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What will you get out of upgrading

FOSTER CITY, Calif. — If you’ve turned on the TV or browsed the web since the start of the year, you’ve undoubtedly been barraged with news and ads about 5G, the next generation wireless technology.

What you probably haven’t heard or seen much of, however, is real explanations of what benefits 5G will bring to everyday people versus the 4G service we almost all have today.

Sure, you may have heard or seen a few comments on speed improvements that come with 5G, but they’re exceedingly short on details and, frankly, don’t really give a complete (or accurate) picture of what you can expect right now in normal use. So, without further ado, here’s what 5G can do for you right now.

Not much.

Ok, that’s a bit harsh, but for most people in most locations, the reality is that even if they go to the effort of buying one of the few 5G-capable phones now available for purchase (and remember, you have to do that before you can even start talking about the potential benefits of 5G), their day-to-day experience isn’t going to be much different.

Speedometer displaying 2G, 3G, 4G, and 5G, with the needle indicating 5G

Except for a few locations in a few cities around the country, the download speeds on most 5G phones will not be noticeably different from what you experience with your 4G LTE phone today. So, if you think your shiny new 5G phone will give you a leg up on friends and family when it comes time to download Season 4 of “Stranger Things” on Netflix, well, it ain’t necessarily so.

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