As 5G technology becomes more widely available, many people are wondering if it will use more data than 4G. After all, faster speeds and greater capacity mean that you can do a lot more with your mobile device. But does this come at the cost of increased data usage?
In this article, we’ll explore whether 5G uses more data than its predecessor and compare their respective battery consumption levels. We’ll also look at what factors affect how much each network type consumes in terms of both power and data allowance.
So read on to find out if you need to change your mobile plan or adjust your habits when using 5G networks!
Does 5G use more data than 4G?
The short answer is no: if you download a file or load up a web page, it will take exactly the same amount of data to do that over 5G as over 4G. However, the use of data on 5G might be higher due to its added capacity.
For instance, a film can be downloaded in 4K resolution quite easily on 5G; with 4G this wouldn’t happen. On top of that, you may also find yourself downloading larger files and apps on 5G than you would dare to attempt on 4G due to their size.
Furthermore, many streaming services actually provide a higher-quality, more data-heavy version of their video and audio content when accessed via a 5G connection.
Overall, while the amount of data used per unit won’t necessarily be any bigger on 5G compared to 4G – your overall data usage could be much higher due to improved performance and access to better quality media options.
How much data do we use?
Does 5G use more data? This question is answered by Ofcom’s Communications Market Reports for 2019, 2021 and 2022.
During the first half of 2019, when 5G was just becoming available, phone owners used 2.9GB of data on average per month.
This marks a 34% increase from the previous year. By the second half of that same year, an additional 22% rise in mobile data covered 3.6 GB on average – a clear indication that there was increased utilization of 5G networks during this period as compared to 2018 numbers.
Then in 2021 and beyond, despite global lockdowns and restrictions to outside activities, mobile data continued to go up exponentially; with the 2021 report showing 4.5GB on average and 5.6GB for 2022.
This growth trend suggests that with more access to 5G networks develop over time, phone owners are likely to further increase their own quantity of mobile data usage each month from hereon out.
Do I need unlimited data?
While most people don’t need to choose an unlimited data plan, 5G equals more usage if you’re accessing higher data needs. If you’re looking at 100GB and wonder if it will be enough for your needs, consider tethering your phone to other devices that require more data than a smartphone.
This is especially important when watching 4K movies or connecting to Wi-Fi from another device. Data use in these cases can quickly skyrocket, so generous amounts of data may be necessary to avoid additional fees imposed by a service provider.
An unlimited data plan is a great option if you’re anticipating heavy data usage in the near future. Does 5G use more data than 4G?
Well, even though 5G technology promises faster speeds and more robust connections than its predecessor, it won’t necessarily require more monthly data from your smartphone plan – that’s where having an unlimited data plan comes into play.
With this option, there’s no need to monitor your usage or worry about extra charges at the end of the month; plus, it can be reassuring to know that your data needs are taken care of no matter what the future holds.
How much do you need to pay for 5G right now?
Taking cost into consideration, you may wonder if 5G data is any more expensive than its previous generations. The truth is that most operators have stabilised their prices and offer 5G access as part of the package deal.
According to industry stats, if you were to begin a 24-month 5G contract in 2022, it would be sensible to go for a data allowance of 25GB per month or higher depending on your usage requirements and budget.
All in all, 5G could prove a great investment for the long-term with prices falling in line with previous generations once rolling out costs are covered.
If you are looking for a 5G compatible phone without cost being an issue, then you are in luck. The majority of phones on the market that surpass £200 come with 5G capabilities. To make the most of your new device, opting for a SIM-only contract is likely the most cost-effective process.
Furthermore, it is excellent news that all four of UK’s big network operators offer 5G SIM-only deals! Does 5G use more data?
Generally speaking, no; data usage wouldn’t increase simply because you’re using a 5G device instead of one that supports 4G. Have a look at our feature on the best 5G phones if you’d like more information.
Many people are looking for ways to jump on the 5G bandwagon, and for good reason. You can get access to some amazing deals using 5G which could actually save you money!
Three allows customers access to 5G at no extra charge, and offers an unlimited data 24-month SIM-only plan £12/ month over the first 6 months, and £24/ month for the remaining 18 months.
Meanwhile, EE offers a much higher budget with a 24-month unlimited data plan for £31 per month. Vodafone provides 160GB of data for just £20/ month, or an unlimited data plan also at £32/ month.
Finally, O2 has a SIM-only 24-month 120GB allowance at just £20/ month while also offering a 75GB plan at only £18/ month. So if you’re keen to get your hands on 5G technology without breaking the bank, any of these deals could be perfect for you!
So really does 5G use more data
The arrival of 5G brings with it many advantages. Its increased speed and performance means that we can access higher quality video content, operate more complex connected devices through the internet, and even take advantage of newly developed data-hungry applications.
All this comes at a cost though because as we use more and more from our phones, inevitably it is leading to an unprecedented increase in mobile data usage.
Does 5G use more data than 4G? The answer is yes – depending on what you’re doing with it, you could find yourself needing far more generous data allowances in your next mobile contract.
Does 5G use more data? Thankfully, the answer is no. Despite before being an expensive option exclusively for the tech-savvy early adopters, accessing a top speed network is now simpler than ever.
With operators increasing their data allowances to match, finding yourself an unlimited data package or even just one with 100GB+ allowance is becoming easier day by day.
After learning more about 5G usage, 25GB monthly data should be more than enough for most users of this speedy network during their entire contract!