already shown how vulnerabilities in mobile networks can be exploited using relatively simple software attacks like spoofing attacks and Man-in-the-Middle (MitM) attacks. The risk doesn’t end there, though.
How will 5G affect your privacy?
One major concern surrounding 5G technology is privacy. In some ways, it will make it easier for government agencies and other groups to gain access to your private information. Although most internet providers claim that their customers’ privacy is a top priority, if you’re considering going with a new service provider that offers 5G service, you should really ask them about how they handle customer data. To be safe, you may want to stick with more well-known companies like AT&T or Verizon who have promised not to sell any personal information in order to protect their customers’ data and privacy. That way, you can be sure your information will stay private.
Is 5G good for environment?
The infrastructure required to build and maintain a 5G network will cause negative impacts on our climate, our trees, and our air quality. Consider that each tower transmits radio frequencies in an 800-foot radius, so installing 400 cell towers in an area as small as Kansas City will require processing over 3 billion feet of steel pipe per year. Additionally, these cell towers contain toxic chemicals like lead and mercury and leak these contaminants into groundwater at alarming rates. The extraction, refining, and disposal processes used to create antenna-ready steel have been linked to increased incidents of health problems like asthma attacks and heart disease . On top of all that, cell towers kill about 25% of wildlife within a 656-foot radius , which puts protected species like bats at risk for extinction .