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The Impact Of 5G On KELOLAND

Sioux Falls, S.D. - South Dakota could be getting faster internet. Last Friday, Senator John Thune released a statement about how he is working to put the state at the "forefront" of 5G technology.

While we won't be the first state to get 5G, faster connections could build up business.

At the moment, the fastest internet you can get is 4G. However, wireless companies are working to bring 5G your way very soon.

So what does that really mean?

"4G right now, it ranges just depending on where you are. 5G it's going to to give you the ability to do like a full-length movie within seconds," said Ben Velten, The Cellphone Guy hiring manager. 

This sort of high-speed access will require some infrastructure changes. 5G uses data cells, which look like power boxes on light poles. Wireless companies pay cities a few hundred dollars apiece to use the city's property for this.

According to Mayor Paul TenHaken, he's willing to take less money to get this access to Sioux Falls faster.

"5G would be transformational to our city for resource, economic development, workforce development. I don't use the term game-changing very often, but it truly would be game-changing technology for our community," TenHaken said. 

5G is also going to change how you pay for data.

"Right now, you get 4G, you get 3G plans and it's just speeds what it is. With 5G you're going to be able to do higher speed, lower speed. So it's a way for Verizon and AT&T to just make a little bit of money," said Velten. 

Verizon and AT&T have announced several big cities that will have 5G available by the end of this year.
Sioux Falls wouldn't be ready for this change until closer to 2020. Plus, there are no phones or tablets on the market right now that can handle 5G.

However, that will be changing soon, and TenHaken wants to be on the ground floor of the new movement.

"You'd be hard-pressed to find an industry that doesn't rely on strong connectivity. Strong internet connectivity. And that's why this is so critical to Sioux Falls as we look for what the next industry that we need to bring here, what the future of industry looks like for our community," said TenHaken. 

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