Unless you spent 2018 living in a cave (which would be 100 per cent justified given the political climate) you’ve undoubtedly heard the buzz around the new 5G wireless networks coming online. They not only promise faster internet speeds for mobile devices but wireless internet that’s actually fast enough to completely replace the wired broadband you use at home. With D-Link’s new 5G NR router, all you need is electricity and a SIM card to say goodbye to cable forever.
It’s safe to assume that eventually every device in your home, from TVs to smartphones to voice-activated microwaves, will each directly connect to the next-generation of cellular networks being implemented—be it 5G, 6G, or whatever number series the future holds. But that’s still a few years away and will require you to upgrade every internet-of-things device you use. Smartphones and tablets will be among the first to offer 5G compatibility, with others eventually following suit. But you don’t upgrade your dishwasher as often as you do your phone, and that’s where a 5G router will be a useful upgrade.
Instead of plugging D-Link’s DWR-2010 5G NR router into a prehistoric coaxial cable (or even a network cable if you’re blessed with a fibre connection to your home) it will simply suck high-speed internet from the sub-6 GHz and mmWave frequencies that 5G will rely on, and distribute it amongst all the connected devices in your home using the tried-and-true local wifi network they were already designed to connect to.
The D-Link DWR-2010 isn’t expected to arrive until the latter half of 2019, and it will be sold through the various cellular carriers in the country who will dictate the pricing. (The hardware will undoubtedly be subsidized in exchange for multi-year internet plan contracts.) But it will be powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon X55 chipset, will include five gigabit ethernet ports (ideal for gaming or connecting a NAS), as well as AC2600 dual band wifi that also supports connectivity to D-Link’s mesh networking products for extending your wireless network to every last corner of your home.
Is the technology worth jumping on right away? Probably not, as it will certainly take a few years for 5G coverage to match the reach of 4G networks right now. But if you happen to live somewhere where reliable broadband connectivity has been hard to come by, 5G maybe, possibly, could finally solve your connectivity woes.