Before we talk about 5G signal boosters, let us provide more details on 5G. Many companies have already announced that they are testing 5G, the next generation of Internet technology. With explosion of mobile data usage, it is therefore logical that smart phone users want to know what 5-G is all about, and what difference it will make in their lives. As mobile data increased by a whopping 74% in 2015, the number of users that will be affected is huge. This guide will explain what 5G is, how it is different from previous technology platforms like 4G, and what it has to do with 4G & 5G signal boosters.
What is 5G?
Before we discuss 5G cell phone signal boosters, what exactly is 5G? 5th Generation is next advancement in cellular/ wireless technology. It will have 3 main elements where massive improvements will be seen regarding how we interact with mobile devices right now:
- It can provide data speeds of up to 100 times faster.
- Lower latency meaning it will be more responsive.
- It will be able to connect a lot of devices simultaneously, so we will be able to track and monitor large number of devices like we never could before.
Therefore, 5G means the following:
- Transmits 10,000 times more traffic.
- Handles 10 times to 100 times more devices simultaneously.
- Less than 1 millisecond latency.
- 10 years machine to machine (M2M) battery life.
- More than 10 Gbps peak data rates.
How do 4G and 5G differ?
Although it is expected that 5 G will be significantly better than 4-G LTE services, there're no guarantees due to topography, coverage area limitations, and many other factors. The standards for each new generation of technology is set by a number of international governing bodies, such as the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP), and the International Telecommunication Union (ITU). The abbreviation, "G" in this case is used for the word "Generation" which tends to have major advancements when compared to previous standards.
A new generation of the technology is released about every 10 years, with 1G, the 1st generation, being released in 1982. From there, new generations were released as follows:
- 2G in 1991 only enabled talking and texting.
- 3G in 1998 enabled talking, texting, and Internet access.
- 4G in 2007 enabled talking, texting, Internet access, video.
- 5G from 2020-2024 will enable talking, texting, Internet access, UltraHD + 3D video, Smart Home.
- 6G in 2030... pure speculation!
Majority of phones nowadays use 4 G LTE. Although 4G LTE was an improvement from the normal 4G, the upgrade was not deemed big enough to call it 5G.
The reason why nobody really knows precisely how good 5G will be, is because the 3GPP and the ITU have not officially released the standard for 5G yet. They are planning to do so by 2020. It is however not uncommon that these governing bodies only release a standard retroactively, several years after the technology has been implemented in the real world.
Surprisingly, most devices marketed as 4G are, in fact, not in accordance with the 3GPP and ITU standards. There're only a few versions of 4G LTE that do meet the 4G standard.
In spite of this, most technology experts agree that 5G will utilize many new technologies that are not widely used yet. One example of this is Massive MIMO, which consists of multiple antennas on individual devices, or at a base station to increase speeds. 5G networks will also be able to manage more and smaller cells. Cells of different sizes might become available, but it will take some time before these different technologies can be connected in such a way that everything becomes seamless for users. A new infrastructure will also have to be put in place to support the new technologies.
How fast is 5G?
It is commonly believed that 5G will eventually be between 10 and 100 times faster than what 4G is. This will enable downloads of 10 gigabits per second. Nokia has revealed that they have tested 5G that is able to download 30 gigabits in a second. This is 1,000 times faster than 4G.
Another likely advantage of 5G is that it should have less latency than 4G. Theoretically, this will enable the download of a HD movie in mere seconds.
However, when a smart phone is used in the real world, 5G may not be that different from 4G LTE. Obstructions, including buildings, trees and the distance from cell towers will likely still reduce the speed of signals.
What can 5G do for you?
With 5G, it will be quicker and easier to download huge amounts of data. If 4G is compared to a normal sized passage where only one or maybe two people at a time can move through easily, 5G will be like a massive airport that allows many people to move around at the same time with relative ease.
New smartphones and modems/ routers will be available that allows mobile carriers to compete with broadband cable companies in providing Internet to the large majority of populations in major cities and even rural areas. This will however only happen once 5G is fully deployed large scale across entire countries such as USA & Canada. Other Internet of Things (iOT) devices would also be manufactured to operate on 5G including wearables like smartwatches, smart street lights, connected cars including self-driving cars. Eventually driverless cars would be able to detect where other cars are, and with intersection signal light network so they can communicate with each other.
