If you think 5G is overhyped, wait till you meet 5.5G: Less than half of next gen networking users say it has improved speed or reliability for them.

Fewer than half of 5G users say they’ve experienced improvements in speed or reliability over 4G according to a new survey, but that is not going to stop some in telecoms pushing ahead with efforts to deliver an enhanced version branded 5.5G.

The survey comes from comparison service Uswitch, which says that upwards of 16 million people in the UK now own a 5G-enabled handset, but experiences with the network standard are mixed. While some feel their service has got better, only 41 percent of 5G users indicate it has improved speed or reliability for them.

Uswitch said the survey results came from a sample of 2,000 adults across the UK.

There also appears to be digital divide between urban and rural users, with some in the countryside saying they have never been able to get a 5G connection, despite having a 5G-enabled handset. According to Uswitch, 17 percent of rural users with a 5G phone said they have never had a 5G service, compared with 6 percent of those in built-up areas.

One in six mobile users feel 5G technology is “overhyped”, which perhaps isn’t surprising as the technology is still relatively early in its deployment and is being compared against much more mature 4G networks.

In fact, as far as the UK goes, 5G services are still effectively being delivered by bolting 5G radio antennas to the same network infrastructure used for existing 4G services. Many of the key abilities of 5G, such as ultra-low latency, very high data rates or the ability to support many more devices per cell than with 4G, are only likely to be realized with upgrades to the infrastructure.


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