After what feels like years of hype, 5G lands for real, and ahead of schedule due to a almost childish last minute dash between South Korean carriers and Verizon in the US to be first out the door.

Three South Korean carriers – SK Telecom, KT and LG Uplus – launched 5G services at 11pm local time on Wednesday, according to media reports, but only for a handful of celebrities in what their US rival dismissed as a publicity stunt. I am not sure exactly how you launch a 5G network to a handful of people. Ordinary people can connect to 5G from today (Friday)

On the flip side, Verizon’s wasnt a publicity stunt at all, honest. However, they at least sort of rolled out proper 5G in two cities. Various news reports from over the pond indicate that getting a 5G signal is a bit of a scavenger hunt, and assuming you can get a 5G signal, there is not really any devices that can use it.

The US firms said it planned to introduce the new service in more than 30 locations across the country by the end of the year.

At the moment you are restricted to the Moto Z3 with the 5G Moto Mod, and then for Verizon you have to pay an additional $10pcm for 5G.

Inside the 5G Moto mod are four mmWave antennas inside (for redundancy) and a 2,000mAh battery that only powers the Mod.

People that were lucky enough to both have the 5G Moto mod, phone and find the signal were treated to higher than stated speeds of 550Mbps (450Mbps advertised) and around 50mbps upload. In comparison, a decent 4G signal will net you around 170Mbps down and 25Mbps up. If you go indoors, at the moment, you can forget about those super high speeds.

So, hardly really worth the effort as far as I am concerned, certainly until 5G becomes widespread. There are not many or any cases where I need 550Mbps down on my phone.

Long term though, 5G is still super exciting, it is not just about peak speeds for a single user. Getting high speeds in a congested area and reliable connections will be where 5G shines, but we are probably not going to get the benefit of that for quite a while.

In the UK, we have no idea when it will launch. Vodafone have done some live trials, most recently in Birmingham train station, and EE is due to launch in summer at some point.

When 5G does launch we should see the Samsung Galaxy S10 5G launch along side it, and the much more affordable Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 5G

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