5G continues to advance, but not everyone knows what this technology is. Largely because it is a diverse concept. By asking different people, you can get different answers about what it is 5G. In many ways, this resembles the 4G standard – it is not only a technology, but also a marketing term.
Technically speaking 5G represents the next generation of cellular communications. Initially 5G will work in parallel with 4G networks. Later, devices with this standard would become ubiquitous and 5G would begin to dominate. Internet access speeds will be faster with any type of connection, but for this, telecom operators will need to deploy high-frequency millimeter-wave technologies. A wavelength not previously used will be applied.
Operators are already starting network testing 5G. They try real and fake networks 5G, in the latter case, the 4G bandwidth is simply expanded. Thus, real networks 5G will take quite a long time to spread.
It's all about frequencies
Networks 5G can be represented as divided into two parts: low-frequency 5G and high-frequency 5G.
Low frequency networks use the same frequency bands as current technology. Signal coding is changing, mainly channel polarization, which the company Huawei used to achieve 27 Gbps in modern networks. Frequency bands are getting wider, allowing up to 50% faster speeds over today's best 4G networks.
Networks with such changes will be able to maintain the same range, no new cell points are required to maintain coverage. New equipment can be installed at existing locations, which operators will do in preparation for the transition to 5G.
New and better technology 5G refers to high frequency channels. At frequencies like 28 GHz, very fast and very wide broadband service channels are available since they are not clogged with modern devices. These are millimeter waves, which have one significant drawback. This is the range, it is much smaller in comparison with low frequency signals.
US operator Verizon's 4G network uses lower frequencies than Sprint. When the network isn't crowded with users, Verizon offers faster speeds over longer distances from any cellular location than Sprint. The Sprint's high-frequency signal does not travel that far and is worse at breaking through solid obstacles.
An even better example is a home router. 802.11 a / b / g 2.4 GHz networks use narrow 20 MHz channels to transmit and receive data. 802.11n 5GHz networks use 40MHz channels, 802.11ac 5GHz 80MHz networks. When you connect a 2.4GHz wireless access point to a much narrower channel, the speed is slower than connecting to a 5GHz frequency when you are close to the router. But it remains more stable when you move away from him.
Connections to 5 GHz networks, especially ac wireless connections, have significantly more limited range as signal strength drops rapidly.
To compensate for this disadvantage, millimeter waves 5G will require small access points that must be located close to each other. This is the only way to keep the ultra-high frequencies at a comfortable operating level. If the signal is amplified enough to propagate long distances at these frequencies, it can be harmful to human health. Communication in these frequency bands is not something new, therefore all problems have been well studied and solutions have been found.
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When will 5G appear on the phone?
- Американский оператор AT&T обещает настоящие сети 5G в 19 городах США и 12 тестовых городах. In addition, there are boosted 4G networks that the company also intends to promote. There is no data yet for Europe and Russia.
- Sprint is rebuilding current 2.5 GHz networks for 5G and upgrading cell towers and installing new hotspots 5G.
- Another cellular operator, T-Mobile, is using the 600 MHz and 28 GHz bands for distribution 5G in 2019, with full statewide rollout expected in 2020.
- Verizon uses millimeter waves 5G for home networks and plans to launch a mobile network later this year.
All this means that to work with networks 5G you need a new smartphone. Qualcomm is developing chips with support 5G in their current state and will be ready for future changes. Samsung готовит смартфоны с поддержкой 5G для операторов Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, а также для европейских. OnePlus may be the first in Europe to launch a smartphone with 5G this spring. Huawei is going to be the first in Asia, as well as in North America, where manufacturers have not yet banned this device. By mid-2019, every manufacturer can be expected to have a supported smartphone 5G.
We have already seen several mobile hotspots that can work with the new networks 5G. This will allow mobile internet to compete with broadband wired internet at home. A fully off-the-shelf millimeter-wave network can have the same bandwidth as modern wired networks. Unlike fiber optic networks, no workers are required to install these networks in your apartment.
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What does this mean right now?
In the short term, carriers can benefit from 5G even more than users. The cost of new equipment will be offset by savings in maintaining modern infrastructure. It will be possible to take customers away from wire Internet operators without having to spend money on fiber-optic lines. All supported smartphones 5G will be carrier dependent. This means that some of the costs will be passed on to you and me.
In the long term, the picture is different. The amount of data that can be transferred at high frequencies will not only provide high download speeds. Distance learning, connected devices, entire cities, high bandwidth, low latency application options. All this with the advent of 5G will become a reality.