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Nov 30, 2020 3:18:44 PM

What is 5G?

Posted by Isolde Decker-Lucke

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What is 5G?

5G is the fifth generation of mobile broadband, created to provide a better cellular experience. It is on the path to becoming the successor to 4G and other network options, as it provides increased connectivity for the modern world.  

What Are the Benefits of 5G?
5G began to be deployed in 2019 and is rapidly growing in availability and popularity. Users of 5G networks gain higher bandwidth that allows for higher upload and download speeds, and will notice lower latency, or the time it takes to communicate and connect with networks. Ultra-reliable low-latency communications (URLLC) is a key 5G feature for important use cases like autonomous cars or massive M2M/IoT devices support (ability to concurrently and reliably connect more devices). 
What Makes 5G Different?
The main differences from previous cellular networks are: 
  • 5G cell towers will be denser compared to any previous generation.
  • 5G will operate over many different frequency bands, including mmWave. 
  • 5G frequency channels will be wider (higher bandwidth).
  • 5G is faster than 4G.
All of these attributes have positive impact on cellular based positioning. Let’s review why.
5G will support bands below 3 GHz, which is where most mobile communications happen today. It may use mid bands between 3 -6 GHz, as well as a new type of bands that were previously never used for mobile communications, such as high bands 24-39 GHz (mmWave). These new mmWave bands allow higher bandwidth, which will result in better data rates and more connected devices. However, the higher frequencies have a lower propagation range, so it is essential to note that network densification will also play an important role in future 5G networks. 
In some cases, a 5G antenna tower may provide only local coverage, or as much coverage as a Wi-Fi access point provides today. In fact, many often debate whether 5G will replace Wi-Fi.  5G mmWave deployments will be most effective in delivering results in densely populated geographic locations (like stadiums, malls, hotels) particularly those with controlled sets of devices managed by an enterprise
The Future of 5G
Predictions indicate that there will be around 1.9 billion 5G subscriptions worldwide by 2024. By 2023, 5G-enabled smartphones are projected to rapidly to overtake 4G and reach 51.4 percent of market share.
Ultimately, Skyhooks is confident that both Wi-Fi and 5G cellular technologies will continue to be strong complements to each other for the foreseeable future. Wi-Fi operating on a free, unlicensed spectrum and without need for any back-end complex infrastructure is going to be essential part of any future communication environment. 5G networks will be running in parallel to allow increased coverage and capacity, while also addressing mission and latency critical applications.