What is 5G? How is it better than 4G?

5G networks will increase wireless network throughput by a factor of 10 and replace wired broadband. But when can they be put into use, and why are 5G and the Internet of Things so closely linked?
5G wireless is a general term used to describe a series of faster wireless Internet standards and technologies. It is theoretically 20 times faster and 4 times lower in latency than 4G. The support is laid.

What is 5G? Technology or buzzwords?

It will take years for this technology to fully realize its potential worldwide, but at the same time, some 5G network services have already been put into use. 5G is not only a technical term, but also a marketing term. Not all 5G services on the market are standard.

5G vs. 4G speed comparison

With each generation of wireless technology, the biggest appeal is to increase speed. The potential peak download speed of 5G networks can reach 20 Gbps, typically 10 Gbps. This is not only faster than the current 4G network, which currently peaks at about 1 Gbps and is faster than wired network connections in more homes. The network speed provided by 5G can compete with fiber optics.

Throughput is not the only speed increase of 5G; it also has the feature of greatly reducing network latency. This is an important distinction: Throughput is used to measure how long it takes to download a large file, while latency is determined by network bottlenecks, and latency slows down response times in round-trip communications.

The delay is difficult to quantify because it changes due to various network state changes, but 5G networks ideally have the ability to keep the delay rate within 1 ms. Overall, 5G latency will be 60 to 120 times lower than 4G. This makes many applications possible, such as the delay of current virtual reality which makes it impractical.

5G technology

The basis of 5G technology has a series of standard definitions, and the better part has been studied for the past 10 years. The most important of these is 5G New Radio (5G NR), which is standardized by the 3GPP (a standardization organization that develops protocols for mobile phones). 5G NR stipulates a lot of 5G equipment operation methods, and the final version was completed in July 2018.

Many unique technologies have emerged to increase the speed of 5G and reduce latency as much as possible. Here are some important ones.


5G networks mostly use frequencies in the 30 to 300 GHz range. (As the name suggests, these frequencies have a wavelength between 1 and 10 millimeters.) These high-frequency ranges can carry more information than low-frequency signals in each time unit. 4G LTE currently uses low-frequency, which is usually below 1 GHz Signal, or WiFi, up to 6 GHz.

Millimeter-wave technology has traditionally been expensive and difficult to deploy. Technological progress has overcome these difficulties, which is why 5G is now possible.

Small cell

One disadvantage of millimeter-wave transmissions is that they are more susceptible to interference than 4G or WiFi signals when transmitting through physical objects.

To overcome this, the model of 5G infrastructure will be different from 4G. Instead of moving large antenna masts like landscapes, 5G networks will be supported by smaller base stations distributed approximately 250 meters apart in cities, creating smaller service areas.

These 5G base stations have lower power requirements than 4G and can be more easily connected to buildings and utility poles.

Massive MIMO

Although 5G base stations are much smaller than their 4G counterparts, they carry more antennas. These antennas are multiple-input multiple-output (MIMO), which means that they can handle multiple bidirectional sessions simultaneously on the same data channel. 5G networks can handle more than 20 times more sessions than 4G networks.

A large number of MIMO guarantees a huge increase in the capacity limit of the base station, allowing a single base station to carry more device sessions. That’s why 5G may drive wider adoption of the Internet of Things. In theory, more wireless devices connected to the Internet can be deployed in the same space without overwhelming the network.


Ensuring that all conversations go back and forth to the right place is tricky, especially with the aforementioned interference problem with millimeter wave signals. To overcome these problems, 5G base stations have deployed more advanced beam technologies that use constructive and destructive radio interference to direct signals rather than broadcast. This effectively strengthens the signal strength and range in a particular direction.

5G availability

The first 5G commercial network was launched in Qatar in May 2018. Since then, 5G networks have expanded worldwide, from Argentina to Vietnam. Lifewire has a nice, frequently updated list.

Keep in mind that, despite this, not all 5G networks currently fulfill all technical promises. Some early 5G products relied on existing 4G infrastructure, reducing the potential speed available; other services advertised 5G for marketing purposes but did not meet standards. A closer look at the products of US wireless carriers will reveal some pitfalls.

Wireless carriers and 5G

Technically, 5G services are now available in the United States. However, the caveats contained in the statement vary from carrier to carrier, suggesting that there is still a long way to go before 5G becomes widespread.

Verizon may be the biggest promoter of early 5G. It announced that by October 2018, 4 cities will be part of 5G homes. This is a service that requires your other devices to connect to specific 5G hotspots via WiFi, and the hotspots are connected to the network.

Verizon plans to launch a 5G mobile service in Minneapolis and Chicago in April, which will spread to other cities within the year. Accessing 5G networks will require additional monthly costs for consumers, plus the cost of purchasing a phone that can actually access 5G (more on this later). In addition, Verizon’s deployment is called 5G TF, which actually does not meet the 5G NR standard.

AT & T stated that in December 2018, 12 cities in the United States will be able to use 5G, and 9 cities will be added at the end of 2019, but in the end, only these downtown commercial areas will be accessible in these cities. In order to access 5G networks, a specific Netgear hotspot is required to connect to 5G services, and then provide a Wi-Fi signal to mobile phones and other devices.

At the same time, AT & T is also launching a speed improvement plan for 4G networks, which has been called 5GE, even if these improvements have nothing to do with 5G networks. (This will be backwards compatible)

Sprint will provide 5G services in four cities by May 2019, and there will be more at the end of the year. However, Sprint’s 5G products make full use of MIMO units. They do not use millimeter wave channels, which means that Sprint users will not see the speed increase like other operators.

T-Mobile uses a similar model, and it won’t launch 5G services until the end of 2019 because they don’t have a phone to connect to it.

One obstacle that may prevent the rapid spread of 5G speeds is the need to roll out all these small cell sites. Their small size and low power consumption requirements make them technically easier to deploy than 4G technology, but this does not mean that it can easily convince governments and property owners to install a bunch of base stations everywhere. Verizon has actually set up a website to petition local elected officials to accelerate the deployment of 5G base stations.

5G phones: When will they be available? When can I buy it?
The first to claim a 5G phone is the Samsung Galaxy S10 5G, which will debut in late summer 2019. You can also subscribe to a “Moto Mod” from Verizon to convert your Moto Z3 phone to a 5G compatible device.

But unless you can’t stand the temptation to be an early user, you’ll want to wait a bit longer; some weird and prominent questions about carriers mean that your phone may not be compatible with your carrier’s entire 5G network.

One laggard that may surprise you is Apple: Analysts are convinced that the iPhone will not be compatible with 5G until 2020 at the earliest. But this is in line with the company’s characteristics; Apple also trailed Samsung’s release of 4G-compatible phones in late 2012.

It is undeniable that the 5G torrent has arrived. 5G compatible devices will rule the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona in 2019, so look forward to more options in the field of vision.

Why are people already discussing 6G?
Some experts say the disadvantage is that 5G cannot achieve the goals of latency and reliability. These perfectionists are already exploring 6G to try to address these shortcomings.

There is a group working on a new 6G-enabled technology that calls itself the “Common TeraHertz Communication and Sensing Center” (ComSenTer). According to the instructions, they strive to achieve 100Gbps of bandwidth per device.

In addition to increasing reliability, it also broke through reliability and increased speed. 6G also tried to allow thousands of concurrent connections. If successful, this feature will help IoT devices network and enable the deployment of thousands of sensors in industrial settings.

Even in the embryo, 6G has faced security concerns due to the urgency of newly discovered potential man-in-the-middle attacks in tera-hretz-based networks. The good news is that there is a lot of time to solve this problem. 6G networks will not appear until 2030.

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