Unless you’ve been living under a rock, then you know that 5G network is on everyone’s lips right now. But, like most people, you probably have no idea what it means. That’s why we’ve decided to write this article about the 5G network. We will also dispel some of the myths associated with 5G technology.
In a nutshell, 5G is short for “fifth generation” wireless technology and it’s the next step after 4G LTE. It promises faster browsing speeds, better network efficiency, and improved capacity.
5G will enable operators to handle IoT connections better as well as exponential growth in mobile.
A Brief History
Every decade comes with a new generation of mobile tech improvements. This is often accompanied by new use cases and applications for users to enjoy. During the 1980s we had analog cellular devices which introduced mobile phone calls.
In the 1990s, we got 2G along with texting and digital voice capabilities. In the 2000s, we marveled at the picture messaging, music streaming and mobile Internet capabilities afforded by 3G.
Then, in 2010, 4G LTE technology was introduced. With it came HD and 4K video streaming and a full multimedia experience.
Now that we’re stepping into a new decade, we have the 5G network.
Why We Need the 5G Technology?
What’s the use of a 5G network, you ask? Well, 5G promises to offer significant improvements from LTE. This includes faster average and peak speeds as well as a much wider data handling capacity.
This means we might see 5G network devices that can better handle artificial intelligence, augmented reality and cloud-based storage use cases.
Not only that, but a 5G network means that cell sites will be able to handle a much larger number of devices. It also offers less latency which is huge for gamers who want remote graphic rendering and better edge computing.
Since 5G is a mobile technology first, it’ll enable mobile operators to offer faster speeds through “fiber-like” broadband – all wireless of course.
Is 5G Much Faster Than 4G?
Definitely. Data shows that 5G cellphones will have peak speeds of 5Gbps. And it’s possible that this number will reach more gigabits per second in the near future, especially for devices that can handle 10 to 20 Gbps. If you compare it with 4G LTE, you’ll find that it’s capped at 1 Gbps to 1.4 Gbps at best.
Mobile giants Ericsson and T-Mobile have both reached the 12 Gbps milestone on a 5G network connection. Qualcomm recently announced the upcoming release of an international, 5G end-to-end handset solution with 5Gbps speeds by the end of 2019. There’s no word yet as to whether or not carriers will offer services at this speed level.
The 5G network also comes with a number of new technologies. These make for better energy efficiency, reliability and responsiveness, especially when it comes to network slicing.
Can You Use SpeedTest to Measure 5G Speed?
When Can 5G Become Widely Available?
There are already a few pre-stands deployments and trials of 5G technology. AT&T as well as Verizon already offer fixed-wireless 5G in a few markets that include Los Angeles, Indianapolis, Houston and Sacramento.
However, the actual 5G New Radio networks could be released at the end of this current year. According to AT&T, their first 5G wireless hotspot device will ship out at some point this year. While the first batch of 5G NR smartphones will be released this year as well.
It’s important to note that the initial 5G NR deployments were non-standalone. This means that operators will continue to use existing signaling and handoff in 4G for now.
This will make it easier for operators to transition to standalone 5G network smoothly and more efficiently. A lot of operators are looking at LTE networks as the next best move. This is because LTE is pegged to continue dominating the early 2020s.
Does Your Phone Support 5G?
Just because your area has a 5G network doesn’t mean that you’ll be able to access it on your smartphone immediately. You’ll need to purchase a compatible device and most network operators and smartphone manufacturers are currently testing the earliest versions of 5G enabled chipsets.
There are a few 5G smartphones on the market already and most of the US operators have 5G networks in several locations in the US.
What do you think about the 5G network? Let us know in the comments below.