25 Jun Rating 5G Internet in the US
The first live commercial 5G markets are taking baby steps, with widespread roll out not apparent until 2020. Now we slowly see a clearer picture of the 5G landscape than we did last year. 5G Internet, is set to launch in the market by 2020, is fifth generation wireless broadband that promises speeds 20 times faster than today’s 4G LTE cellular networks. 5G is an umbrella term that represents a multitude of technologies coming together. Like massive MIMO, beam forming, millimeter waves, full duplex and small cells.
Consumers all well acknowledged the progressions from 1G, 2G, 3G, and 4G. Now with the enthusiastically awaited advent of 5G, we’re on the tip of another industrial revolution in the world of telecommunications, information technology, and wireless infrastructure.
The 5G Internet brings three new aspects to the scene: greater speed for essential data communication, lower latency, and ability to connect to more devices at once.
Where are we at with 5G Internet in the USA?
With a capital expenditure of $23 Billion, AT&T expects to be the first to launch mobile 5G devices by the end of this year. With 3GPP standards now available, Qualcomm has started hardware development for AT&T. This enables the company to provide 5G Internet wireless services by late 2018 in the US.
Also 5G mobile plans, AT&T expects to trial 5G technology with businesses across the industry. However, a lack of available 5G phones before 2019 can slow down AT&T’s early rollout.
Verizon, on the other hand, is opening out with fixed 5G home internet service already launched in Sacramento, California. This utilizes home routers with fixed antennas to receive gigabit internet. Verizon’s currently leading the 5G competition with its head start.
Colossal capacity is 5G home internet’s significant advantage over 4G. There isn’t enough capacity on 4G cell sites for carriers to offer competitively priced 4G home Internet.
The 5G home internet is also much more comfortable and quicker for carriers to install in homes. Rather than manually connecting wires, airlines have to stick fiber optics to a nearby cell site then give households wireless modems. For more on home Internet services, log on to www.xyzies.com.
With a capital expenditure plan of 17.8 Billion, Verizon has partnered with Qualcomm, Samsung and Ericsson to supply them with fixed 5G gear. In 2017, Verizon granted contracts to Ericsson and Samsung as suppliers for radio network equipment. Their first deployment of 5G is expected in up to five US markets in the second half of 2018.
T-Mobile and Sprint
More carriers capitalize on 5G as T-Mobile USA and Sprint announced in April 2018, an agreement to merge. This deal would combine the American mobile industry’s #3 and #4 carriers to create a giant to rival AT&T and Verizon.
The combined companies reason that they can provide more significant benefits to customers by joining together. The combination will increase competition in the network to deliver lower prices to consumers. As well as businesses, as compared to each company doing it standalone.
With a capex plan of $5.3 for T-Mobile and $6 Billion for Sprint, the merge intends to better equip the companies for a 5G network roll-out in 2020.
The combined “New T-Mobile” will jump on Sprint’s plans for the 2.5GHz band, and T-Mobile plans to use the 600 MHz band of spectrum. By mixing “low band, and high band” spectrum, the companies aim to build out a nationwide 5G network that will be “the highest capacity mobile network in US history.”
What does this mean in the real world?
The initial phase of 5G will be “enhanced mobile broadband,” which is essentially 4G, but better. Today’s 4G LTE variants: LTE-A, LTE-A Pro, and Gigabit LTE all serve as incremental stepping stones to 5G.
Gigabit LTE indicates the functionality and performance expected to get to 5G. Carriers such as AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile are now capitalizing on it to be able to develop the expected 5G network.
Verizon is focusing on delivering 1Gbps wireless service, but this will likely only be available in insufficient areas, to begin with.
Meanwhile, T-Mobile and Sprint are addressing the coverage possibilities of their spectrum. However, their frequency bands won’t be able to match the raw speed of millimeter wave spectrum 5G, which Verizon brands as “true 5G.”
