CyberGate IT

Is 5G Ready For Primetime?

There has been a lot of hype about 5G. That being said, do you know anyone who is actively using 5G in their everyday life?  Nor do I…. A few of you may have said yes, but that is most likely either a fixed 5G application, or that person has a limited range of travel and of course has a 5G device. Most of us are still waiting and still watching the major carriers talk about how expansive, and fast, their 5G networks are. Maybe our day will come soon?? One of the main reasons for the tone of this paragraph is that we have been hearing about 5G for over 4 years, and in the last 2 years it has been the focus of the top 3 wireless carriers in their advertising.

The 2nd half of 2020 may have been a banner year for 5G, but a nasty virus upended “normal life.” Construction and also the enthusiasm to go out and buy a new expensive 5G device fell by the wayside. So things have slowed, for now, but will eventually be back in place.

In a year or two, though, 5G will be the norm. It will be the foundational technology that supercharges many aspects of our lives. Everything from self-driving cars, virtual reality, remote surgery and most industries. This technology is not just about speed, but also about low latency. Latency for this conversation is the time between us clicking on a link and the time that application responds. That lag time can last around 20 milliseconds with current networks, and around 1 millisecond for 5G. This may not seem like much, but this is a huge deal…ask a serious video gamer or a remote surgeon. Talking over someone will be nonexistent. We will also start to see more remote surgeries….no one wants a delayed reaction there!

The cost for 5G on a monthly basis should run around $10 more, but time will tell as to how competition influences this part of 5G. One of the reasons for keeping the cost low, and for the faster delivery of 5G, is that carriers are now using a spectrum of bandwidth they’ve already had in their arsenal. In order to cover wider areas and to deploy 5G to the masses in a shorter timeframe, the carriers are utilizing their 2.5 GHz spectrum to get a wider coverage area. Even though this will provide slower speeds than the original high-frequency spectrum, it will still be faster than the 4G we have now. Speaking of which, you will be able to continue to use your 4G phone. When you decide to purchase a 5G compatible phone in the future, you will at times still be using the 4G network. It will be years, maybe 10+, before your current 4G phone is completely obsolete. So for now, just listen to the ads and make the switch to 5G/4G when YOU are ready.