5G will take over the world. At least that’s what we’ve been hearing from the telecommunications industry for the past couple years. Big players like Verizon, T-Mobile, and AT&T have already made announcements to roll out this generation of connectivity that promises to be faster, more responsive and more reliable. 5G will affect how we use smartphones, home appliances, healthcare, and even cars. Hello, self-driving cars!
Now you might be wondering, why do we need another generation of connectivity? There is so much we can do now. Well, here’s the thing. Technologically, the world is on the brink of an unprecedented increase in the number of devices coming online – the “Internet of Things.” We have more smart-home sensors and artificially intelligent computers than ever before. While this explosion is great, the systems we have today are simply unable to handle the volume. Enter 5G which is simply the 5th Generation of internet connectivity.
So, how will it work? 5G will operate on three bands of the spectrum. The lower band spectrum is primarily what is being used for LTE today. While it is already becoming depleted, it offers great coverage area and “penetration” (the ability to go through buildings). T-Mobile is a big player in this area as it acquired the 600MHz spectrum in 2017. The mid-band improves in speed and latency but fails to penetrate buildings as well as the low-band. Speeds are expected to get up to 1Gbps on this spectrum. Sprint owns the majority of the unused mid-band and plans to improve penetration using multiple antennas on a single device – MIMO. The high-band offers the speed you imagine when you think of “the future”. It is also referred to as mmWave. It promises speeds up to 10Gbps with low latency but has poor building penetration. Both AT&T and Verizon are rolling out on this spectrum.
All of the major carriers are working to build out their 5G networks, but deployment across the entire country will take several years. AT&T has already started rollouts to major cities like Atlanta, Dallas, and San Antonio. Verizon has already turned on its 5G Home program and plans to keep rolling out mobile 5G this year as well. In early 2018, T-Mobile announced it was building out its 5G network in 30 cities and plans to offer 5G nationwide by 2020. Sprint announced it will deploy 5G in early 2019 in New York City, Phoenix, Kansas City, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, and Washington D.C.
Clearly, 5G has the potential to change the concept of the Internet as we know it today. And if you are a smart business owner, you should be excited about it. Start thinking about how 5G will impact you and how to take advantage of it. Any new technology project should be ensuring systems can readily transition as the network becomes available. 5G is set to bring advantages to businesses large and small, and RCN Technologies can help you prepare for it. Call us today to get started on your pathway to 5G!
Tech Lab Specialist