05 Jun 5G Speed: The Impact of High Speed Internet to the Future
There are a lot of things we can consider subjective. One of these things is speed. What was once considered fast just a few short years ago are considered slow, or I may even go so far as to say sluggish, by the high standards we have today. We already know by now that not all connections are made equal. Among them, Fiber is indeed known to be one of the fastest out there, but with 2020 coming soon, what should we expect from 5G speed?
Fiber Optic vs 5G
While Fiber optic internet is generally faster and more reliable than cable internet. This is due to a number of reasons, its availability is lacking because of those same reasons. Requiring physical connections simply takes more time compared to wireless alternatives. 5G, also known as the 5th generation, might be the answer if you’re looking for speeds similar to Fiber with a cheaper cost and will more than likely be more widely available should you find yourself in the position wherein Fiber optic internet isn’t available in your area.
I think the 5G speed that many analysts, developers, and insiders who actually have information about the pre-commercial phase of 5G talk about is one of the primary reasons why people look into 5G connections in the first place.
But what about that speed? What exactly is 5G capable of?
We do know that it will be unlike the speeds of any of the 4 generations that came far before it. At the start of the 2018, no one really had access to these, and as such, we only had to take the word of the people who did. At the very least, 5G is supposed to be at least 10 times faster than its previous predecessor, the 4G network. Peak 4G speeds are already very impressive, especially when you compare them to 3G speeds; 5G speeds, however, are expected to make even modern broadband speeds seem like they are slowing to a crawl by comparison.
As most of us know, there are 2 general types we should take note of: the download speed and the upload speed. Different people have different needs, and therefore look for different things when scouting for your next internet service provider. To be perfectly honest, most consumers would probably benefit more from higher download speeds. Download speeds refer to the speeds at which you can pull data from the server to yourself. What does this mean exactly?
Basically, tasks like browsing the web, watching videos, and generally accessing things require you to download the information. Before it shows up on the screen of whatever device you are using. Most casual users rely on a decent download speed. The faster it is, the smoother the experience will be. Now what about upload speeds?
And what types of people benefit from high upload speeds? Simply put, upload speeds refer to the rate at which data is transferred from your computer to the internet. Putting up a new profile picture for social media use is an example.
Uploading any information of any kind requires upload speed.
Some may not require as much such as simple photos or text documents, while videos with 4K resolution or larger files in general need a hefty amount of data speed, else you’ll be staring at that upload window for hours and hours. This is all well and good, but some people need a good mix of both. Like who? The most obvious are gamers who prefer to play online.
The high download speeds mean that you are looking at the game in real time, while high upload speeds ensure you don’t get butchered in-game due to a delay in latency. Aside from the gaming rig, being a gamer doesn’t come cheap. Luckily, companies like Spectrum who have bang-for-your-buck options found on their website xyzies.com had value in mind when they were designing their bundles.
5G Download Speed
Let’s talk about the actual data transfer speeds they are actually capable of and the legalities that come with it. We will cover download speeds first. According to The Next Generation Mobile Networks alliance, the bare minimum for something to be considered 5G is for it to offer data rates of several tens of megabytes per second to thousands of users simultaneously. For the business sector, they also require it to offer 1 gigabyte per second to tens of workers who work on the same office floor for it to be considered 5G. That is a lot of data per second. If you do the math, the end product may be as much as 1000 times faster than 4G.
Just to give you an idea, information pulled from a UK based website states the following: 3G networks reach speeds of about 384 kilobytes per second, 4G networks top up at 100 megabytes per second, and 5G networks should theoretically be capable of 1-10 gigabytes per second. This data seems promising considering 5G is set to reach UK shores first, as far as consumers are concerned.What about the rest of the world?
Fun fact: Korea is home to the fastest internet speeds in the world.
The Korea Times, a household name in Korea, estimate 5G networks should be capable of data transfer speeds of 20 gigabytes per second. With how far we’ve come and are still going, it doesn’t seem too far fetched. While this may be the best case scenario coming from the internet speed king of the world. Even more conservative analysts believe it will still be dozens of times faster than 4G at the very least.
As early as now, more than a handful of companies from all over the world have begun testing how fast 5G networks could be when used in the real world. The 5G Innovation Centre has achieved 1 terabyte per second. But realistically, it is not likely we will ever achieve those speeds in real world usage. Verizon has been doing tests of its own too.
They reported a more humble download speed that equates to something 30-50 times faster than the 4G network. DOCOMO, a Japan-based company, recorded speeds which average at about 2 gigabytes per second. While this does seem the most plausible, whether or not that will be what we actually get when it is finally released is another issue altogether. Even if we do get the lowest speed among the 3, it is still a respectable speed.
5G Upload Speeds
Now that we’ve covered download speeds, let’s talk about upload speeds. Like we mentioned before, download speeds seem to be the go-to choice when bench marking internet speeds in general. Because of these, upload speed information is a bit more vague in comparison to its counterpart, and guesses are more of a hit or miss. What we do know, however, is that the upload speeds will be closely proportionate to the download speed. According to several sources, the general rule of thumb is that upload speeds will be about half of its corresponding download speed.
To understand and generally measure how good the upload speed is, we will have to understand what latency is. Latency is basically the time it takes for a network to respond to a request. Clicking on a photo or playing a song online requires the response before the buffering even starts. For gamers, a slow latency is the bane of their existence, as a game typically requires many requests and could lead to lagging. Regarding latency, the same UK based website mentioned above thankfully has some information. 3G networks have 120 milliseconds, 4G networks have 45 milliseconds. While 5G networks are theoretically suppose to have a latency of 1 millisecond. If this is true, people who constantly use video chatting and play graphic heavy games online can rejoice and bid even the slightest delay goodbye.
In real life though, let’s give a brief overview of what it could actually be like. There are many estimates regarding the average speed of 5G, but which one is most reliable? A safe bet would be download speeds of at least 1 gigabyte per second. Despite most expectations pointing towards the 10 gigabyte per second range. Even reputable internet service providers like Spectrum will find that difficult to top with the technology available to us today.
An important thing to remember here is that 5G is still in its pre-commercial stage. Again, it isn’t set to be released to the public until at least 2020, and that’s just the UK release.
The worldwide release might take a bit more time. Considering all this, it is sensible to temper our expectations. It is very unlikely that 5G speeds will reach the 10 gigabyte per second range on its first release. After all, it is a work in progress.
To wrap it up, 5G speed is coming, and it is coming fast. It will be interesting to see how business and consumers adapt to the faster-paced ecosystem. That will come with 5G networks and how older iterations will fare as 5G as a whole unfolds. 5G is set to change the world as we know it by 2020.