Infrastructure for 5G will be completely different from what we're used to, as it requires antennas that are much closer together than current cell towers. There will likely be small antennas everywhere, whether we will be able to see them, or they are hidden. Local laws will dictate to what extent they will be hidden/ camouflaged.
5G will also require new phones as these will all have multiple antennas built in. It is however expected that 5G phones will need less power, resulting in longer times before charging is required.
When exactly will 5G become available?
A rough estimated date for mass deployment is the year 2020 with very few major cities worldwide having coverage in late 2019. Some cell phone carriers in USA do speculate they will deploy in major cities by end of 2018, whereas some say they will deploy in major cities in 2019, etc. However, smartphone manufacturers will need to manufacturer 5G phones in large quantities in time to be able to keep up with the demand so the most conservative estimate for large scale launch of 5G would be in the year 2020.
5G will probable at first be used in fixed "hotspots" and then spread from there. 4G will also probably still be prevalent mostly in remote rural areas and as backup elsewhere for 4G devices, even when 5G technology becomes widespread.
Will different Carriers implement 5G differently?
Although various carriers, including Verizon and AT&T are talking about implementing 5G, not enough details have been released to really be sure if it will actually be 5G, or merely an improvement of 4G LTE.
What AT&T calls its 5G Evolution is actually only an advanced form of 4G LTE and, although it is better than what they offered before, that improvement is not significant enough in our opinion to be called 5G.
Verizon states that it is testing Massive MIMO. Although this is not a guarantee in itself that their next offering will be full 5G, experts certainly believe that 5G will be using this technology.
Although various cellular phone carriers may offer 5G in the future, none of them seem to be close to a precise target at this stage, as of this day on May 14th, 2018.
Do any current smart phones support 5G?
As there is currently neither a standard for 5G, nor any working 5G network, there are no smartphones available yet that can handle 5G. It will be quite a while before manufacturers actually even really know what they need to make, although some might already be in the development stages.
As stated earlier, networks will probably only become fully available in 2020, and even then, buying a new cellphone only makes sense once the 5G infrastructure is available in your area.
Will signal boosters still be needed with arrival of the 5G?
Yes, 5G cell phone signal boosters will be pivotal because the 5G network signals are more prone to get blocked by building materials and they do not travel as far 4G signals do, from their 5G transmitter (cell tower). Since 5G will bypass home networks and enable point-to-point cellular communication, it is pivotal that we can get them to reach in every nook and cranny of indoor spaces. Our prognosis is that our 5G-ready cell phone boosters will get the job done.
The arrival of the 5G network will likely lead to a rise in cellular-based streaming video in homes, thus increasing the demand for cell phone signal boosters. In fact, an impending arrival of the 5G cellular network in approximately 2020 will probably make cell phone signal boosters a "must have" for all new homes because low-e glass, innovative building materials, and geography, will always interfere with wireless signals from mobile towers.
It is definitely anticipated that 5G frequencies will be more vulnerable to signal blockage, or attenuation, than today's 4G LTE frequencies. This means there will be more demand for signal boosting solutions.
The major difference between 4G LTE and 5G is that, with 5G, cell towers won't be required. Instead, many thousands of small antennas will be appropriately placed, instead of relying on just one tower. No longer will homes require a Wi-Fi network because 5G will provide exceptional coverage with much faster speeds.
Summary of what 5G will mean for cell phone signal boosters.
The 5G cellular network is coming, but what does it mean for cell phone signal boosters? It has the potential of making 5G signal boosters an imperative device for any smart home because geography, building materials, low-e glass will unfortunately continue to obstruct wireless signals from mobile tower antennae.
Will the 4G cell phone signal boosters being deployed today be obsolete when 5G rolls out?
