Open main menuSearch
This article is about the telecommunication standard. For other uses, see 5G (disambiguation).
5G is an advanced wireless technology that has begun wide deployment in 2019. 4 million Koreans have 5G phones in October 2019, with 5 million expected by year end. China has deployed over 100,000 base stations. 150 million 5G mobile subscribers are expected by 2020 in China. Nine companies are shipping 5G phones in December 2019, driving prices as low as US$470 in China. Indoor hubs, sometimes called MiFi, are available from Verizon in the US, Optus in Australia, Three in the UK and others. Virtually every major telco in the developed world is deploying or intends to deploy.5G
3GPP’s 5G logoIntroducedLate 2018
5G millimeter wave is the fastest, with actual speeds often being a gigabit or two. Frequencies are above 24 GHz reaching up to 72 GHz which is above Extremely high frequency‘s lower boundary. The reach is short, so more cells are required. mmWave has difficulty traversing many walls and windows, so indoor coverage is limited.
5G mid-band is the most widely deployed, in over 20 networks. Speeds in a 100 MHz band are usually 100-400 megabits. In the lab and occasionally in the field, speeds can go over a gigabit. Frequencies deployed are from 2.4 GHz to 4.2 GHz. Sprint and China Mobile are using 2.5 GHz spectrum. Others are mostly between 3.3 and 4.2 GHz. Reach is better. Many areas can be covered simply by upgrading existing towers, which lowers the cost.
5G low-band offers similar capacity to advanced 4G. T-Mobile and AT&T are launching low-band sevices on the first week of December. T-Mobile CTO Neville Ray warns that speeds on his 600 MHz 5G may be as low as 25 Mbit/s down. AT&T, using 850 MHz, will also usually deliver less than 100 Mbit/s in 2019. The performance will improve, but cannot be much higher than good 4G in the same spectrum.
Verizon, AT&T, and almost all 5G in 2019 have latencies between 25-35 milliseconds. The “air latency” (between your phone and a tower) in 2019 equipment is 8-12 ms. The latency to the server, further back in the network, raise the average to ~30 ms, 25%-40% lower than typical 4G deployed. Adding “Edge Servers” close to the towers can bring latency down to 10-20 ms. Lower latency, such as the often touted 1 ms, is years away and does not include the time to the server.
The industry association 3GPP defines any system using “5G NR” (5G New Radio) software as, “5G”, a definition that came into general use by late 2018. Previously, some reserved the term for systems that deliver speeds of 20 GHz shared called for by ITUIMT-2020. 3GPP will submit their 5G NR to the ITU. In addition to traditional mobile operator services, 5G NR also addresses specific requirements for private mobile networks ranging from industrial IoT to critical communications.
Investing in 5G
Content is available under CC BY-SA 3.0 unless otherwise noted.