It’s been nearly a decade within the making, and 5G is now a reality. Wireless carriers started rolling out 5G to pick cities a couple of years ago, and mobile 5G internet access is now relatively widely available, counting on your phone plan. But what’s 5G exactly?
It may seem as if there are more questions on 5G than there are answers. Some wonder where 5G is out there , and if they’ll ever see it in their city, while others are more curious about which 5G phone they ought to buy. And in fact , there’s a debate about which carrier will have the simplest 5G phone plan.
You have questions on the newest mobile network, we’ve answers. Here’s everything you would like to understand about 5G tech in March 2021.
What is 5G technology?
Before we explain how 5G works, it’s probably an honest idea to elucidate what 5G is. There are tons of specifics, which we cover throughout this text , but here’s a fast primer.
What is 5G? Simply put, 5G is that the 5th generation of mobile broadband which will eventually replace, or a minimum of augment, your 4G LTE connection. With 5G, you get exponentially faster downloading and uploading speed. It will also drastically decrease Latency, or the time it takes devices to connect with wireless networks.
5G networks are inherently more efficient, which could handle more connections per tower and faster speeds per user. 5G is additionally designed to figure across a wider range of radio frequencies (RF), opening up new possibilities within the ultra-high mmWave (millimeter-wave) bands for carriers to expand their network offerings. As 5G is a completely new technology that operates using new frequencies and systems. All the 4G phones are incompatible with the new 5G network.
The evolution of 5G: How we came
5G networks began to be deployed in earnest in 2019. But the groundwork for the next-generation network was laid a few years prior. The architecture of the 5G technology standard was set forth on 2016. At which point every company and person involved from both the network and consumer side could start making devices that were 5G standard compliant.
Obviously 5G hasn’t yet hit total market saturation, or maybe don’t represents a majority of mobile traffic today. But looking back at the history of the 4G rollout we will get a thought for a way long it’ll take. The first 4G (LTE) was deployed commercially in 2009, and didn’t go stop in the U.S. until the very end of 2010. It took almost 4 years until 2013 for 4G to be truly mainstream in many countries, and become dominant over the old 3G networks.
Following an identical timeline, we’re still expecting perhaps late 2022 or maybe 2023 for 5G to be the dominant network in most countries round the world. And it’ll be for several of an equivalent reasons which are, 4G faced similar technical hurdles as 5G, operating on new spectrum with new technologies required on both the network and device ends — though it too brought a considerable increase in speeds over the previous-generation network.
How does 5G technology work?
Now that we all know what 5G technology is, it’s an honest idea to know how it works since it’s different from traditional 4G LTE. First, let’s talk 5G spectrum.
Just like 4G LTE, 5G technology operates on a good range of radio-frequency spectrum allotments and also capable of running on a wider range than current networks. The foremost common sort of 5G getting used is Sub-6, and there’s also mmWave.
Sub-6 technology refers to 5G that operates at a frequency under 6GHz. All carriers have some sort of Sub-6 network. Primarily because 4G LTE currently runs on these lower frequencies, For instance T-Mobile has its low-band 600MHz spectrum and its previously Sprint-owned 2.5GHz both in use for 5G.
Sub-6 spectrum is incredibly important within the rollout of 5G, due to the very fact that these lower-frequency radio waves can travel long distances and penetrate walls and obstacles. meaning that carriers can deploy much larger networks without having to create many cells in every city.
Then there’s mmWave (millimeter wave), which refers to the ultra-high-frequency radio waves, between 30Ghz and 300Ghz, that are wont to supercharge 5G connections and deliver download speeds of multiple gigabits per second. Early on, Verizon relied exclusively on mmWave for its 5G network, though the carrier has now started deploying Sub-6 networks too. While mmWave connections can deliver superfast download speeds, the high-frequency radio waves can’t travel long distances and can’t really get through obstacles for the foremost part, even a window or leaves of a tree can block the connection.
That means to form a strong mmWave network, carriers need hundreds, or thousands, of small network cells in every city. Essentially, mmWave network deployment often comes right down to having to create little networks around every corner of a building. So why bother? Well, mmWave can handle a fantastic amount of knowledge , and a fantastic number of users simultaneously. that creates it better for densely populated cities, also as places like stadiums and arenas.
All of the main carriers are deploying mmWave networks, but so far , those superfast connections are limited to a couple of downtown areas in major cities. It’s expected that mmWave networks will get more robust, but only time will tell how long that really takes.