5G vs 4G – Is the new high-speed high price network worth it for smartphones?

5G is here, EE launched first, followed by Vodafone and
Three is launching soon. We are no doubt going to see a strong marketing push
from all the providers, pushing us to the new 5G spectrum, but is it really
worth it?

SIM only deals always offer the best value for money, these are just a SIM card with no phone tied to it and generally come with 1 or 12-month terms compared to 24 when you get a phone too. More often than not, if you have the cash, it will be cheaper to buy your phone outright then take up a SIM only deal.

Currently, the best 5G deal is from Vodafone, who offer
unlimited data for £30, which to be fair, is very good. However, 4G sim only
deals start at around £4 for a minimal amount of data, for unlimited contracts
these start at around £22 for a 12-month contract, or £25 for 1 month. Most
people don’t need unlimited data, and a Voxi 8GB plan is just £10pcm.

Don’t get me wrong, 5G will be a game changer, the speeds
that you can get on the launched services are incredible, and it is about far
more than speed in the long term, it will have a positive impact across many
aspects of our lives in the long term. As a tech enthusiast and journalist, I
obviously want to upgrade my contract, and when Vodafone launch in Blackpool,
the upgrade bug may just make me do it.

Pushing my desire to upgrade aside, logically, I don’t need
it and I would be spending way more money than needed. Where I live, I
consistently get between 60Mbps and 110Mbps down, which admittedly is a lot
less than the 300+Mbps a lot of people on 5G get, but I am not sure of the last
time I really needed to download something at 300+Mbps on my phone. 60Mbps+ is
quicker than most people’s fibre lines, and that usually is more than
satisfactory at home. I have a Virgin 350 and I rarely make the most of that
speed.



The issue with 5G is the cost of contracts compared to 4G. To be fair to Vodafone, the £30pcm unlimited deal is amazing, but I am on £20pcm with 20GB, and I rarely use more than 10GB, as I use Wi-Fi when at home. So, while I would love 5G, in reality, I would be paying £120 per year more than needed. Then you also need a 5G phone; the OnePlus 7 Pro 5G costs £69pcm + £50 with EE giving a total cost of £1706, a EE 40GB 5G SIM contact is £37pcm which is £888 in total making the phone cost around £818 whereas the OnePlus 7 Pro 8 GB is just £699 on Amazon.

So unless you are constantly downloading data to your phone and rarely use Wi-Fi, 5G on a mobile isn’t the best-valued option. Some people are less concerned about cost and want the best regardless, and in this case, 5G will obviously be a great option.

EE 5G rollout map
EE 5G rollout map

While it is not getting as much exposure, the best use for
5G at the moment would be for home internet. The UK lags behind a lot of the
world with our broadband, and if you live in a rural environment, you can
forget about things like Virgin. With Vodafone, you can get one of their 5G
Gigacubes for £50 upfront then £50pcm, which while not cheap, it is cheaper
than the £52 a month M350 Fibre package that Virgin offers. Granted you will
need to be in a 5G area, and rural environments are probably low down on this
list, but 5G could pave the way for high-speed internet for many UK properties.

Post from: Mighty Gadget – Gadget and Technology Blog

5G vs 4G – Is the new high-speed high price network worth it for smartphones?

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