By: Nick Gambino
It seems like a real 5G network has been just over the horizon for years now and yet we still don’t have it. While there are plenty of us complaining, a recent test suggests 5G would kill our data plan in just under an hour.
The test was conducted by CNET in Australia on Telstra’s 5G network to see how fast the future of uploading and downloading really is. The test showed that, as promised, it’s lightning fast. And while that’s good news in terms of speed, it means something else for your data plan.
“About 25 minutes in, after several speed tests, downloading PUBG and two movies from Netflix, I got an SMS,” Daniel van Boom from CNET said. “‘You’ve used 50% of your 20GB data allowance,’ Telstra warned me. Uh oh.”
Now, there are a couple of things to take into account. At first, you might look at that and say, “Well, I’m not planning to download multiple movies from Netflix through my data plan.” And that’s true, but as Van Boom points out, having 5G makes you want to use its full capabilities. Sure, speed is nice when you’re Googling or scrolling your Facebook feed, but with that kind of power you’re going to want to open that baby up and see what it can do.
Many of us in the U.S. have unlimited data plans so at first glance this wouldn’t seem to be a problem. That is until you look at the fine print of your “unlimited” data plan and realize that they start throttling your speed after you go over a specified amount of data. And though throttling is controversial, I don’t see it going away anytime soon.
Apple is gearing up to release a 5G-capable iPhone in 2020 and other companies will either follow suit or are already there. Before they run smack into a PR nightmare, they’re all going to have to put their heads together and come up with a way to address this situation.
While we all want faster network connections, I don’t think we’ll do it at the cost of blowing through our monthly data plan over lunch.