Do we need 5G networks? (poll results)

Do we need 5G networks? (poll results)
Depending on where you live, it might not be too long until you start hearing of local carriers staging 'field tests' for their future 5G networks. In fact, if you live stateside, that's already happened. 

Despite being unfinished, the consensus so far between the various players in the industry is that the next generation network should be capable of providing speeds up to 10Gbps and offer as low response times as 1ms. Put into more understandable numbers, that means peak theoretical download speeds of over 1.2GB/s, or a full-blown, 4K movie in seconds. That's a LOT of data for a measly second. Perhaps more than we'll conceivably need any time soon?

We thought we'd ask you. Given how many of us already have access to LTE speeds upwards of 150Mbps (nearly 19MB/s), do we really need 5G networks right now? After all, the recommended minimum is 25Mbps to stream 4K movies through Netflix, so many of us are getting at least six times that already.

Doesn't matter, according to the majority of participants (54%), who still see 5G as the obvious step forward, and we can't blame them. Better have the speeds of the future now, then find ourselves without them once we need them because we suddenly can stream 12K VR footage or whatever. Speaking of a hypothetical 12K VR footage, 28% of voters say that's about when we should strive for as quick networks—otherwise, presumably, what we already enjoy is more than fast enough anyway. With 18%, the skeptics are the smallest group, with commentators wanting much better 4G LTE coverage and reception before we start worrying about 5G. That, too, makes sense.

Do we need 5G networks?

Only if a new, ultra data-intensive activity becomes commonplace



1. sgodsell

Posts: 7365; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

I think the more speed the better, especially when more and more of us are using these networks for our daily needs on the internet. Whether it's Facebook, or any social media, to browsing, and more.

18. marorun

Posts: 5029; Member since: Mar 30, 2015

I disagree they need to limit the speed thats way its sure no one can abuse and slowdown everything for everyone else. 300mbps is more than enuf already.

2. Shocky unregistered

No, we are barely utilizing 4G anywhere near it's limits right now. Networks and mobile infrastructure needs to improve first. Also 5G seems to suck indoors even more than 4G according to reports.

3. willy.4

Posts: 72; Member since: Oct 14, 2015

Do we need it ? not really , but you don't want to stagnate innovation either , keep pushing the ceiling .... invent keep moving forward

5. Shocky unregistered

The current networks could never cope with 4G at the max theoretical speeds I don't see the point. Most of us only get a fraction of this, I'm on Three in the UK and 12mbps is as good as it gets for me.

7. MrHate

Posts: 318; Member since: Feb 09, 2015

Well with 5G you would get a lot more than 12mps so problem solved.

14. Shocky unregistered

Theoretically yes. But theoretically 4G should be offering me speeds up-to 100mbps, not 12mbps. That's a network limitation, 5G is not going to magically improve networks across the world. If it can then great but I don't think so somehow.

28. tedkord

Posts: 17356; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

3g didn't reach its theoretical limits, either, but LTE was definitely faster. I think you can safely say that 5g will deliver faster Internet on average than 4g.

10. phonearenarocks

Posts: 606; Member since: Mar 26, 2015

Quite Surprising that it is so slow in UK, but when I have been in India - bangalore and hyderabad, I have seen peak speeds of 70 mbps.

15. Shocky unregistered

It's probably (hopefully) a bit faster in other areas of the UK but that's the best I've seen.

19. marorun

Posts: 5029; Member since: Mar 30, 2015

Here in Canada best i had was about 120 mbps. Usually i get 40 to 60 and its more than enuf. As Shocky said if current optical cable used to feed those tower and handle the load cannot making it 5G wont magically make those servers thats handle all mobile traffic better. Before putting out 5G all 4G network should run at least at 75 mbps for every user thats have phone thats can handle it. After thats lets talk about increasing to 5G.

4. iWinAndroBerry unregistered

Well given that 4G isn't performing to it's supposed potential, like Shocky stated, I don't see a point for 5G at the moment.

6. justrt

Posts: 446; Member since: Jul 10, 2014

4G is good.. Beats my cable speeds. We just need better affordability (here in the US). We need unlimited 4G LTE plans and at reasonable prices.

12. korean411

Posts: 92; Member since: May 04, 2009

Unlimited let plans is probably not going to come back because the wireless carriers won't make money and lose money as well which is why we have the data plans we have now. But would love it to see those again

20. marorun

Posts: 5029; Member since: Mar 30, 2015

They wont make as much money. but they wont loose money over unlimited internet.