In short, No. 5G cell phones will fallback to 4G coverage mode when no 5G signal is detected (just like 4G defaults to 3G when no 4G signal detected) for current 4G signal boosters to help out. This will happen quite extensively because: A) 5G coverage area is going to be limited to very few cities initially. B) 5G frequencies have much weaker penetration power than 4G frequencies so in-building coverage will mostly fall-back to 4G LTE. No doubt, 5G smart phones will surely benefit from 5G smartphone signal boosters to help them stay connected to 5G network to enjoy its many benefits including higher upload / download speed of 300 Mbps and peak speeds of nearly 1 Gbps. The current 4G frequencies that the cell carriers operate today will continue to be used well into the future for their 4G LTE backup network.
Will 4G LTE boosters continue to work for 5G networks?
It is important to note that cellular carriers have spent billions of dollars in 4G LTE frequency spectrums that they currently use for talk, text and data. Therefore, all these 4G frequencies will continue to be used when 5G smart phones on 5G technology platform fall back to 4G network in no 5G coverage areas or in places where 5G signals get blocked such as inside homes, buildings, elevators, etc. Therefore, 4G LTE networks will continue to be used and operated into the foreseeable future as backup (just as 3G networks are still in use). For example, ten years ago when 4G was launched, we wondered the same thing about 3G signal boosters. We still sell 3G signal boosters as 3G networks are still operational and 3G smartphones are still being used across USA & Canada. Similarly, 4G networks, phones, and 4g signal boosters or Lte signal boosters will continue to be used extensively in the USA & Canada for many years to come.
Other Frequently Asked Questions & Answers:
How Much Faster Data Will 5G Provide?
Here at SignalBooster.com, the question we're most frequently asked is: How fast will 5G data actually be? The answer is an astounding 100 times faster! Let us compare 5G data with 4G to get an idea of just how fast 5G data will be.
Currently, 4G peaks at around 100 Mbps (megabits per second). On other hand, it is anticipated that 5G will reach a whopping 10 Gbps (gigabits) per second. Therefore, at their maximum speed, it is anticipated that 5G data will be one-hundred times quicker than 4G technology. According to the CTA (Consumer Technology Association), a 2-hour movie could be downloaded in 3.6 seconds with 5G, compared to 6 minutes on 4G. On a sidenote: With 3G, the same movie would take around 26 hours to download.
Typically, network speed is measured in bit/s (bits per second). Because 5G speeds will be supporting larger volumes of data, the transfer rates of data are expressed in Kbit/s (kilobits) and Mbit/s (megabits). As we move into the future, it may even be expressed in Gbit/s (gigabits) or Tbit/s (terabits). The word "bit" stands for binary digit.
Will 5G Reduce Lag Time (Response Time) On Facetime, etc.?
Yes, 5G will significantly reduce latency. This means that when you're on Internet, you will achieve improved responsiveness and faster load times whatever you're doing. Today, with 4G LTE, there's a maximum latency of 20ms (milliseconds). On contrary with 5G, the maximum latency will be 4ms. Latency (also known as delay) is the amount of time it takes for information to be sent from one cellular device to another. It is typically measured in milliseconds. During speed tests, latency is also known as a ping rate. In the not too distant future, this reduction of latency may mean that self-driving cars become a reality.
How Many More Devices Will A 5G Connection Support?
A huge number of devices will be supported with a 5G connection, perhaps reaching 500 times more. One of the most crucial and exciting aspects of 5G will be its effect on the Internet of Things (IoT). With its fast speeds and low latencies, 5G will make our devices more efficient because they will be able to connect to a single base station. It is anticipated that 5G will support 1 million devices per .38 square miles. Currently, 4G supports 2000 devices over the same area.
Explaining What 5G Actually Is, And When It Will Be Available.
5G is the next generation of mobile internet connectivity. Once launched, users will achieve more reliable connections, wider coverage, and super-fast data download and upload speeds. A new set of ground rules will be established for all cellular connected devices, including smart phones. 5G will ensure that many more devices are able to access the mobile Internet simultaneously by making better use of the radio spectrum.
When can we expect to see the full rollout of the 5G network?
