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5 Facts About 5G Explained

Aug 03, 2020

5 Facts About 5G Explained

5 facts about 5G that you may not know, have been explained below:

5G Fact 1:

5G means fifth generation wireless technology. Therefore, just as 3G brought email to our phones, and 4G allowed for things like ride-share apps and streaming video, 5G might one day give us driverless cars and similar realtime technology which low latency or delay.

What is latency? It is amount of delay (or time) it takes to send information or data from one point to the next, wirelessly. It is usually measured in milliseconds (ms). In wireless data transfer speed tests, it is also referred to, as the ping rate.

5G Fact 2:

Not all 5G networks are created equal. They use various different frequencies that work differently. See the graph at the top that shows 3G/4G vs. 5G frequencies. 5G wireless networks are built using different frequencies of radio waves that do different things. As the frequencies increase from the left of the graph to the right, its building penetration steadily gets worse as its latency (delay) reduces.

You may think of it kind of like sound waves, to understand the concept a bit better.

First, there're the high band or millimeter wave frequencies on the right end of the chart. These cycle at a ridiculously high rate with least latency (delay). They can transmit a lot of information, but they don't go very far because they get absorbed easily.

Next are the mid band frequencies that fall in the middle portion of the chart. They offer medium latency (delay). Now these waves can go a little farther, but there's not a lot of mid band available for 5G.

Finally, there's low band frequencies that fall at the beginning of the chart starting in purple (after the 3G/4G frequencies marked with pink color). T-Mobile built its nationwide 5G on this type 600 megahertz frequency.

It has higher latency (delay) than mid-band and high-band frequencies, but purportedly less latency (delay) than the 4G network latency. The benefit is better penetration into building structures and wider coverage areas.

Let us learn a little bit more about that signal, which brings us to fact number three.

5G Fact 3:

600 megahertz 5G can travel through walls and buildings, sort of like the way light travels through glass. You know how you can always hear that fat bass on your neighbor's stereo but not the high notes? It is because that lower frequency doesn't get absorbed or scattered by obstacles the way high frequencies do.

Now, why does this matter? Because if your wireless signal doesn't travel through walls, it is not nearly as useful. This is why T-Mobile is very excited about this 5G flavor, so to speak, about its 600 MHz Band 71 5G network. Now the other interesting thing about 600 megahertz 5G is fact number four.

5G Fact 4:

600 megahertz 5G goes farther, which is really important because, well, America is really big. Thus, you need a 5G signal that can travel farther and cover more Americans and more places instead of say, just a few of us living in big cities.

5G Fact 5:

T-mobile is the first and only carrier with nationwide 5G. T-Mobile's nationwide 5G already covers 200 million people and counting. It is in over 5,000 cities and towns right now. That is a lot of access to 5G for a lot of Americans.

Why 5G signal booster?

While T-Mobile's 5G network operating on 600 MHz travels far and penetrates better than the millimeter wave higher band frequencies, it may not penetrate deeper into buildings due to the construction materials.

This is why we provide 5G signal booster for buildings where 5G does not reach the places in the center of the building, typically surrounded by dense materials.

Examples of such areas with weak 5G signal may be hallways, elevators, staircases, and even large offices with multiple cubicles covering the majority of any floor of a building. Learn more about 5G and cell phone boosters, and how we can help keep you connected in the new global 5G world.

Comparing T-Mobile's Sub-6 5G with mmWave.

5G is starting to become a reality for many people, and all major wireless carriers are offering some sort of 5G service. What with reduced latency, the ability to connect more smart devices, and super-fast data speeds, there's no doubt at all that, once implemented, 5G will be a major leap forward for mobile users. And while some people do have access to 5G, there are still many businesses and consumers who are waiting to experience firsthand the many fantastic benefits of this new technology.

Unfortunately, at this point in time 5G is still not widespread. It is true that wireless providers are busy rolling out their 5G services, but when compared to the size of our nation, those services are delivering minimal coverage to limited parts of certain cities.

Consider these variables if you;re wondering when you will be able to access 5G:

  • Location: Has a 5G network been launched in your city?
  • Carrier: Has your carrier launched a 5G network in your area?
  • Device: Do you already have 5G-enabled smart phone?

You're certainly one of the lucky ones if you're able to answer "yes" to the above questions. You're now ready to experience the wonders of 5G technology, so it is time to choose the right 5G network for you.

What You Need to Know.

As discussed in the fun facts above, there are few variations of 5G. These variations range from low-band to high band; with high-band also being referred to as millimeter wave (mmWave). Offerings are carrier-specific and depend entirely on which frequency bands a carrier is using to deliver their 5G service. In this extended article, we're going to compare T-Mobile's 5G coverage with low-band frequency to the capabilities of mmWave.

The 5G Spectrum Bands.

Wireless providers' 5G networks are being designed to satisfy the many needs of their customers. Regardless of their location in the nation, wireless carriers endeavour to deliver the best possible coverage to consumers and businesses, whether their subscribers live in busy metropolitan areas or in rural or remote communities.

Spectrum bands are licensed to wireless carriers by the FCC for their 5G networks; with high, mid, and low-band spectrums categorized as below:

  • Low-Band: lower than 1 GHz.
  • Mid-Band: ranging between 1 GHz and 6 GHz.
  • High-Band: Also known as mmWave, ranging upwards from 24 GHz.

Wireless carriers can utilize a variety of frequencies and bands, thus defining their offerings. As an example, most of band-71 (600 MHz) is licensed to T-Mobile. As clarified in one of the fun facts above, this low-band sub-six (meaning the frequency is below 6 GHz) is extremely effective in rural areas and over long distances.

