Tuesday, March 9, 2021

5G is here! Here's a quick explanation.


Well, 5G is here! Wow! Have you noticed any difference? I'm taking a long shot and going to say, probably not. Everyone is talking about it, and everyone is out buying those 5g compatible phones. If you happen to have a 5G capable phone, have you ever seen it say 5g? Again, I'll say probably not. 

Now I'm not being negative about this new technology, it's just the way it is being promoted,etc.  Lots of people are running out buying new phones, believing they will have 5G! It doesn't work like that, there is 5G available in Manitoba, and here is a great link to the coverage map of 5G.  5G coverage. See the purple areas, that's where 5G is available right now.

5G - With new phones in low-band 5G, you can combine two 100MHz channels for 200MHz usage—and stack several more 20MHz 4G channels on top of that. In high-band 5G, you can use up to eight 100MHz channels. But if you don't have the airwaves available, you don't get the speeds. Also, 5G signals do not travel very well and the high-band has limited range.

Low-band 5G operates in frequencies below 2GHz. These are the oldest cellular and TV frequencies. They go great distances, but there aren't very wide channels available, and many of those channels are being used for 4G. So low-band 5G is slow. It acts and feels like 4G, for now. Low-band 5G channels are from 5MHz in width up to 15MHz, so you can see they aren't roomier than 4G.

High-band 5G, or millimeter-wave, is the really new stuff. So far, this is mostly airwaves in the 20-100GHz range. These airwaves haven't been used for consumer applications before. They're very short range; our tests have shown about 800-foot distances from towers. But there's vast amounts of unused spectrum up there, which means very fast speeds using up to 800MHz at a time.  

Here is a Government of Canada link to the 5G networks and includes some other information that may be useful.

So a quick wrap-up, if you are not within about 500 feet or so unobstructed from the 5G tower, you will not get high-band 5G. And if you do pick up the 5G low-band, you may notice it is actually slower than 4G.



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