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5G is finally here — kind of thumbnail

October 16, 2020

5G is finally here — kind of

Marketplace Tech thumbnailMarketplace Tech

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Hey y'all. I already miss raise a host of The Marketplace podcast. This is uncomfortable. And on the show this week having your best friend. As your co-worker is great right being in business together at the same time that our friendship was failing. I think for me was this like kind of convenient cover story. I could say look for working. Well together things aren't that bad the host of the podcast Call Your Girlfriend talk about their friendship and what happened when they started the business together new episode drops on Thursday. Whenever you get your podcast this Marketplace podcast is supported by eBay luxury watches shopping for a rare vintage or new timepiece find the exact watch you're looking for on eBay and trusted. It's the real deal. Thanks to eBay's new authenticity guarantee. No, thanks. No frauds. No doubt get your dream timepiece from The Trusted sellers at ebay.com luxury watches today for domestic sales only.

5G is here again. Mostly basically, you're going to love it someday. Are we still doing this from American public media? This is Marketplace check. I'm all ears.

Another election for Supreme Court hearings North social media controversies can stop the Autumn announcement of new iPhones. And now those new iPhones can connect to 5G networks. And you like me may be asking yourself at this point. What even is the deal with 5G a survey out this month is nearly half of iPhone users in America believe that their device is already connect to 5G, but they don't but some might connect AT&T is not really by G called v g e and then people think that's good enough. But all of this is a topic for quality assurance where we take a second. Look at a Big Tex story in the news. Shara tibken is a senior reporter for CNET and we started with the whole 5G mess. There's kind of different types of which is what makes it really confusing when you think about 5G doing things like remote surgery or self-driving cars or completely changing our lives. It's this real

The fast kind of 5G called millimeter-wave the problem with that is it can't go through trees. It gets blocked by walls. It doesn't travel very far the main company that we've seen rollout millimeter wave is Verizon and you can basically get it on this one street corner in Chicago the other kind of 5G that we saw T-Mobile come out with, you know, it's this kind of low band 5G it probably farther but it isn't really much faster than 4G it were still early days with 5G. So these are all going to get better and the companies are all going to be building out their networks more to kind of have all parts of it. So we will eventually see more of a difference. It's just it's still kind of early.

What about cost are carriers charging more for this 5G that at least at this point is early in sounds kind of disappointing. It really depends on what carrier you have because they all have completely different strategies AT&T. If you want to be on 5G, you have to have a new plan. If you have T-Mobile they don't care you can stay on your current plan Verizon. If you want to happen to their super fast millimeter-wave, you have to go to a new plan. There's no answer. That's the same for everybody and every Terriers crazy. I mean it is crazy. Right? Like what is the promise here right. Now? What we're saying is 5G is about speed. It's about downloading things quickly. There's also a feature of 5G that's really important, which is Laura Leighton. So this is the responsiveness of your phone. So if you think about going on a zoom call where your kids are having a band practice and it's totally out of saying something that could help with that.

I could make it so you could actually play a song with band members online and be in sync if you're wanting a new phone and planning to hold on to it for a long time. You're going to want to get something with 5G. Even if it isn't something that you're using right now now that Apple's getting into the market. We're going to see more developers coming up with things that you actually use 5G for nobody wants to get a lot of air to conspiracies but there are conspiracies about perceived health problems around 5G the Telecom industry already went through this also with a question of whether cell phones cause cancer and I just wonder what companies are doing to combat that misinformation and are they worried that it might slow the roll out at all. I feel like companies are kind of ignoring it like this isn't the saying so we're not going to give it any are times when the coronavirus pandemic first started spreading earlier this year one of the big conspiracy theories that came out was that 5G causes it or spray.

I said, you know all of these things. So that was something that was really early and roll their eyes basically like it was too crazy for them to even respond to in terms of the other health risks, you know, people are concerned about cancer and things like that, but the FCC and other government organizations have said 5G is safe, you know, they'll keep doing testing but as of now, I don't think people should be very worried about 5G. These are are waves that have been out there for a long time. So it does not like these they just weren't necessarily used for phones will have to see but so far all the science says that these aren't health concerns and you know, none of the companies. None of the handset makers are talking about it or the chipmaker's or you don't fit carriers. Nobody is no making this an issue or trying to address it.

Our next question of cost, you know, it seems like at least right now 5G is rolling out in premium handset. So I'm sure it will be on every phone eventually most likely the plans are going to cost more if 5 G ends up being all that its promise to be and yet it's really premium. Could that create or exacerbate a real have Have Nots situation?

It could but what we're saying with 5G happen is actually there are a lot of lower-priced 5G phones coming out. The pricing on 5G phones has dropped way faster than anybody expected. Like we're seeing phones that cost under $500 on 5G and considering that the technology just came out last year. That's crazy fast, you know, this isn't just going to be a premium product Samsung has it's a series devices that are kind of like it's more mainstream phones. There are a couple models that have 5G the new pixel for a you know, that's that have 5G eunos and we're going to see even cheaper 5G phones later this year, you know in China 5G phones are even cheaper than that, you know qualcomm's like newer kind of blower and chips basically all of its ships are going to support 5G. So, you know, we're going to see we could see, you know, $250 5G phones. So this isn't real.

A thing where it's only going to be the premium phone it started that way because the technology is expensive but the prices have dropped really really fast. So you basically within like the next year or two every phone at least in the US that comes out is going to be 5G. Sorry. It took him as a senior reporter for CNET.

And now for some related links we've got links to shara's reporting on 5G and the new iPhones as well as links to a couple of stories from last week about how the White House has continued to push for a national 5G Network after floating the idea to not very much approval back in 2018 The Wall Street Journal reported that the Department of Defense is working on a request for proposal from companies who like to build a 5G military Network and then the dod could least parts of that Network to telecom companies car makers for net worth cars, maybe even factories according to the journal the dod owns a bunch of valuable Wireless spectrum that I could build on top of and simultaneously the FCC wants to auction off some of that Spectrum in 2021 to carry us. We're trying to build their own 5G networks the telecoms as you might imagine are heavily lobbying in favor of the fcc's plan.

And speaking of the FCC it has of course been a busy week for social media and its stumbling Frankenstein like efforts to figure out how to deal with this information online. You almost have to feel a little sorry for them Twitter and Facebook both took steps this week to limit the spread of a New York Post story about Joe Biden and his son that was supposedly derived from hacked materials. Now for months or even years researchers have been warning media Outlets about not falling for so-called hack and leak campaign like the one in 2016 that caused a bunch of front page stories about Hillary Clinton's email right before the election. So with this Biden story most major news outlets handled the leak with sort of the proper skepticism as for Facebook at work to limit the spread of the story basically categorizing it as misinformation and then Twitter went kind of full hepped up flailing ferrets and just block the whole thing even in DM and didn't say why 4 hours and

He said it was because it was based on hacked material and then all of it made the usual right-wing suspects claim conservative censorship again, and the Senate Judiciary panel is now threatening to subpoena Twitter CEO, Jack Dorsey and then Thursday FCC chairman Ajit Pai rolled on in to say that the agency would step in and clarify the meaning of section 230 the statues that gives General immunity to social media platforms for things their users posts online.

which

I mean section 230 most Scholars agree is due for some refinement but one suspects that the process in the middle of the great National poo flinging that is our political stage right now is not likely to be well-reasoned. Shall we say?

We'll be following these events more next week as they develop Stephanie Hughes produces Marketplace Tech Jesus Alvarado is our assistant producer. Michael Lipkin is our senior, editor. Robin Edgar is our engineer Emily wood, and that's Marketplace check. Have a great weekend.

This is a p.m.

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