BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — 5G is the next generation of cellular service, making it faster for you to use your smart phone. Tech experts, like Filippo Malandra, a research professor at the University at Buffalo, say it could also become the alternative to cable bundles.
"You can buy the little hotspot, or you can use your phone to tether access to other devices as you can do now with 4G," Malandra said.
5G allows people to access streaming services and local broadcast channels through apps on their televisions, as well as get internet access in their homes. It's high speed access without subscribing to a traditional cable company.
Some cable customers, like Patricia Parker, are opting to cut the cord as Spectrum announced it's raising prices.
"$192 a month, I can't do it," she said.
While 5G technology isn't an alternative yet in Western New York it is available in about two dozen cities, based off coverage listings from major cell service providers.
Like 4G LTE service, 5G is not just about what phone you have, but about where you live. Special boxes and fiberlines have to be installed by cell phone companies first.
"In order to install these antennas there will need to be agreements with municipalities, and that's what I think can be a major problem or something taken into account before massive roll out of 5G," said Malandra.
The FCC has a 5G fast plan, which FCC Chairman Ajit Pai spoke about with the New York State Wireless Association in June.
"At the end of the day, I’m confident that 5G will be deployed here in New York City and other big cities across the country," Pai said. "But I’m more concerned about whether 5G will make it to rural areas like those in upstate New York."