5G Holds Great Promise -- EventuallyWe know 5G is coming. Verizon is planning to roll it out in select cities soon and AT&T is trying to convince people it's available now (maybe, maybe not).

What we do know is that 5G will turn our phones into blazing fast, always on mini-Internet machines. The Internet of Things will finally enter maturity and video streaming will explode even more than it already has.

But exactly when it will all work together - the hardware in our phones, and the software in the system, and the infrastructure to support it -- is more difficult to determine. This process is made even more difficult because every company wants to have it first and seem winning to promise what might not even exist yet.

Add to all of that we have competing versions of 5G to make it even more complicated, and the whole thing gets downright frustrating:

If you’re among the first early adopters of 5G smartphones, we’ve got some bad news for you: That 5G icon displayed next to your network signal might be lying to you, but it’s hard to say just how dishonest it’s being at any given time.

As with most things in life, it’s all a matter of definition....in other words, it’s not really 5G. Because of this, your phone may not be connected to a true 5G NR signal, even if it’s sporting the 5G icon. As long as your device is connected to a 4G LTE tower that at least supports 5G NSA, or is connected to 4G LTE and can detect 5G NR signals nearby (but is not necessarily using 5G NR), the 5G icon can be displayed.

See what we mean? You can read more about these competing versions in this great article at Lifehacker.

So before you start getting all excited about 5G and what it may or may not mean, be sure the system is fully operational, everywhere you may need it. Especially if you are paying a premium for the service.