Have you ever been in a crowded stadium…
and failed to upload a selfie to Facebook? Or tried to text a picture of a great play to a friend during a football game but it sits in “sending” mode indefinitely? Why is it that you sometimes show only 1 bar and 4G capability? Maybe you’ve heard 5G was coming, but don’t exactly know what that means. Understanding the basics of cellular service can go a long way in helping you get the most out of what your service provides and what your equipment can handle.
The Gs Explained
If you’re like most people, you fling around the term 4G and 5G without really knowing what it means. The G stands for generation, nothing too technically advanced. Here’s a breakdown of the history of the Gs.
Introduced in the 1980s, cell service topped out at about 2.4 kilobits per second (kbps) and was voice-only, analog service.
The next generation of cell service provided a big bump in speed, going all the way to o50 kbps and allowing for text and picture messages in addition to voice service.
Starting in 1998, users could now get up to 2mbps (megabits per second) on a non-moving device, 384 kbps on moving.
Introduced in the late 2000s, this generation supported high-definition TV and video conferencing with 10’s of mbps on a moving device.
Introduced in 2019, peak capacity is said to be 10 gbps (gigabits), making it a hundred times faster than 4G technology.
The roll out of 5G depends on the installation of equipment.
Massive MIMO technology will be installed on top of the existing 4G infrastructure. Currently, as of December 2019, Verizon and Sprint have 5G access in about 5 cities, and AT&T has it in 21 cities.
For consumers, the 5G network will make things faster, which is a nice convenience. But the improvements are immense for industries. The 5G networks decrease latency, which can eliminate lag time for emergency personnel calls and help create fully connected “smart” cities. Imagine the ability to support a network for fully autonomous vehicles.
Keep In Mind,