What’s Coming in 2018 and What’s not
5G Fast Facts
Mobile carriers are working with infrastructure partners and government units to deploy 5G-ready devices by the end of this year. The first 5G-capable devices will start to appear early next year. You can expect the first 5G devices to be mobile hotspots which will roll out by the end of this year.
Where is 5G Internet Now?
The 3rd Generation Partnership Project is the standards body that writes the rules for wireless connectivity. In December 2017, the 3GPP agreed on the first non-standalone specification for 5G. That agreement led hardware makers to start developing handsets with 5G modems inside.
In June 2018, the standards body completed the rules for standalone 5G. Now network operators can start fine-tuning their software using equipment that complies with the finalized standard.
The Non-Standalone 5G New Radio will rely on existing LTE networks as an anchor. This covers 600 and 700 MHz bands and the 50 GHz millimeter-wave end of the spectrum.
5G devices have to be backward compatible because, in areas where 5G coverage will be absent, the radios will pick up available LTE connections. That’s why the 3GPP resolved the non-standalone specifications first.
How Developers are Prepping
Hardware developers such as Qualcomm and Intel are making 5G modems that will fit into phones and smart devices. These radios are in the midst of testing to make sure they can communicate with different network operators and infrastructures.
Qualcomm has 19 global network operators planning to use its X50 5G modem in their 5G trials. Device makers like ZTE, LG, and Sony, plan to use the X50 in their 5G products.
Qualcomm also recently unveiled the X24, a new LTE modem which is likely to be part of early 5G devices. Its maximum download speed of 2 Gbps is sure to help those devices keep a fast connection while 5G networks aren’t widely available.
How Wireless Operators Are Prepping
The earliest 5G deployments will use fixed wireless, similar to the router-based wireless broadband you use at home. Intel showed off some of that 5G functionality at the Winter Olympics in South Korea. Where audiences at the games were able to watch the real-time action from any vantage point.
Intel’s fixed 5G wireless connection powered that experience. Intel announced at Mobile World Congress earlier this year that a partnership with Japanese telecom operator NTT Docomo will make Tokyo a smart city just in time for the 2020 Olympics. The two big companies are already laying the groundwork to make it happen.
But don’t get too excited yet. There’s still work to do in the meantime.
Developers still have tons of interoperability trials to ensure the radios play nicely with other hardware and infrastructure build-out. We’d want out future 5G networks to be far-reaching and not concentrated on dense urban cities.
The 5G transition begins in 2018. The fifth generation of wireless connectivity will start to take off in 2020. But much of the 5G hype is for things are coming years from now, not what it will be at launch.
When will 5G phones come out?
Expect to see 5G phones as mainstream around 2022. 5G networks are likely to roll out in 2020, so 5G handsets will probably begin to become available to the public then.
Trial phones are expected to launch by the end of 2018, but you’ll still need a 5G mobile network to test them. They’re also likely to have beta issues like unstable connectivity, short battery life, and no transmission to 4G networks.
Being the new and latest tech, they will also probably be costly. Waiting for the next product around 2020 wouldn’t be such a bad idea. Most of the 5G phones by then are likely to be only available in Japan, Hong Kong, and South Korea. With 2021 anticipated to be the big year for 5G phone launching in the UK.
Strategy Analytics forecasts that by 2022, ten million 5G handsets will be sold internationally, and more than 300 million by 2025.
Telecommunications manufacturer Qualcomm has already built a 5G modem designed to achieve speeds of up to 5Gbps. And support millimeter wave spectrum. It’s not yet for sale commercially. But it gives smartphone developers incentive to integrate 5G into commercial products by late 2018.
After years of waiting for gigabit level speeds that enable you to download a full movie in mere seconds, 5G is finally becoming real in 2018. Or at least, it is starting to become a reality.
In the brave new 5G world, you will need to buy a new phone.
But it won’t just be about faster smartphones. Everyone will experience higher speeds and lower latency to make augmented and virtual reality. As well as 8K streaming and smart home automation.
Hardware is in the works, software is in testing, and carriers are readying their plans to deploy 5G Internet in select markets by the end of 2018.