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5G and its Need for Signal Boosters

Jan 17, 2019

5G and its Need for Signal Boosters

5G has ushered a new era of technology. In the language of consumerism, 5G spells information transmission at the speed of light. It opens doors to faster data upload/download and video streaming services for the average Joe, and possibly, the prospect of IoT on their fingertips too, in the near future, of course.

5G is Not Just Faster, it is Better.

But for something that is being termed as the next big thing in technology, 5G goes way beyond the veneer of "faster everything".

Low Latency.

Latency is the time taken for network signals to flow from one network point to another. While normal latency for 4G is about 70 ms, 5G latency is expected to be as low as 1 ms. This aspect of 5G is the driving force for real-time interactivity of objects, which serves as the base for IoT.

Faster Data Rates.

5G data rates are supposed to be 10 to 100x better than 4G. Tested 5G data rates have reached up to 1 Gbps, a significant achievement in data upload and download speeds. Faster data upload and downloads pave way for faster video streaming.

Improved Device Performances.

Unlike its predecessor technologies, 5G will spare operating devices of the battery drain. With low-power consumption, digitally connected devices can operate uninterrupted for months, and sometimes even a year without a power source.

And much more. Given the myriad of potential benefits laid out on the table, consumer 5G has a lot to live up to.

This is not a big deal if you're one of those that assume 5G will yield nothing but benefits. But the reality is far from this. And like everything, even 5G must pay its price.

The Problem with 5G.

5G spans a wide portion of the frequency band spectrum - the low, mid, high, and the extremely high frequencies (EHF). And yet, operating on any one of these frequency bands will always be a trade-off between performance and signal penetration.

Lower and mid-range frequency bands such as 600 MHz and 700 MHz do a great job of hosting 3G and 4G. However, 5G on these frequencies will have a hard time living up to 5G's 1 Gbps speed expectations. Moreover, the 600 MHz band exhibits the tendency to bleed into the surrounding bands, making specificity a huge problem.

Alternatively, while higher frequencies such as 2 GHz and 2.5 GHz can support 1 Gbps data rates, they will have a hard time penetrating glass and building walls. The situation is even worse at 28 and/or 39 GHz frequencies, where signal penetration inside buildings will be close to nil.

So what happens at higher frequencies?

5G testing on higher frequencies began ages ago, as long as back in 2016. Such high frequencies operate the uber-powerful millimeter wave. A little about millimeter waves first. They vary in length between 1 mm to 10 mm, unlike the radiowaves serving today's smartphones that measure a few centimeters.

Unlike 3G and 4G that make use of MHz, millimeter waves broadcast at frequencies between 30 and 300 GHz, which 5G was relying on to achieve its ideal performance parameters. However, the laws of science make it impossible for 5G to reach its promised performance peaks under the given circumstances. Here's why:

At higher frequencies, the wavelengths become narrower and find it difficult to penetrate building obstructions such as walls and glass. Also, it reduces in strength in its race against trees and atmospheric conditions such as rain, gases, and humidity absorption.

Compare this with you running a race. At higher speeds, your sprints become narrower. Naturally, you get drained of energy faster. Pair this with you running in the direction opposite to the wind and you will feel energy drain even faster.

But We Need Higher Frequencies.

Because 5G promises celestial data speeds, the demand for data will increase both in terms of the volume of data consumption at higher speeds and the number of mobile users feeding off it.

As a result, mobile users will cram the same band of the radio frequency spectrum, that not only supports the current fastest generation of mobile data speeds but also hosts the previous generations. The fight for bandwidth will lead to dropped connections and poor connectivity, two problems that 5G had set out to solve in the very first place.

Hence, migration to higher, less crowded frequencies (which were formerly reserved for very specific uses such as radar system control and satellite communication) is not a fancy new move that comes with fancy new technology. It is a necessity.

The Solution to 5G's Drawbacks?

While tech giants are yet to find the one-stop solution to all of 5G's obstacles, the existing technologies do have provisions to make things 5G-easy.

Higher Antennas.

Since antenna heights are inversely proportional to the frequency they transmit, EHF millimeter waves will require shorter antennas. As of now, carriers are planning to pack multiple small antennas into a single set-up device, which poses multifold benefits. For one, smaller antenna transmitting signals for shorter distances will enable directional transmission, making it easier to reach those peripheral landscapes that otherwise faced a shortage of signal (unless they had an antenna of their own installed there). Secondly, the antennas will be able to send multiple streams of data over the same frequency range, increasing the overall data transmission rate. Signal transmission over shorter distances will lessen the chances of signal loss due to transmission, too.

