What is 5G?
5G is a new cellular network technology, also known as the 5th generation cellular wireless networking, and have more advanced technology than 4G LTE.
Features of 5G
- More bandwidth which will eventually enable downloads up to 10 Gbit/s
- Lower latency
- Support for 100 times more devices as compared to 4G LTE
- Wide range of applications
- Ubiquitous connectivity
- Long battery life for low power IoT devices for approximately 10 years
- Smooth transfer of high-quality sound and HD video
When is 5G coming?
All four major mobile carriers in the U.S., including Sprint, T-Mobile, Verizon and AT&T are showing major steps toward 5G. Each is approaching the technology and deployments differently but all will offer 5G services in the coming year.
Sprint recently launched its mobile 5G network in Kansas, Atlanta, Houston and Dallas- Fort Worth and other markets will be launching in the coming months. Sprint’s 5G is providing a new experience to its customers with better wireless services and faster download speeds.
Verizon also recently announced that Chicago and Minneapolis will be the first markets where its 5G network will be launched.
AT&T initially advertised its 5G E network (or 5G Evolution) but this is merely a step or improvement in their network performance towards 5G, and according to the 5G specifications, is not considered 5G but instead an advanced form of 4G LTE. AT&T will be launching a true 5G network in select markets over the coming months.
As for devices, LG, Samsung and Huawei have already released their initial 5G phones, though Huawei devices are not available in the U.S. Motorola will be delivering its devices soon. Apple has not yet announced about the launch of 5G phone but one is expected in the second half of 2020.
Advantages and Disadvantages of 5G
The 5th generation technology is expected to benefit multiple consumer and enterprise sectors, with something for nearly everyone. The use cases vary from gaming to self-driving cars to remote surgery as well as a host of others.
Though the expectations for the newest generation of technologies are high, it will take time before the issues are fully addressed.
- It will take years before the technology is deployed nationwide.
- Older devices will not be able to work with 5G so users will need to purchase new devices in order to benefit.
- The price of a 5G device and related service plans could be significantly higher than for current devices and services.
- The speeds expected from 5G technology will not be as easy to deliver to customers as it is in the laboratory.
- Security and privacy issues are still significant problems to be solved.
Will Signal Boosters still be needed with the 5G network?
Though the coming 5G networks are promising wonders, signal boosters will be needed more than ever. First, the network deployment will take years so there will be coverage gaps as the networks are being constructed. Second, the new technology and likely spectrum bands will have smaller coverage areas than the current networks so it will take more sites (and time) to cover the same areas. Further, the existence of tall buildings and building materials in urban areas will continue to obstruct signals coming from the cell towers. In each of these situations, signal boosters will be helpful.
P.S: Do not forget that we are as excited as you are to enjoy all the good things 5G will be offering.
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