Time to upgrade your cell network? Learn about the future of 5G

You’ve most likely heard of the 5G cellular network, maybe from TV commercials.

But what is it, how can you get it, and do you need it?

Consumer Reports explains how this new technology may soon be available to you.

5G will be a game changer because in addition to faster data speeds, it lays the groundwork for more advanced uses like autonomous vehicles.

It will allow faster downloads for videos, games, and music, up to five times faster than 4G or LTE.

And 5G can handle more devices at once. So you won’t have to worry about bad service in crowded places.

So where is 5G and what do you need to get it?

5G networks are still being built across the country.

For now, the bigger carriers offer it in many major cities and some smaller ones too.

Unless you already have a 5G-compatible phone, you’ll need a new one to take advantage of this new technology.

Phones that support 5G include the U.S. versions of Samsung's newest flagship phones: the Galaxy S20, S20+, and S20 Ultra. LG, Motorola and OnePlus also offer 5G models.

But if you’re an Apple fan, you’ll have to wait. The company has not yet announced plans for a 5G phone.

One more note on 5G: You may have heard conspiracy theories that 5G contributed to the coronavirus pandemic. Experts say that’s completely false.

All Consumer Reports material Copyright 2019 Consumer Reports, Inc. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Consumer Reports is a not-for-profit organization which accepts no advertising. It has no commercial relationship with any advertiser or sponsor on this site. Fo