Everything you need to know about 5G.
What is 5G?
5G is the 5th generation mobile network. 5G enables a new kind of network that is designed to connect virtually everyone and everything together. 5G wireless technology is meant to deliver higher multi-Gbps peak data speeds, ultra-low latency, more reliability, massive network capacity, increased availability, and a more uniform user experience to more users.
Who invented 5G?
No one company or person owns 5G, but there are several companies within the mobile ecosystem that are contributing to bringing 5G to life. Qualcomm has played a major role in inventing the many foundational technologies that drive the industry forward and makeup 5G, the next wireless standard.
Qualcomm envisioned 5G to be used in these fields:
Enhanced mobile broadband
In addition to making our smartphones better, 5G mobile technology can usher in new immersive experiences such as VR and AR with faster, more uniform data rates, lower latency, and lower cost-per-bit.
5G can enable new services that can transform industries with ultra-reliable, available, low-latency links like remote control of critical infrastructure, vehicles, and medical procedures.
5G is meant to seamlessly connect a massive number of embedded sensors in virtually everything through the ability to scale down in data rates, power, and mobility—providing extremely lean and low-cost connectivity solutions.
What are the differences between the previous generations and 5G?
First-generation – 1G
1980s: 1G delivered analog voice.
Second-generation – 2G
Early 1990s: 2G introduced digital voice (e.g. CDMA- Code Division Multiple Access).
Third-generation – 3G
Early 2000s: 3G brought mobile data (e.g. CDMA2000).
Fourth-generation – 4G LTE
2010s: 4G LTE ushered in the era of mobile broadband.
Here are several reasons that 5G will be better than 4G:
5G uses spectrum better than 4G.
5G is also designed to get the most out of every bit of spectrum across a wide array of available spectrum regulatory paradigms and bands—from low bands below 1 GHz, to mid bands from 1 GHz to 6 GHz, to high bands known as millimeter wave.
5G is faster than 4G.
5G can be significantly faster than 4G, delivering up to 20 Gigabits-per-second (Gbps) peak data rates and 100+ Megabits-per-second (Mbps) average data rates.
5G has more capacity than 4G.
5G is designed to support a 100x increase in traffic capacity and network efficiency.
5G has lower latency than 4G.
5G has significantly lower latency to deliver more instantaneous, real-time access: a 10x decrease in end-to-end latency down to 1ms.1
How does 5G work?
Comparing mobile network speeds:
- 2G network 0.001% 0.001%
- 3G network 2.5% 2.5%
- 4G network 10% 10%
- 5G network 100% 100%
Like 4G LTE, 5G is also OFDM-based (Orthogonal frequency-division multiplexing) and will operate based on the same mobile networking principles.
5G will not only deliver faster, better mobile broadband services compared to 4G LTE, but it will also expand into new service areas, such as mission-critical communications and connecting the massive IoT. This is enabled by many new 5G NR air interface design techniques, such as a new self-contained TDD subframe design.
Is 5G available now?
As of April 2020, 5G was available in these countries:
Australia Austria Bahrain Canada China Czech Republic Finland Germany Ireland Italy Japan Kuwait Maldives Monaco Netherlands New Zealand Norway Oman Philippines Puerto Rico Qatar Romania Saudi Arabia South Africa South Korea Spain Switzerland Thailand Trinidad and Tobago United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States of America Virgin Islands, U.S.
Do I need a new phone if I want 5G?
Yes, you will need to get a new smartphone that supports 5G if you want to be able to use the network. For example, smartphones powered by the Snapdragon X55 or Snapdragon X60 Modem-RF System are 5G compatible.
Here are some phones if you are considering preparing for the future: Samsung Galaxy S20, Galaxy S20 Plus, and Galaxy S20 Ultra, Sony Xperia 1 II and Xiaomi Mi 10, Mi 10 Pro