South African network operators have accelerated their rollout of 5G—the superfast next-generation standard for mobile networking. Offering speeds 10 times or more faster than 4G/LTE and much better latency, 5G promises you a far smoother experience for media streaming, video calls and media downloads.
It can offer speeds 10 times quicker than 4G, enabling downloads in a blink of an eye and HD media with no pixelation or buffering. With 5G now so widely available and more affordable Android 5G handsets hitting the market, this is a great time to dive in. TCL suggests questions to ask before you decide on a network provider and contract or prepaid option for 5G services.
- Where will you be using the 5G service?
One of the first things to consider is whether you want 5G to get faster broadband at home or whether you want to use it as a mobile service. Most networks offer special 5G customer premises equipment and uncapped or high bandwidth deals for people who want a 5G solution to use at their homes. Or you can consider a standard prepaid SIM or contract if you want 5G on your mobile device.
- Contract or prepaid?
If you want 5G for a smartphone, the next step is to choose between prepaid or contract. Prepaid is less paperwork and you don’t need to pass credit vetting. You can also control your budget by buying data and airtime as and when you need it. What’s more, you can switch providers easily if you find a better deal. But you will need to buy a 5G phone upfront.
If you go for a contract, you can effectively pay for your handset over two to three years. You can also upgrade your phone when it’s time to renew. But you’ll be locked in with one network for the duration of the contract. And you could pay for a lot of extras you don’t use, like SMS messages or voice messages bundled into your contract.
- Which network has the best 5G coverage in the areas you spend most of your time?
5G coverage isn’t uniform across the major networks, and some offer better coverage in certain parts of the country than others. It’s worth doing some research into what the coverage is like where you live, work, and spend most of your time.
- What deals are on offer?
Take some time to consider deals on offer from the different networks. Examine the monthly costs and how much you’ll be paying in and out of bundle for each MB or GB. If you’re going for a contract, compare the phones on offer as well as whether voice minutes and data provided each month will meet your needs.