Will 5G Make an Appreciable Difference in Antigua?


With 5G now seeing rollout in limited areas in Antigua, many residents are asking themselves if the technology has lived up to the hype. Claims about the advantages of technology have been making the rounds for years, while disinformation has also confused and created concerns. Where does the truth lie in this discussion, and will 5G matter to most Antiguans?

What is 5G?

The term 5G refers to the fifth generation of mobile connective technology, as noted by PCMag. This started with what we now call 1G back in the late 1970s and early 1980s, long before smartphones and the launch of the internet. 5G of today includes a collection of different standards and technologies that boast some significant advantages over 4G, including:

  • Greater bandwidth (the amount of data sent per second)
  • Lower latency (how long it takes data to perform a round trip)
  • More active connections per tower (one million up from 100,000 on 4G)

5G isn’t a complete upgrade in all situations, it also offers two primary disadvantages when compared to 4G. These are:

  • Lower range per tower (up to 3 miles in empty space compared to 4G’s 40 miles)
  • Less capable of penetrating objects like trees and buildings compared to 4G

Because of these elements, 5G won’t be used as a complete replacement for 4G. Instead, 4G will be used more commonly in wider and less populated areas, where 5G will placed on top of 4G in more populated places like city centers.

How Do You Use Your Phone?

Whether or not 5G will bring advantages to Antiguans depends on how you use your phone. Consider an average form of usage, like wagering on websites like FanDuel Casino. This website opens the doors with browsing for bonuses like deposit matches, after which players can load and play games like slots and table games. In this instance, even 3G speeds are usually enough to offer a streamlined experience, whereas the most demanding live casino games might only just require 4G speeds.

Outside of average uses, the highest demands placed on internet connections come from large downloads and online media editing for work in systems like Adobe Premier. In these cases, a home network will be utilized instead of a 5G outside connection, rendering the advanced speeds of 5G moot. In fact, unless you’re a big video gamer, you might not notice the speed advantages of 5G at all.

Is 5G Useless in Antigua?

Useless is perhaps the wrong term, as 5G can be more about preparing ourselves for the future than it is about servicing needs right now. This is because, each year, the demands that common devices put on internet connections continue to grow. Instead of trying to catch up, 5G places us years ahead of the curve.

While our population is still around 900,000 less than what a single 5G tower can handle, there will be a time when our mobiles in Antigua do take advantage of 5G’s data demands. When that happens, we won’t experience service outages or poor performance. We might not notice it running in the background, but through this availability, 5G can help keep us connected, safe, and with greater convenience. Just maybe don’t feel you need to upgrade to 5G quite yet.

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