Small Cells.

5G's millimeter waves can take advantage of small cells. Also known as portable base stations, small cells are short-range wireless transmission devices for smaller areas, which again fit effortlessly into the concept of short-range millimeter waves.

Small cells possess characteristics similar to any conventional base stations, and placed at shorter distances, will help in decreasing the latency for 5G transmission.

5G Signal Boosters.

Signal boosters have rushed to the aid of people when they could not quite get the signal they had expected they would. With a little available signal, even 5G users can reap in benefits of a 5G booster, as they have with poor 3G and 4G signals in the past. The culprit remains the same: impenetrable buildings with high-end materials creating a hostile environment for precious communication signals. The booster market is already prepping up for 5G boosters: They know what they are up against. With some 5G signal, 5G signal boosters will help amplify the existing signal to deliver the 5G speed users dreamed of, even inside tough earthquake and weather-resistant buildings.

5G Booster.

Since we have been hearing about 5G for almost a decade, and now it is finally becoming a reality, we are prepared. In the not-too-distant future 5G will become the must-have mobile Internet option, mostly because it will deliver exponentially quicker upload and download speeds and more reliable connections on our devices than ever before; and, it will typically be much faster than any existing Internet technology. Thanks to the very latest research and cutting-edge network technology, tomorrow's modern-day Internet user will be able to maintain communications at high speeds with 5G mobile Internet, with expected average download speeds of approximately 1 GBps.

It is anticipated that there will be a massive rise in IoT (Internet of Things) technology, which will deliver the infrastructure required to carry enormous amounts of data, thus promoting a more-connected and smarter world. It is estimated that 5G networks will launch around the world by the year 2020, working side-by-side with existing 3G and 4G LTE technology. 5G technology will deliver a much faster connection speed, considerably more than 3G or 4G LTE, so-much-so that users will enjoy mobile Internet without coverage and speed limitations.

Don't be concerned that the new 5G technology will replace its predecessor, because this won't happen for many years. It is expected that 5G will work hand-in-hand with existing networks to ensure that users never lose connection, with existing networks providing backup in regions where the new 5G coverage is not available. It is planned for these networks, known as 4.5G networks (or LTE-A), to fill the immediate gap; the bonus being that connections will be faster than existing 4G networks. Has an Announcement to Make!

We have launched a 5G signal booster that targets 5G frequencies. However, it is an industrial grade kit that requires professional installation by certified installers. Very soon, will be announcing consumer-grade innovative 5G boosters to improve Internet signal and extend the 5G coverage zone at your workplace or in your home. All major carriers in the United States are working hard to fully deploy 5G networks over larger coverage areas. However, this may take several years. It should also be noted that each carrier has their own roll-out strategy, which means that your experience with 5G could well differ depending on your carrier.

So while you wait to experience 5G in your own neighbourhood, why not take a look at 4G LTE boosters that currently deliver today's fastest mobile connection. If we can help in any way with information or professional advice, please don't hesitate to contact us at any time. Read more about 5G and ATT's 5GE and learn everything else there's to know about 5G.

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  • I’m so sick about hearing how people need signal boosters for 5G phones. It’s a big money grab as far as I’m concerned. Why would they release a 5G phone if it wasn’t working? Don’t tell me I need to get an extra piece of equipment after I spent $1200 on a phone?

    Malcolm Christopher on
  • Sorry but I just don’t see the need for a 5g cell phone booster. 5g is supposed to be state of the art and solve the problems of 4g phones. I could see someone needed a 4g booster or a 3g booster, but why do you need help with a brand new piece of technology? It just doesn’t make any sense to me.

    Ron Fallon on
  • People might think 5G means problem solved when it comes to poor connections with cell phone towers. However, I frequent message boards and I’ve seen people complain about their 5G service. It sounds like it’s going to be a big jump from 4G but they haven’t ironed out the wrinkles yet. Also, there are factors such as environment, building materials, and the distance from a tower that still interfere with signals. That’s why some people are considering boosters. Don’t blame me. I’m just the messenger.

    Abby Morton on

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