How 5G will change your life

How 5G will change your life: After years of hype and a bumpy first year of launch, Carrier 5G networks are here. The technology is said to change your life with its revolutionary speed and responsiveness. Before we go into that, though, it’s important to understand what the technology is, when and how it affects you, and how you can differentiate between (the still growing) hype and reality.

Last summer, CNET conducted a massive speed test of 5G networks around the world, from Chicago to London to Sydney to Seoul. The results were a mix of both ridiculous speed but limited range and spotty coverage. Conversely, you would see wider coverage with a modest increase in speed. You’ve also seen devices like the Samsung Galaxy S10 5G rollout. The early generation of 5G Phones had impressive speeds at times, but we warned against buying due to compatibility issues and other issues with new technology.

How 5G will change your life
How 5G will change your life / Smartphone companies like Samsung rely on 5G. Chris Monroe / CNET

Just like everything else, you have to give 5G some time to ripen.

 

 


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Things will certainly get better – carriers will continue to expand 5G coverage to more cities, and new devices that are compatible with multiple networks will come out. But how quickly this life-changing aspect of 5G arrives remains to be seen. This is exacerbated by that novel corona virusthat has blocked millions around the world, may be slowing the 5G rollout and dampening consumer enthusiasm for expensive new devices, even with these stimulus tests.

All of this means that 5G is slowly deviating from years of promise – ever since Verizon spoke of moving to the area four and a half years ago to AT & T. Start of the first official mobile network End of 2018 and T-Mobile will be launched nationwide in December – become a reality for more than a handful of early adopters. Aside from a huge speed boost, 5G has been referred to as basic technology that covers areas such as self-driving cars, virtual and augmented reality and telemedical services like Remote operation. It will eventually connect everything from agricultural equipment to surveillance cameras to your smartphone.

But what exactly is 5G? Why are people so excited? The following explains why the next generation of wireless technology is more than just an increase in speed. (If you’re really interested, read our glossary of 5G terms.)

What is 5G?

It is the next (fifth) generation of cellular technology and promises to significantly improve the speed, coverage and responsiveness of wireless networks. How fast are we talking Carriers such as Verizon and AT&T have shown speeds of over 1 gigabit per second.

This is 10 to 100 times faster than a typical cellular connection and even faster than anything you can achieve with a physical fiber optic cable in your home. (Under optimal conditions, you can download Stranger Things worth one season in a matter of seconds.)

Is it all about speed?

No! One of the main advantages is the so-called short waiting time. You will hear this term a lot. Latency is the response time between clicking a link or streaming video on your phone that sends the request to the network and responding to the network, serving the website, or playing your video.

This delay time can be approximately 20 milliseconds in current networks. It doesn’t seem like much, but with 5G, that latency is reduced to just 1 millisecond, or about the time it takes a flash on a regular camera.

This responsiveness is critical to things like playing an intense video game in virtual reality or for a surgeon in New York who controls a pair of robotic arms performing an intervention in San Francisco. Do you know this little delay when you join a zoom video conference? 5G helps eliminate some of those uncomfortable moments when people talk about each other. This delay time will not go away completely, especially if you are communicating with someone halfway around the world. Distance is important as this information still has to travel there and back.

However, a virtually lag-free connection means that self-driving cars can communicate with each other in real time – provided there is enough 5G coverage to connect these vehicles.

Are there any other advantages?

The 5G network is designed to connect a much larger number of devices than a conventional cellular network. About this trend in the Internet of Things that you keep hearing about? 5G can power multiple devices near you, whether it’s a dog collar or a refrigerator.

The 5G network was also developed specifically for devices used by companies such as agricultural equipment or ATMs and can adapt to different requirements. For example, some products, such as sensors for agricultural equipment, do not need a permanent connection. These types of low power scanners are said to work with the same battery for 10 years and still be able to send data regularly.

Will it cost more?

If you are a Verizon customer, then yes. Verizon’s 5G mobile costs an additional $ 10 a month (The fee does not apply if you participate in one of the more expensive unlimited plans).

AT&T also requires that you sign up for one of the premium tiers of unlimited data plans.

“5G has features that make us think differently when it comes to pricing,” said AT&T. “We expect prices to be higher than what we are asking for today.”

Jeff McElfresh, CEO of AT&T Communications, the wireless, broadband and subscription video services arm of the telecommunications and media giant, teased the cheaper 5G came.

“You shouldn’t assume that 5G is an exclusive feature for the most expensive cell phones and is only included in the most expensive tariff plans,” he said in an interview in May. “The speed at which technology is making its way into the network is unprecedented.”