8. anubis13k

Posts: 14; Member since: Oct 19, 2011

Moving to 5g is essential and necessary. I have been with Verizon since 2005 and will be leaving in august because the network has degraded in the last two years in my area, Santa Cruz, Ca. Santa Cruz which is not as big as San Jose, SF or LA. In the vicinity of my home and work speeds are 1-2mbps from 7am to 11pm. During the night speeds increase significantly. I am paying for unlimited data and can't use it and have to be connected to wifi. Two weeks ago I did get verizon to admit that their network is not adequate and they did mention improvements but no time schedule.

13. deviceguy2016

Posts: 826; Member since: Jun 16, 2016

I'm in Huntington Beach ca and i used to have VZW and was weak, i work in LA and isn't much better t mobile no issues at all

17. trublackrose

Posts: 45; Member since: Apr 14, 2015

what you are experiencing is what they call Network Congestion. To many people on the network slows down the network speeds. The only solution is more towers and connection points, but with limited space that gets harder and harder to add as time goes on. Newer technologies for Micro Towers is slowly rolling out which allows for more towers in smaller places, kinda like those towers that look like Palm Trees or are hidden on building faces. Smaller companies like the other posted listed with T-Mo does have an advantage due to a smaller user base, but eventually that will change as T-Mo grows, which will also increase their pricing to better service the growing base. 5G may help resolve those issues as its said that it can handle more users on the same networks and help expand those bands, but only time will truly tell.

22. marorun

Posts: 5029; Member since: Mar 30, 2015

Not really. The tower communicate using optic cable between them and the central servers. Those are the one thats get overloaded. the tower is basically : 1- Antenna 2- The box/switch thats handle the communications ( thats what need upgrade to handle more connections at same time. 3- the optical cable thats bring those info between tower and the servers. 4- the server themselves. Antenna dont handle much in fact its more the 3 others components of the network thats say if you be overloaded or not.

21. marorun

Posts: 5029; Member since: Mar 30, 2015

Anubis13k those crappy speed are not because of the type of network ( 4G ) but because of bad optical cable thats bring the data to the server they get overloaded ( basically not enuf bandwith in them for all the user ) same thing with server thats get overloaded. They just need to have bigger cable to bring the info to the servers and bigger server to treat them.

9. xondk

Posts: 1904; Member since: Mar 25, 2014

As much as faster data is nice, it is only really when stationary and with 'more' then a phone that at least I need high data speeds, I mean there's very little reason to watch movies and such in 1080p on a 5-6 inch screen, you don't get the detail that is there, heck youtube at 240p is fine when on the go, so yeah.... Course as Justrt mentions, some places wireless IS faster then wired because of ....some? reason, those cases could get an advantage, others? dunno, maybe?

11. deviceguy2016

Posts: 826; Member since: Jun 16, 2016

Not a bad idea for 5G but the thing is than you may be forced to buy a 5G compadable device and more costs for data, 10 gigs will go like 2 gigs now??

16. xperian

Posts: 418; Member since: Apr 10, 2014

Not needed, unless they give unlimited data

31. JunitoNH

Posts: 1946; Member since: Feb 15, 2012

Smart, otherwise you will blow those 3Gb like water. I already noticed the difference going from Cricket to GoPhone.

23. JesseJames

Posts: 226; Member since: Feb 22, 2015

Just make it reliable and fast, I don't care what you call it.

24. perry1234

Posts: 646; Member since: Aug 14, 2012

You are already in a 12K VR . You all are living your lives in a 12K VR and its called #TheMatrix. If you are reading this Mr. Anderson , it is time already. Now open the door and follow the white rabbit....

25. Dee79

Posts: 307; Member since: Jun 19, 2014

We don't need, we want!

26. zunaidahmed

Posts: 1183; Member since: Dec 24, 2011

How about working on better penetration and latency? We haven't even reach the maximum potential of 4G LTE anywhere, y focus on speed on but not all other aspects?

27. ryanmononoke

Posts: 21; Member since: Nov 05, 2014

So, we now need a 5G network to browse Facebook, use snapchat and watch YouTube? Really?

29. Pitrich

Posts: 239; Member since: Apr 13, 2016

We need consistent across the board 4g. Dense and robust enough to handle our regular needs

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit for samples and additional information.