What is 5G?
After nearly a decade in the making, 5G is soon to be a reality. It has been put into action in a few cities, but will undergo a much more comprehensive rollout later this year.
But what exactly is 5G? It is the next generation of mobile broadband, following 3G and 4LTE. There will be faster upload and download times and latency (the time it takes devices to communicate with wireless networks) will be drastically reduced.
How does 5G work though? 5G will operate on three different spectrums. This ability will drastically improve your service. LTE primarily operates on the low-band spectrum, with great coverage and wall-penetration, but the bandwidth is nearly depleted and peak data speeds top out around 100Mbps.The mid-band spectrum provides faster speeds (up to 1Gbps) and less latency than low-band, but does fails to penetrate buildings as well as the low-band spectrum. The high-band spectrum provides the highest performance for 5G, but it has its weaknesses. It can provide peaks speeds of up to 10Gbps and very low latency, but in return it has a low coverage area and building penetration. All three spectrums working together will allow 5G to support a much larger number of devices, while allowing mobility over many different areas at a much faster rate.
Besides giving us a faster way to hop on the Internet, what can 5G really do? 5G is needed to improve the broadband in many major cities, where they are already experiencing slowdowns during busy times. 5G will also be needed for
the autonomous cars, providing a network that works fast enough to provide information on road conditions in real time. Additionally, cities and other towns will be able to operator more efficiently with quicker public safety and infrastructure information resources. 5G will also assist with remote device control, allowing technicians to operate machinery from anywhere in the world. Healthcare will also benefit with improvements in telemedicine, remote recovery and physical therapy, precision surger and even remote surgery. Most exciting for most of us will be the effect of 5G on what is called the Internet of Things (IoT). All of our devices will be able to connect through single mass stations, rather than using the broadband to talk to each other, making communication faster and more efficient.
When will you have 5G in your neighborhood? While it is already deployed in some cities, it is going to take several years to get it rolled out nationwide. It will also depend on your carrier, as they all have different plans and strategies. You will also need a 5G enabled cellphone to take advantage of the new service. ATT is ahead of all of the other carriers, with 5G already deployed in 9 cities, but only to business customers presently. However, Verizon is keeping a close second, followed by Sprint and T-Mobile.
5G is set to change our lives and how we communicate in many ways, but it will still be several years before it is deployed nationwide. It might be wise to wait before you run out and purchase a 5G device until the system is solidly in place.