There is a precedent to maintain pricing: LTE didn’t cost any more when it was released; You just had to buy a new phone. However, the pricing models change over time. Since the launch of 4G, both airlines have taken away and brought back unlimited plans.

Verizon’s broadband home service costs $ 50 for cellular subscribers and $ 70 for everyone else. These are in line with other broadband costs. (Here you can find out whether you are authorized for the service.)

For its part, T-Mobile is bringing 5G into all of its plans.

How does it work?

5G initially used a shorter range, but higher capacity super high frequency spectrum to provide a massive line for online access. Think of it as a glorified WiFi hotspot.

Given the range and interference problems, however, carriers are also using a low frequency spectrum – as used in today’s networks – to carry 5G over long distances, as well as through walls and other obstacles.

Last year, Sprint (now part of T-Mobile) said it had the largest 5G network because it uses its 2.5 gigahertz frequency band, which offers wider coverage. In December, however, T-Mobile launched a nationwide network with an even lower frequency spectrum that can continue to expand. T-Mobile intends to use Sprint’s 2.5 GHz spectrum to make the network faster. AT&T also launched 5G with lower bands at the end of last year and plans to have nationwide coverage by the end of summer.

The result is that the crazy speeds that companies first promised won’t always be there, but we’ll still see a boost from what we’re getting with 4G LTE today.

Wait, so are there different flavors of 5G?

At the risk of complicating things further, yes. This low-band spectrum – the type used in 3G and 4G networks – offers operators a wide range of coverage. However, the speeds are only slightly better than with 4G. In some cases, they are almost the same. However, this broad spectrum is the key to covering as many people as possible.

Then there is a mid-band spectrum like Sprint’s 2.5 GHz swath. It has been the most widely used type of spectrum worldwide since then

Where do these carriers get the spectrum from?

Some of these airlines already control small swaths of radio frequency radio waves, but many have to buy more from the government. Carriers around the world are working with their respective governments to release the necessary spectrum. In the United States, the Federal Communications Commission is holding further auctions for the so-called millimeter wave spectrum, in which all airlines participate.

How did the start go?

Between the end of 2018 and the first months of last year, the airlines ran for a kind of “first”. Verizon and AT & T. launched their mobile 5G networksWhile KT said a robot in South Korea was its first 5G customer. Sprint switched on his network in June, followed shortly after by T-Mobile. UK carrier EE was the first in his country Turn on 5G.

Sounds great, doesn’t it?

Verizon launched the world’s first “5G” service in October 2018, but it’s a bit technical. The 5G Home service is more of a fixed broadband replacement than a mobile service. An installer must install special devices in your home or apartment that can receive the 5G signals and convert them to a Wi-Fi connection in the house so that your other devices can access them.

There has also been some debate over whether the service qualifies as 5G at all: it hasn’t used the standards that the industry has agreed on. The company wanted to leap forward and used its own technology. Verizon argued that speeds ranging from 300 megabits per second to 1 gigabit per second qualify the service for 5G labeling. Its competitors and other mobile experts contest this claim.

The launch was extremely limited in select neighborhoods in Houston, Indianapolis, Los Angeles and Sacramento, California. (Let us know if you’re one of the lucky few who received it.) In October, Verizon expanded its service to Chicago, saying it switched to using industry-standard 5G devices.

At the end of December 2018, AT&T switched on its mobile 5G network in a dozen cities, especially in “dense urban and high-traffic areas”. Note Verizon: AT&T stated that “it is the first and only company in the United States to offer a 5G mobile device over a commercial, standards-based 5G mobile network”. However, access to these networks was initially restricted to preferred business customers, and consumers couldn’t access this superfast service in 2019.

Where is 5G available?

This is a fairly complicated question, depending on your network operator, your region, and the specific taste of 5G you’re talking about.

Many countries have used this medium-band spectrum with its good mix of range and speed, and coverage has improved steadily since the start – even if there are still many dead spots. In the US, however, the picture is more fragmented.

T-Mobile is the only company that claims nationwide coverage, but uses the low-frequency spectrum, which often resembles a glorified 4G signal. At the start, the company said that people could expect a speed boost of about 20 percent over 4G, which isn’t fast enough for many consumers to be noticed. The company announced on Thursday that it covered 6,000 cities and more than two thirds of the population.

AT&T also has a low-band network and plans to work nationwide by the end of summer. The company announced on Thursday that it covers 190 markets with its wider 5G, which like the T-Mobile network is only gradually faster than 4G.

