The 5G network

  • Sep 19,2020

Finally, the carrier 5G networks are released, after a lot of difficulties during the first year. This technology change will also change our life. 

Last summer, CNET made massive testing of the 5G networks around the world (from Chicago to London, Sydney, and Seoul. The results were spaces with ludicrous speeds but limited range and spotty coverage, or spaces with wider coverage with a modest bump in speed. There were released devices like the Samsung Galaxy S10, an early generation of 5G phones, but they were not recommended for buying because of compatibility issues. 

The 5G network will need some time to be adapted to our habitat. 

The carriers continue to expand the 5G coverage into more cities and new devices with multiple networks are coming out. The coronavirus is slowing the 5G rollout and because of it and the crisis, the people don’t have the stimulus of buying new devices. 

Now the network is slowly inching to become a reality for more than a few early adopters. The 5G network will be a foundational technology that will serve the supercharge areas like self-driving cars, virtual and augmented reality, and remote surgery. This network probably will be connected to everything from farming equipment to security cameras. 

The 5G in its essence is the next fifth generation of cellular technology. It will enhance the speed and the coverage and responsiveness of the wireless networks. It is 10 to 100 times faster than your typical connection, and the fastest you can get with a physical fiber-optic cable. 

 

The advantages of a 5G network are not only speed. One of the key benefits is the low latency. Latency is the time which takes your phone to send the request to the network when you click on a link or something else, and the network to respond back, delivering the thing you want to open. That time is usually around 20 milliseconds with a current network, and with the 5G this time is reduced to 1 millisecond. 

That time for responsiveness is very important and a critical point for things like video games in virtual reality or for surgeon controlling a pair of robotics performing procedures in San Francisco. The latency won't completely disappear because after all the information needs time to travel. But if the lag-free time is very short the self-driving cars will be able to communicate with each other in real-time. 

The 5G network is created to connect a bigger number of devices than the traditional cellular network. It can power the devices around you from the dog collar to your refrigerator. It is also constructed to work with business, ATMs, or farm equipment. Some of the products don’t need a nonstop connection so they will work with the same battery for 10 years and still be able to periodically send data.

The price of 5G will be higher. Verizon’s customers will cost you an extra $10 per month. 

This network is using a high-frequency spectrum, which range is shorter, but it has a bigger capacity. It is something like a glorified Wi-Fi hotspot. Now the network is experiencing a lot of issues with the range and interference, the carriers are using lower-frequency spectrum, the type of spectrum which is used by today’s networks. 

Sprint claimed that has the biggest 5G network because it was using 2.5 gigahertz band of spectrum.
After Sprint went to be a part of T-Mobile and they launched a nationwide network that was using even lower-frequency spectrum.

There is a different type of 5G. The difference is at the low-band spectrum, which gives carriers a range of coverage. For example, the 3G and 4G are almost the same but the speeds of the 3G are only marginally better than the 4G.


On the other hand, we have the super high-frequency band, known as the millimeter-wave spectrum.
The speeds are tremendous but the range is short so there appear problems with going through
windows and walls.


There is a mid-band spectrum like Sprint’s 2.5 GHz swath. This one offers the best mix of speed ad
range.