Higher frequencies, like the 5G mmWave band, have been designed specifically for heavily populated urban areas. In order to deliver widespread coverage, mobile carriers typically use a combination of high, mid, and low-band spectrum.

Explaining T-Mobile’s 5G Frequency.

T-Mobile introduced the nation's first 5G network in December 2019, asserting its position as an industry leader. Around our nation, T-Mobile covers more than 1,000,000 square miles across 5000 cities and towns, delivering its 5G offering to more than 100 million mobile subscribers.

When T-Mobile rolled out 5G on its low-band 600 MHz frequency spectrum, the carrier was happy to announce the amazing benefits of its new network, explaining that:

  • It delivers extensive coverage over hundreds of square miles.
  • It goes deeper and further than competitors’ 5G networks.
  • It works both indoors and outdoors, penetrating terrain, walls, and other obstructions.

However, when you compare T-Mobile's data speeds to high-band 5G, the speeds don't come close to mmWave. Recent testing by RootMetrics revealed that download speeds for T-Mobil's low-band 5G were about 34 Mbps, very similar to its 4G LTE speeds, which is considerably slower than Verizon’s mmWave 5G. If you have T-Mobile's 5G 600MHz Band 71 cell phone, hotspot or cellular modem and have weak signal indoors, consider our T-Mo 600 MHz Band 71 5G signal boosters.

Comparing 5G mmWave with Sub-6 GHz.

When you compare mmWave with low-band sub-six frequencies, mmWave delivers superfast data speeds - as high as 5 Gbps. mmWave high-band frequency has added benefits of greater bandwidth and the capacity to transmit more data in heavily populated urban areas.

One limitation with mmWave is that it does need large numbers of cell towers in close proximity, unlike low band frequencies that operate best in rural areas. This means that mmWave is the perfect solution to high traffic situations, like convention centers, sports stadiums, arenas, campuses, and other large venues where you have a lot of people congregating.

In low-traffic rural areas where mobile users are not always close to a cell tower, low band sub-6 5G is the clear answer. Because it has ability to penetrate terrain, walls, and other obstacles better than mmWave, low-band sub-six 5G provides better indoor and outdoor coverage.

The Challenges for 5G mmWave.

With greater bandwidth than sub-6 5G, mmWave 5G operates in the 30-300 GHz spectrum band and delivers super-fast speeds. There are, however, several factors that can obstruct mmWave signal by limiting signal range and causing transmission loss (see graph displayed at the top). These include:

  • Terrain: signals can be obstructed by foliage, trees, and other vegetation.
  • Weather: high frequencies are susceptible to atmospheric conditions including rain and vapors.
  • Buildings: signal can be blocked by construction materials, including steel, concrete, energy-efficient glass, and brick.

While it is true that mmWave has low latency and large bandwidth potential, the frequency range of mmWave is limited to approximately one mile. This means that these high-band spectrum signals are only capable of travelling approximately one city block in urban areas. This is just one of the issues faced by wireless networks using mmWave in their 5G mobile communications. Check CBRS technology for further information.

You and 5G in the Future.

While consumers and businesses are becoming more knowledgeable about 5G technology, wireless providers continue rolling out their 5G networks and differentiating their service offerings. All industries, whether they be retail, public safety, financial services or health care, will ultimately benefit from 5G technology. As you make yourself aware of 5G variations, you will have the knowledge to make an informed decision as to which 5G network will work best for you and your business.

Should you have any questions at all, please don’t hesitate to contact today. We can help you make the right decision regarding your cell coverage issues.

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  • I’m so used to 4G that I forgot how old 3G is. When did 3G come out and was there ever a 2G? I know that cell phone boosters have been around for a while because I’ve seen articles on 3G boosters.

    Sarah Winters on
  • This has to be the most coherent breakdown of what 5G is, what it’s supposed to do, and what it can currently do right now due to technological limitations. I don’t have a 5G phone but I’ve been thinking of getting one. I don’t think I’m going to get one yet but if I did, I’d get a 5G booster to maximize everything it’s supposed to do.

    Bob Dodson on
  • I am one of many people I know who are talking about getting a 5G phone. I was unaware of the problems of 5G though. I might just stick to my current phone and pick up a cell phone booster until 5G gets its act together. I’m also wondering if there’s any truth to the rumors about 5G’s negative effects on people. It may sound silly but I keep hearing these stories and am curious (and concerned).

    Dolly F. on
  • As far as I’m concerned, the jury is still out on 5G. There are many promises about what it can do, but I’ve heard many anecdotes about it failing to live up to the hype. I’ll be more likely to get it once I hear a lot of glowing reviews.

    Caila Meadows on
  • The commercials for 5G are starting to pop up everywhere. I think the cell phone providers scaled them back during the pandemic but they probably figure people know how badly they need reliable signals for calls and data. I don’t know if 5G can cut it though after reading this blog. 5G doesn’t sound like it’s everything it’s supposed to be and a cell phone booster may be a better idea than switching to 5G.

    Vince Masiello on
  • I keep hearing so many different things about 5G. Some advertisements make it sound like it will do everything from make clear calls to making your bed for you. Other reviews say it’s overrated as the technology is still being smoothed. This was probably the most even-handed article I’ve read on the subject. I could see why someone might want a 5G booster but I’m going to wait for 5G to improve. After that happens, I’ll get 5G and a booster if needed.

    Trevor B. on

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