Verizon said it would use the spectrum of its existing 4G network to power a wider 5G network in the second half of the year, but hasn’t become too specific about its low-band plan. It uses a technology called Dynamic Spectrum Sharing (remember to redirect the faster lanes of a freeway between 4G and 5G on the fly) to drive this movement.

When it comes to that super-fast millimeter wave taste, Verizon is the main standard bearer. The company’s 5G UW is represented in 35 markets with the goal of reaching 60 markets by the end of the year.

According to AT&T, the millimeter wave network is located in parts of 35 cities.

T-Mobile has a millimeter wave network in parts of seven cities, including New York, Dallas and Los Angeles. The company also has the advantage of absorbing the mid-band spectrum that Sprint supplies to its own 5G network. For a short time in 2019, Sprint claimed to have the largest 5G network due to its 2.5 GHz spectrum. The carrier switched on the 2.5 GHz spectrum in Philadelphia and New York and works in other markets.

What about this 5G e-thing from AT&T?

Sorry, but that’s more marketing fuzz. 5G E from AT & T stands for 5G Evolution or the updated 4G LTE network, which offers a way to real 5G.

But the label that appeared on phones in early 2019 has caused some confusion among consumers, and some think they already have 5G. To put it bluntly, it’s not the case that many AT&T beat up for misleading customers. sprint filed a lawsuit against AT&TAccording to an AT&T spokesman, the companies have “settled by mutual agreement”. The National Advertising Review Board recommended this AT&T no longer uses the term in its marketing, although the symbol remains on your AT&T phone.

AT&T has said it was “proud” of it it went with the 5G E name.

5G E brings higher speeds, but not the real benefits that real 5G would bring.

What about all the other 5G names?

Yes, it’s super confusing. In addition to the fake 5G e-name, there are legitimate labels like Verizon’s 5G UW (for Ultra Wideband) that signals the fastest taste of 5G (using millimeter waves). AT&T names its next-generation super-fast network 5G Plus and uses 5G as the name for the service that runs on a lower frequency spectrum.

Here is an overview of all of them various marketing labels for 5G.

Can I pick up 5G with my existing smartphone?

Sorry no. 5G technology requires a certain set of antennas to tap certain bands. Last years Samsung Galaxy S10 5G is tuned to Verizon’s network and millimeter wave spectrum. These years Samsung Galaxy S20 5G is compatible with more networks, but there is still a special variant for Verizon that uses the “UW” network.

Most of the phones used in early 2019 The X50 modem from Qualcomm, which was specially developed for the development of specific 5G bands. Phones coming onto the market this year are being used a second generation chip that takes up more frequency bands.

It is expected that more 5G phones will be launched later this year. In 2020, telephones will be able to enter the market in bulk on various networks.

First yes. But the industry is working hard to lower prices. McElfresh of AT&T said he was working to lower phone prices so that they could be more easily accessed. Verizon said in January that it was planned release 20 5G devices this year, with some falling below $ 600.

According to Stefan Streit, general manager for global marketing for the Chinese telephone and TV manufacturer, TCL plans to launch a 5G device in the US that is less than $ 500 later this year.

The following must happen before the industry can bring affordable 5G to the masses.

What should I be worried about?

The radio frequency spectrum is the key to this massive increase in capacity and speed, but there are drawbacks. The range is not particularly long, especially if you have obstacles such as trees or buildings. As a result, network operators have to deploy many more small cell phones, creatively referred to as small cells, in all areas where a 5G signal is received.

This will annoy anyone who doesn’t want to have cell phones nearby.

What about health risks?

There has long been concern that cellular signals could cause cancer. Unfortunately, there have not been many studies to finally prove or disprove a health risk.

That opens the door to concerns about 5G. While some of these networks operate at extremely high frequencies, researchers find that they still fall under the category Radiation that should not be harmful to our cells.

However, critics say that there is not enough research on the subject and that the studies conducted have not been adequate. The World Health Organization lists cellular signals as a potential carcinogen. But it also lists pickled vegetables and coffee as carcinogens.

Still, people are worried.

What does 5G have to do with COVID-19?

Nothing. There is a conspiracy theory fueled by YouTube videos and articles that argue that the super high frequencies used in 5G networks contribute to or even cause the corona virus. This is categorically wrong, with scientists and doctors lining up to destroy this idea.

Keep in mind that in most countries where COVID-19 is affected, the networks used don’t even use the millimeter-wave spectrum that people are afraid of. In the United States, it was only used in selected areas.

We still don’t know much about the origin of the novel corona virus, but one can say with certainty that 5G played no role in it.

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