What is 5G? A complete guide to when, why and how

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The future depends on it In connection. from Artificial intelligence And Self-driving cars, telemedicine and mixed reality, to technologies not yet dreamed of, all the things we hope will make our lives easier, safer, and healthier require high-speed, always-on Internet connections. According to the demand, the mobile sector was introduced 5GSo named because it is the fifth generation of wireless networking technology.

5G delivers speeds of up to 10 gigabits per second (Gbps) to your mobile. It’s fast enough to download a 4K movie in 25 seconds. But 5G isn’t just about faster connections. It provides low latency and allows more devices to be connected simultaneously.

What is 5G?

As the fifth generation of cellular networks, 5G is the global wireless standard. All cellular networks transmit encoded data over radio waves. Radio waves have different frequencies and are divided into bands. Previous generations, such as 4G, operated at low- and mid-band frequencies, but 5G will operate at low-, mid-, and high-band (also known as millimeter wave) frequencies. Lower frequencies can travel longer distances and penetrate through obstacles, but offer relatively low speeds, while higher frequencies are much faster, but have a limited range and struggle to pass through objects.

While 5G opens up unused radio frequencies at the high end of the spectrum, it also includes new technologies and techniques to connect areas of the spectrum that are already in use. At the low end, 5G looks and feels like 4G.

5G rollout

Carriers have been building their 5G networks for a few years now, but they’ve taken different approaches. All the carriers started building 5G on existing networks, which offered lots of connections, but not the high speeds associated with 5G. More recently, they have started building new high-band 5G networks, but these are mostly confined to cities or specific locations. By using it you can get a wider perspective Ookla’s 5G map.

Verizon is offering low-band 5G nationwide, dubbed Nationwide 5G Coverage map. Verizon offers mid-band 5G in many urban areas and high-band 5G in many cities, but mid- and high-band coverage are combined together and labeled 5G Ultra Wideband or 5G UW.

AT&T offers low-band 5G coverage across most of the country and mid-band coverage in some cities, both labeled 5G on it. Coverage map. AT&T’s high-band 5G is currently limited to certain locations, such as stadiums, and is labeled 5G+. At the start of its 5G efforts, AT&T marketed its spiffed-up LTE network as “5G E” and was criticized by the National Advertising Review Board for misleading customers.

T-Mobile offers low-band 5G nationwide, dubbed 5G Extended Range. Coverage map. Its mid- and high-band 5G is dubbed 5G Ultra Capacity.

Ultimately, 5G availability and speed will vary as 5G service is offered in three bands. Low-band, typically operating below 1 GHz, can reach speeds of up to 250 Mbps. The trade-off for low-band’s relatively slow speeds is wide range, which means carriers can use this type of equipment to leave more distance between towers.

Analysts call the mid-band sweet spot of 5G spectrum because it has a wider geographic reach and is faster than low-bandwidth. Mid-band operates from 1 to 6 GHz and can reach speeds of up to 1 Gbps.

But to achieve the high speeds associated with 5G, carriers need millimeter-wave (or mmWave) technology, which takes advantage of the high end of the wireless spectrum operating at 20 GHz and above. mmWave can deliver multi-kick speeds, but millimeter-wave signals are less reliable over long distances and are easily disrupted by obstacles such as trees, people, and rain. To make this practical for mobile use, carriers would need to deploy a large number of small access points in cities, rather than relying on a few large cell towers as they do today.

discovery Will you get 5G?And in any form, a bit of detective work is required, but you’ll also need a device capable of handling a 5G signal.

5G smartphones

Anyone looking to use these new 5G networks needs a capable device. Most of them Major phone makers are offering 5G handsets Now, though, as we’ve seen, 5G is an umbrella term. All 5G phones have low- and mid-band support (often labeled “sub-6” because they operate at frequencies of 6 GHz and below), but not all 5G phones can have high-band connections. If you want a smartphone that can take advantage of high-band (mmWave) networks, check out mmWave support.

mmWave support can be found in high-end phones such as Apple’s iPhone 14 Pro, Google Pixel 7 ProAnd this Samsung Galaxy S22 In America. It is worth noting that these same models are often sold in other countries without mmWave support.

What does 5G mean for me?

Much of the buzz surrounding 5G has centered on its potential. Since smartphones connected to 4G LTE can already stream high-quality video, you might be wondering what 5G brings to the average person. In addition to faster download speeds, benefits include lower latency, increased responsiveness for multiplayer and cloud gaming. And 5G’s greater ability to seamlessly connect multiple devices helps keep everyone online when we’re in a crowd, whether it’s a packed concert or a football game.

5G’s stability and speed promise improvements in driverless cars, remote-piloting drones and anywhere else where response time is critical. While tangible benefits are few today, the potential is enormous with more cloud computing services, augmented reality experiences, and whatever comes next. But the real killer 5G application for consumers remains elusive.

The race for 5G dominance

The U.S. is eager to claim a leadership role in global 5G deployment, but so far it has not been entirely successful. Based in China Huawei It is the world’s leading maker of 5G network equipment, and while its equipment is widely used, the company has faced scrutiny and sanctions from Western countries for its ties to the Chinese government. Other companies making 5G equipment like Nokia, Ericsson and Samsung—None of them, in particular, are headquartered in the United States-may have benefited from sanctions.

In terms of speed, the United States does not appear in the top 15 countries, according to the UK-based research firm. Open signal, South Korea has the top 5G download speed at 432.7 Mbps, followed by Malaysia, Sweden, Bulgaria and the United Arab Emirates. Where is the US? did With a score of 25.2 percent, 5G availability had the highest score, meaning users spent a quarter of their time with an active 5G connection — an impressive result for a country the size of the US, and a sign that the rollout is gathering pace. Speed.


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