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Thread: Do I need a 5G phone?

  1. #1
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    Do I need a 5G phone?

    I have rewards points to use toward a phone coupon and was thinking of getting a 5G phone just to have on hand.
    How much better is 5G than VoLTE?
    How long is VoLTE going to be around before they phase it out?

    My use is very basic, just an occasional short phone call or text, I do use data moderately.
    I am not usually much into the latest and greatest, my main phone is a TF branded Samsung Galaxy S7 (I like the small size) and my second phone is a TF Moto G Power (a nice phone, I mostly use it as a mini tablet).

  2. #2
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    Nobody needs to buy a 5G phone yet, it is being introduced slowly and 4G isn't going anywhere soon. The current benefit hasn't been fully realized yet and while it isn't a bad thing to have a 5G phone, it isn't required. The main benefit is that the data speeds are much faster than 4G data but only where it has been deployed. There are still many markets where 5G is just being introduced in limited areas.
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by eohippus View Post
    I have rewards points to use toward a phone coupon and was thinking of getting a 5G phone just to have on hand.
    How much better is 5G than VoLTE?
    How long is VoLTE going to be around before they phase it out?

    My use is very basic, just an occasional short phone call or text, I do use data moderately.
    I am not usually much into the latest and greatest, my main phone is a TF branded Samsung Galaxy S7 (I like the small size) and my second phone is a TF Moto G Power (a nice phone, I mostly use it as a mini tablet).
    If you are using T-Mobile it has become advantageous to have 5G. For the other two it doesn't matter now or for the next few years.

    LTE and VoLTE are going to be around for years.

    I have started considering 5G for my next phone, but I'm not interested in paying much extra for it.

  4. #4
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    My Samsung S22 comes with 5G but I wasn't really shopping for a 5G phone. My uneducated guess is that 4G will be around at least another 4-5 years.

  5. #5
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    5G is still hype right now. We're on maybe Version 2.0 of 5G right now. Wait a few more years for things to mature, settle, and go mainstream before buying in.

    Also, right now, each carrier's implementation of 5G is not compatible with each other, just like the VoLTE mess we have. All the cheap 5G Tracfones only really work with Verizon's version of 5G. Only the newest iPhones and flagship androids have 5G implementations that work on different carriers.

    5G is actually at least three different approaches from what I've read, but all are grouped under the brand 5G. The most common/cheap implementation of 5G (Low-band) is just re-using 4G LTE bands with a more efficient encoding method and MIMO (CA/frequency bonding). The towers using 5G Dynamic Spectrum Sharing (DSS) broadcast both a 4G LTE and 5G signal (remember same bands/frequency) and can allocate bandwidth to which ever is being use the most. This method uses the same 600Mhz-2.6Ghz frequencies we've used for the past 20+ years. Capable of 150-500mbps speeds.

    5G (Mid-band) Sub-6/C-band is new and is just barely being rolled out right now. It's using the 2.5-4GHz frequencies. This is the stuff that's allegedly interfering with those airplane electronics. Most cheap 5G phones don't have this. This is capable of 500mbps-1gbps speeds.

    5G (High-band) mmWave. This is the crazy stuff that gives gigabit+ speeds. Uses 57–64GHz frequency range. Unfortunately, it has a range of one city block and is easily blocked by walls. Only flagship 5G phones have this right now.

    A lot of stuff still hasn't been authorized by the FCC and there's still auctions going on for those new frequencies. Think about the evolution of 4G LTE, maybe 4 years ago they were still adding extra, extended bands like Band 66 for all, 71 for T-Mobile, 14, 29, 30 for AT&T. Think about the current VoLTE mess we're in. 5G also has such a mess and it's called VoNR/Vo5G. 5G still has a long road to go till maturity.

    Should you buy a new phone specifically for 5G? No. Like hpham mentioned, buy a phone you like and it comes with 5G, absolutely fine. Just don't overpay for a feature. LTE will still be around for another 5-10 years because VoLTE will become the new baseline for voice channel, until VoNR/Vo5G is standardized and hammered out. All these 5G phones still drop back to 4G LTE to make calls using VoLTE, just as some LTE phones dropped back to 3G/HSPA to make calls.

  6. #6
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    Right now, based on your usage (and the fact that there are no unlimited data plans w/ the TracFone brand specifically) - no. I've been using 5G since it was available and on T-Mobile, it's taken a while to get all the cell sites upgraded but now that that's mostly done.. it's really nice. You get to bypass the usual congestion during peak hours since more bandwidth is available to you and speeds are faster than most wireline connections at home for internet. Verizon is still LTE only where I am, AT&T's 5G is about the same as LTE in terms of speed so it doesn't matter.

    I think what we need to remember is that for the time being, true 5G is only for data service. Until VoNR (think 5G version of VoLTE) is available, it doesn't matter unless you rely on mobile data. Eventually, like VoLTE, we may need VoNR capable phones for voice and text but that's many years away. I specifically wanted 5G mostly because I was curious how the network was doing, but I also have unlimited data on T-Mobile that I use heavily so it's worthwhile.
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    If you have a phone with 5G option just turn it off because the hunting between 4G/5G service just wears battery down.
    Current 5G isn't 5G at all and is just a massive marketing con

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by romaparisdoma View Post
    If you have a phone with 5G option just turn it off because the hunting between 4G/5G service just wears battery down.
    Current 5G isn't 5G at all and is just a massive marketing con
    I know 5Ge is the worst of the marketing con since AT&T can make a 4G only phone seem to have 5G.

    I know NSA 5G NR and 5G DSS nodes can still use 4G LTE in the backend.

    A SA 5G NR nodes is the true 5G NR nodes.

    I know Omaha, NE has a number of SA 5G NR nodes.

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    Well, AlexTrac said I don't need a 5G phone, FWIW.

    Hi this is Alex from TracFone Wireless.
    We read your post and we want to address your concern right away. Honestly there is is no need for you to purchase a 5G phone. Because, 4G phones is also a VoLTE. LTE stands for Long Term Evolution. So, no need to worry about it. It will not be phase out.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by eohippus View Post
    Well, AlexTrac said I don't need a 5G phone, FWIW.

    Hi this is Alex from TracFone Wireless.
    We read your post and we want to address your concern right away. Honestly there is is no need for you to purchase a 5G phone. Because, 4G phones is also a VoLTE. LTE stands for Long Term Evolution. So, no need to worry about it. It will not be phase out.
    That is correct. 4G LTE is staying around for a while. 5G NR is still new enough that not a lot of places have 5G NR yet.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by romaparisdoma View Post
    If you have a phone with 5G option just turn it off because the hunting between 4G/5G service just wears battery down.
    Current 5G isn't 5G at all and is just a massive marketing con
    Most everywhere I go has 5G “UC” on T-Mobile. Usually 200Mb/down during peak times and 600-700Mb/down at other times.

    So.. it is entirely dependent on where you are and travel to.


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