KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Sprint announced Wednesday that Kansas City is going to be one of the first cities to test its new 5G technology in 2019.
The mobile giant already named six cities — Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Washington D.C. and Houston — that are in the process of getting 5G or are getting it later this year.
Now Sprint has added three more cities to the mix: Kansas City, New York City and Phoenix. These three cities are expected to get 5G in the first half of 2019.
Sprint isn’t the only company working 5G. T-Mobile, AT&T and Verizon, along with the tech companies behind the chips in wireless devices, are also in the race to get the new technology out nationwide. All four mobile giants are already testing in several cities.
But what exactly is 5G?
It stands for “fifth generation,” and it’s the software behind your mobile device’s wireless network for making calls, sending text messages and using the internet.
Most people have 3G or 4G/LTE at this point, but 5G will eventually replace them — though how soon the switch-over happens isn’t clear yet. It’s going to cost a lot and take a lot of time to make the transition.
According to CNN, 5G technology is expected to be really, really fast. Experts say it will be at least 10 times faster than 4G, allowing users to download movies, music and more in seconds rather than minutes.
The new network will also make your device’s response time faster. Using 5G will get rid of the lag between when you call up an app or click a link and when it actually appears.
It’s also supposed to allow more gadgets to connect to the network at the same time, which means you should see less of a delay in crowded areas like malls, sports arenas and convention centers.
The new technology will also affect things like self-driving cars, virtual reality, smart cities and robots some day. Right now, 4G can’t handle all that technology, but 5G is expected to bring the “Internet of Things” to a whole new level.