It depends on where you live, and also on which service providers are available in your area. It is anticipated that the main rollout of the 5G network will occur in 2020. However, because the 4G LTE network will serve as a backup for the new 5G network, the reality is that most cell phone users will be utilizing the 4G LTE network well into 2030.
Below we have listed just some of the service providers in the US and Canada and their proposed rollout of 5G:
US Cellular: 5G services will be coming in 2020.
Verizon: Already has several areas with fixed and mobile 5G.
Sprint: 5G mobile is available in Atlanta, Washington DC, Chicago, New York City, Dallas Fort Worth, Los Angeles, Houston, Phoenix, and Kansas City.
AT-T: 5G mobile is available to certain customers in 21 cities, with coverage increasing throughout the year 2019.
T-Mobile: Commercial 5G service is available in certain areas of six cities, with nationwide coverage anticipated in the year 2020.
Telus Mobility: 5G will roll out in 2020, with Vancouver customers having early access.
Rogers Communications: The plan is to have their commercial 5G network up and running by end of 2019, or 2020 at the latest.
South Korea and China: Both anticipate rolling out 5G next year as well.
Please Clarify What Is And Isn't 5G?
Every carrier would love to be the first to announce they have a 5G network, which has led to some misleading marketing around 5G and its availability. For example, back in 2017 ATT announced their 5G Evolution, which many believe was simply a marketing strategy for their existing 4G network. Their 5Ge is not true 5G, but is in fact their 4G LTE network with improved carrier aggregation.
Similarly, 5 GHz Wi-Fi is just a short range home Wi-Fi network, which since 1999 has operated on the 5 GHz radio band. It has nothing to do with upcoming 5G mobile networks that will operate through new transmitters and new type antennas scattered all around, within every block of the city. Many misunderstand and erroneously state 5GHz when they actually mean 5G. 5 GHz vs. 5G are totally different technologies and have no relationship between them except that they are both "wireless".
Why Are Some Claiming They Already Have a 5G Amplifier?
It is all about marketing. With 5G, every carrier would like to be the first to market. And yes, some carriers are being devious in their advertising wording. However, just because 5G wording such as 5Ge or 5G Evolution is used in their advertising, it doesn't mean that what they are offering meets the industry standard for 5G. What these carriers are actually doing is improving performance and providing faster speeds on their existing 4G LTE network by combining up to 3 separate bands simultaneously, or deploying higher capacity antenna arrays on base stations. Their claims that these improvements qualify as 5G are technically wrong but are nevertheless improvements to their existing 4G LTE network.
Will Signal Boosters Still Be Required When We Have Access to 5G?
This is an interesting question because the network signals for 5G are more likely to be blocked by building materials, trees and so on. In addition, 5G signals won't be able to travel as far from their transmitter as 4G signals currently travel. Recent research on 5G waves indicate that they may have a viable range of well under 1 mile, whereas 4G LTE waves can reach anywhere up to 30 miles, depending on atmospheric conditions This means that there will be even more reason to utilize a 5G cell phone signal booster. 5G mobile communications will require higher frequency radio waves which will struggle to pass through obstacles, much more so than frequencies carrying our current 4G LTE service. Fortunately, a signal booster will be able to overcome all these obstacles and deliver reliable, strong cell coverage inside your office, home, or vehicle.
How can I participate in 5G governing or contributing organizations?
Yes, depending on your education and/or company capabilities, you may participate in the following organizations that are dedicated to 5G technology:
- 5G Americas: You can become a member of the Board of Governors of 5G Americas (formerly 4G Americas), the influential industry trade organization composed of leading telecommunications service providers and manufacturers.
- Next Generation Mobile Networks (NGMN) Alliance: Become contributor to this group, which is focused on 5G and accelerating the development of LTE-Advanced and its ecosystem.
- IEEE: Become a member of the world’s largest technical professional organization for the advancement of technology.
- 3GPP: Become contributor to the reports and specifications that define 3GPP technologies.
- Small Cell Forum: Participate to aid in small cell deployments by removing commercial and technical barriers and working with regulators and municipalities.
Read more about 5G and a list of 5G-E signal boosters, and learn everything else there's to know about 5G.
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