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Will rollout of 5G network make 4G signal boosters obsolete?

No it won't, because the frequencies that cell carriers operate on today will be still be used in the future. Cellular carriers have spent a fortune on 4G LTE frequency spectrums currently used for data, talk, and text, and many of these frequencies will still be used for the 5G technology platform. Plus, 4G LTE networks will still be used as backup, similar to the way 3G networks are still in use. Importantly, 5G networks will initially only be targeting wireless data transfer.

5G is a new complex and yet to be totally concluded standard. Initially, it will be deployed on new frequency spectrum such as 3.5gHz, 6gHz, 28gHz and even higher. Besides, all 5G phones will be backward compatible to 4G and therefore when there's no 5G signal, the 4G signal boosters are what will keep the wireless communication lines open. Therefore, go ahead and get yourself a cell phone booster now.

Things to know about 5G in relation to signal boosters:

  • These frequencies have much higher free air losses than the regular cellular bands and are going to be deployed in densely populated areas with antennas being in very close proximity to each other.
  • At this time, there is no provision in the FCC "Consumer Wideband Signal Booster" standard that would allow the boosting of these frequencies, so not allowed.
  • At this time, there are very few devices/ phones on the market which have such frequencies in them.
  • There is debate by many in the industry as to what benefit the "consumer" would have over the current 4G technologies and speeds, even though theoretical speeds might be much higher with 5G vs 4G, there are very few applications where it would be noticeable.
  • At Mobile World congress Barcelona approx 1 month ago, the experts and standards associations forecast that by 2025, there would be only 15% of connected devices using 5G which includes "data only devices" or "IOT devices" which are not smartphones.
  • It is unlikely that the Cellular carriers will move from 4G to 5G on the current frequencies for quite some time as their 4G equipment is very new and works very well, but at the point that they do, our current boosters will work with 5G in our current booster frequency bands.

Therefore, if you're considering getting a cellular booster for your signal reception problems now, our opinion is that you can go ahead and make your purchase to solve those problems immediately. Keep in mind that 5G will not be replacing 4G LTE for some time. Existing 4G LTE networks will still be here for many years to come, delivering applications and providing services side-by-side with the faster 5G network. Perhaps, sometime in the future, you will need to change it out, but you will still be able to use todays cellular boosters in the foreseeable future.

Problems Of 5G Expansion.

There's little doubt that explosion in expansion and development of cell phone networks over the past 20 to 30 years has reimagined the face of commerce and industry. To facilitate the endless communication of data for non-stop simultaneous transactions numbering in the billions or even trillions, wireless carriers have had to step up to introduce the technology to allow this to happen. While this has undoubtedly proved beneficial for businesses and consumers alike, it has added a new layer of problems and difficulties from a technological standpoint.

Continuous access requires 24/7 network accessibility, making it simply unacceptable for a network such as 3G, 4G, and now 5G to run into technical difficulties or to experience downtime. Businesses and consumers alike often shudder at the thought of the impact it would have on businesses and people's livelihood should services relying on wireless communications such as vending machines, ATMs, and even energy distribution systems, fail to run for an hour, let alone a whole day. The repercussions of even a relatively short period of downtime could prove disastrous on many levels.

There's an old saying that a chain is only as strong as its weakest link. Unfortunately, humans remain the weakest link when it comes to wireless technology. Although manual labor is seemingly not required to dispatch data and information across a wireless network, humans are still ultimately crucial for maintaining and overseeing wireless networks to ensure they continue to operate at their optimum capacity. No matter how rapidly technology continues to evolve, humans will almost always be the dreaded weakest link.

To fix the problem of human error, new technological devices are released into the market at an astounding rate. Each device seeks to promise the fastest and most reliable wireless communications, with each product and each overseeing company jostling for visibility and market share. Given the rate of technological advancement in the past few years, today's new technology is considered outdated within a few months and more or less rendered obsolete within a year or two. It can take something as simple as the change of ownership of a cell phone tower, an upgrade to a system, or a new type of interference from a radio signal to cause what was once state-of-the-art technology to lose functionality or fail altogether. Therefore, 4G LTE networks are here to stay for the next decade, and beyond.

5G Terminology.

  • 5G – A name for a collection of new services that will be offered by network operators using a variety of technical means.
  • 5GNR – The name for one of the new technologies used to implement 5G. Specifically, it refers to the make-up of the actual signal that goes between a 5G phone and the base station.
  • 5G mmWAVE - The name of one of the new technologies used to implement 5G. Specifically, it refers to using very high frequencies (12-GHz or 23-GHz or even higher) between a phone and the base station. These signal do not propagate well, but can support very fast data rates.
  • 5G sub-6-GHz - The name of one of the new technologies used to implement 5G. Specifically, it refers to using frequencies below 6-GHz (or 6000 MHz) between the phone and the base station. These signals propagate better than mmWAVE signals and provide greater coverage areas.
  • 5G-DSS – Dynamic Spectrum Sharing (DSS) is a technology that is used by network operators to share their spectrum between 4G LTE services and 5G services, in a single hybrid channel.
  • NSA – Non-standalone mode (NSA) of operation means that in order for 5G signals to be received on your phone, your phone must also be connected to a 4G LTE signal. The way you can think about this is that the network uses the 4G LTE signal to tell your phone how to access the 5G signals.
  • SA – Standalone mode (SA) of operation means your phone can directly connect to a 5G network, just like it connects to LTE network today.
  • MBSFN – Multi-band Single Frequency Network (MSFN) is a technique used by LTE networks to create space for special services to be sent from a base station to a phone. This space can be used to deliver broadcast content for example or can be used to send 5G signals to a phone. One option an operator has is to create space in the LTE network for 5G using a MBSFN configuration, and then filling that space with 5G signals creating a 5G-DSS system.
  • Non-MBSFN – A different technique to share the spectrum between 4G LTE and 5G, but the results is the same – a 5G DSS system.

Read more about 5G & AT&T's 5G-E and learn everything else there's to know about 5G.