The Latest on 5G: What You Need to Know
We’ll all have 5G phones one day, but what’s truly exciting is knowing how it will change our lives for the better. By now, you’ve certainly seen all the ads about 5G. But, when you dig a little deeper, things start to get complicated – there’s, after all, a plethora of frequencies, services, and acronyms to familiarize yourself with. That’s why, here, we’ve explained all you need to know about 5G.
Low, Medium, and High Band
5G standards define three classes of service – low band (under 1 GHz), medium band (between 1 GHz and 6 GHz), and high band (24 GHz and above). The higher the frequency, the faster you can expect data to be transmitted over it. That said, higher frequencies are not the easiest to implement, primarily because they don’t penetrate dense objects, like walls, easily. Also, higher frequencies are more vulnerable to distortion.
What Is 5G Service Like Right Now?
The ultimate goal of 5G is to enable superfast and incredible responsive internet, regardless of where you are. But, we’re not quite there yet. The speed of AT&T and T-Mobile’s 5G connection is fast, but not wildly so. Verizon, in comparison, has delivered faster download speeds, but the coverage is currently only focused in big cities and high-speed connectivity is pretty much only available when you are outside. A part of the problem is that carriers are currently deploying 5G using their 4G infrastructure. This allows major carriers to offer 5G coverage throughout the country, but it really does fall short of the capabilities of 5G.
It Will Take Many Years
Most 5G service that is available right now is low band and is, thus, not radically faster than excellent 4G service. High band 5G, which is also sometimes called millimeter-wave or the mmWave, is not that commonplace yet. These mmWaves are pretty easily absorbed by trees, buildings, and even windows. This means you need to be really close to an mmWave cell or receiver to get that near-instantaneous and mind-blowing speed.
Should You Buy a 5G Phone?
If you are already looking to purchase a new phone, it makes sense to get a 5G phone. However, if you have a phone that’s working great, you don’t need to buy a 5G phone right away to access high-speed internet.