Waze is a crowdsourced navigation app from Google that relies on data reported by users in real-time. This is a popular app among drivers and commuters to avoid traffic and incidents. But now, a new feature has appeared on the app with Pins showing the availability of a 5G hotspot in an area. Waze maps now show 5G icons to inform users where 5G is available from local phone networks.
This new feature has first been rolled out in the Philippines where the navigation app now shows where 5G is available from Smart Communications, a local phone network company. The company launched Smart 5G pins on Waze last month in the Philippines, making it easier for users to enjoy 5G speeds from the local network. The 5G icons that appear where 5G is available are the same size and design as the pre-existing icons on Waze.
Note that this feature isn’t something that uses 5G to improve the Waze app in any way. Like other flags, it just shows Waze users where 5G is available. Satellite navigation and traffic alerts run perfectly well on a 4G or 3G connection, so this 5G feature has nothing to do with the working of Waze other than letting you know of 5G around you.
5G Pins on Waze May (Not) Be a Big Deal
While the feature has already come to the Philippines and may soon be launched in other countries, it doesn’t seem to be that important while driving. It may be helpful when you are in a 5G area by foot and get adequate time to use it, but seeing the 5G pins while driving seems less important. According to Smart Communications, the adding of its 5G logo to Waze maps is “groundbreaking” as it will help subscribers seek out and connect to their nearest 5G mast.
Currently, the feature is available for Waze users in Metro Manila and across other provinces. These include Aklan, Bulacan, Cavite, Cebu, Davao del Sur, Iloilo, Laguna, and Pampanga. The company says that more locations will also be added soon. Further, the PH mobile carries plans to have a network with over 3,800 5G base stations across the country by the end of 2021. It’s not clear when or if the feature will roll out for Waze users in other countries.