30 May 5G Internet Speed: How Fast Are They?
Several internet providers have recently proclaimed that they will be launching commercial 5G mobile internet to the market very soon. However, most people probably still don’t quite understand what the new technology actually brings. Based on its name, the 5G network can be construed as the evolution of 4G LTE, which is technically right. However, there is actually more to the technology that just its highly marketed 5G internet speed. The latest communication technology was previously considered to be just a myth. But several network operators have proven it to be real. At the recently held 2018 Winter Olympics, several operators got together and launched a demo of the latest system.
As of the moment, the development of the technology’s infrastructure is being led several companies. Including Qualcomm, Intel, Nokia, Samsung, ZTE, Huawei, and Sony Ericsson. It was also announced that the system itself still needs a lot of work. And it could still be a couple of years until it is available to everyone. However, telecommunication companies like AT&T have revealed that they are actually confident that a commercial 5G mobile internet should be available in several cities by the end of the year or early next year. As for the rest of the world, a commercial 5G network is reportedly in the process of being launched in Qatar by a local network called Ooredoo.
What does 5G mean?
5G is basically the fifth iteration of a type of wireless technology system that all started with analog cellular. Analog cellular was considered to be the first generation, also referred to as a 1G network. This was then followed by CDMA, GSM, and TDMA, all of which were considered to be 2G networks. These types of communications technologies were very common in the late 90s and early 2000s. The use of cellular phones running on 1G and 2G networks quickly spread all around the world. In the following years, network operators started to offer even faster forms of the same relative technology. In the form of EVDO, UMTS, and HSPA, which were considered 3G technologies.
During this time, more and more people now had access to the internet. However, download and upload speeds were mostly limited to just 200 kilobytes per second. And up to a few megabits per second for higher tier subscriptions. With the demand for faster internet speeds due to increasing video resolutions, more complicated websites, and larger file sizes. LTE and WiMAX technologies were introduced. These were both labeled as 4G networks and were unfortunately incompatible with devices running 3G chips. The technology immediately caught on as it provided consumers with dramatic speed increases that now reached hundreds of megabits per second up to even gigabit-level speeds.
5G technology explained
The upcoming new communication networks promises a lot of things, but the most interesting part for consumers would have to be its hyped up 5G internet speed. The network itself basically uses the same spectrum that is being used by existing LTE bandwidths. With the exception being that it dramatically expands the spectrum being used by significant amounts. In both high and low wave bands. This is achieved through the use of advanced antenna technologies and other newly developed communication hardware.
The fifth generation wireless system has been proven to reach speeds of up to 20 gigabits per second. Which is ten times as fast as the fastest commercially available fiber optic internet package and existing 4G networks.
The fastest 4G speeds were previously achieved by Qualcomm’s X20 modem. Which was able to reach internet speeds of up to 2 gigabits per second. The increased spectrum also allows for extremely lower latencies and more devices to be connected to the network at the same time, a feat that is currently impossible with 4G networks.
The increased network capacity was built with the intention of connecting more internet-enabled devices to the internet, which includes smart autonomous vehicles, smart appliances, smart roads, home security systems, virtual reality devices, gaming system, and even smart wearable devices. With the advent of so many connected products, current 4G networks will soon be overrun and will likely not be able to keep up with the escalating demand. Thanks to 5G internet speed, autonomous vehicles of the future will soon be able to seamlessly communicate with each other while in transit. People will also soon be able to take control of their homes and appliances with their wearable devices, which will need to communicate with each other continuously.
Another big advantage of 5G internet speed is that due to the increased capacities, providers should be able to offer bigger data allocations at lesser prices. (See more at www.xyzies.com.) Some companies could even soon offer unlimited cellular data at reasonable prices. The reason why 4G cellular data is so expensive is that current 4G cellular sites just can’t handle the load if everyone was allocated large amounts of data at high speeds.
When will 5G technology be available?
AT&T had previously announced that it is planning to launch its first 5G mobile internet in 12 cities across the United States by the end of the year. The internet provider revealed that its system should allow people within range of their network to experience blazing fast internet speeds with very little latency. Last year, the company launched 5G trails in several cities across the country, including in two cities in Texas and in South Bend, Indiana. The company has not yet revealed any technical details about its plans, but reports have revealed that it may involve the use of “millimeter wave” 5G. The type of 5G network is capable of providing extremely high 5G internet speed, but its range is quite limited.
Each network cell will only be able to reach about 1,000 feet. Which means that a lot of them have to be installed for adequate coverage.
There are also reports that the launch of AT&T’s 5G network may be delayed seeing as that there is currently a shortage of 5G-capable smartphones available in the market. Qualcomm previously predicted that 5G-capable smartphones will probably not become readily available at least until 2019.
Several smartphone manufacturers like Samsung and Sony have already announced that they will be launching 5G-capable smartphones very soon. There will likely be a long transition period until everyone jumps into 5G. Since both networks are not compatible with each other, some users will likely be forced to buy new handsets when the technology becomes more commonplace.
Verizon, on the other hand, has announced its plans to roll out 5G mobile internet for residential applications before the year ends. The internet service provider previously revealed that it will be launching the service in two to three cities, starting with Sacramento, California. Verizon’s announced 5G home internet service will utilize a different type of router that has built-in 5G antennas. The specialized router will apparently be able to directly communicate directly with the company’s 5G network. Without the need of telephone or cable lines. Offering 5G networks to homes will be much more cost-effective for the company, which will in turn translate to more competitive prices for consumers.
T-Mobile is approaching the rise of the new technology very differently when compared to AT&T and Verizon. Instead of using “millimeter wave” 5G technology, the company is opting to go with building a low-band network. Which it expects to have nationwide coverage by 2019. The type of 5G network utilizes an extended spectrum in the LTE band that is capable of reaching farther distances.
However, 5G internet speed might not necessarily reach the same rates as millimeter wave 5G. Low-band 5G will be a little bit faster than 4G networks, but it will not be exponentially faster.
To combat this problem, T-Mobile also plans to build millimeter wave 5G networks in large cities across the country. To supplement its low-band network. Users could theoretically connect to the low-band network when they’re outside the city. And then transfer over to millimeter wave 5G when they are inside the city.
Sprint previously announced its plans to roll out 5G to several cities in 2019. Which could include the launch of several 5G smartphones from select manufacturers. The company is expected to reveal its partnership with these manufacturers at the upcoming Mobile World Congress event in February next year. Sprint will reportedly be using the 2.5GHz band, which is similar to its existing 4G LTE network. There are currently rumors of a possible merger between Sprint and T-Mobile. If this is proven to be true, the companies may be able to hasten their launch to an earlier date. To beat their main competitors.
Spectrum currently does not have a wireless network service. But the company’s CEO Tom Rutledge previously announced that they will be launching one before the year ends. It is assumed that Spectrum’s wireless network will be running on 5G. The company is reportedly already running tests on its own 5G wireless networks in several cities across the country. Namely in Orlando, Florida, Reno, Nevada, Columbus, Ohio, Clarksville, Tennessee, Grand Rapids, Michigan, and in Bakersfield, California.