2019 saw discussions about 5G, and now in 2020 those discussions won't be stopping any time soon. With companies starting to roll out in test markets, hearing "Verizon Wireless 5G," "AT&T 5G," and "5G network" will no longer be jargon to the least tech savvy crowds. So let's dive into the benefits of 5G and the current status of a country wide roll out.
What are 5G's key benefits?
Of course, it will come with faster speeds than 4G, that's expected. But besides faster speeds, the IEE says 5G comes with much lower latency than current mobile networks and much higher capacity too (i). Those factors will greatly enable the network's ability to handle real time one to many or many to many applications in the IoT space, such as factory automation, autonomous vehicles, or other applications where knowing what is around you with very precise accuracy is required. Some day in the future, people's life, or people's commute, could depend on an autonomous vehicle's ability to communicate with the traffic ahead and behind, the signals, or even the road in uber real time. 5G will make that more technically feasible.
What are likely to be the leading 5G applications?
- Autonomous Vehicles
What's the current status of 5G service roll outs?
The four carriers that have announced 5G networks are AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon. This table from Wikipedia does a great job of highlighting the current status of the roll out in each city (according to the providers). AT&T is live in 29 cities, Sprint is live in 9 Cities, T-Mobile is live in an impressive 46 cities, and, lastly, Verizon is live in 25 cities.
What adoption challenges will it present?
All network roll outs have challenges. Due to the limits on range and penetration through a lot of materials, it will require lots of new shorter range cells in order to work well. 4G mobile used frequencies in the 600 MHz to 2.5 GHz. 5G could operate as high as 80GHz. The higher the frequency, typically speaking, the lower the range, so shorter range means more nodes closer to the end devices and end users.
What new developments might potential adopters expect to see this year?
More new cities and more new devices (here’s to hoping Apple comes out with its 5G iPhone soon).
5G is only starting and is bringing good changes with it. As it is fully implemented, adjustments will be made to work out all the bugs. Let us know in the comments below if you're excited for 5G or not!
By Chris McKewon
Founder, CEO of Xceptional