Buried inside just about every smartphone is a capability that few people take advantage of but that I have come to rely on: the ability to turn my phone into a Wi-Fi hotspot. And since I got a 5G-capable phone — and 5G mobile networks have become reliably available in many places my day takes me — I can supercharge my hotspot with enough data and speed for my entire crew.

You don’t need to run out and buy a 5G phone to turn on a hotspot or even to access 5G networks. You only need a 5G phone to access the fast speeds of 5G. If you come to depend on hotspotting the way I have, though, those blazing 5G speeds are a great reason to upgrade as soon as a 5G network is available to you.

When I travel (or my office internet goes south), my phone provides more than enough data to keep me working. It has become my favorite way to stay on top of work wherever I am. I can read and send emails, move data back and forth on remote servers, and even get a taste of the latest office gossip from the comfort of my full-sized device — without compromising security or paying for a separate mobile data device or line.

A phone hotspot is a helpful collaboration tool for a group of businesspeople attempting to work together. I can imagine it being used for, say, colleagues on the way to the airport in a van who might finish a group presentation, or even an accounting team working in a conference room with an internet connection independent of the company they’re auditing. And when you add in 5G speeds, it becomes a serious business advantage.

A hotspot works just like a dedicated mobile hotspot device, but because it’s right inside the phone, there’s nothing extra to charge, carry, or try not to lose. The way it works is simple: When the phone is connected to the mobile data network, it converts a 4G or 5G data stream into a Wi-Fi signal that nearby devices can share.

Happily, none of this affects how the phone works. While my phone is feeding data to laptops, it can still view web sites on its own screen, make calls, and respond to texts.


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