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Some technologies have a greater impact than others: television, radio, aviation, personal computers …

Now the world is on the verge of another great technology that can turn the planet on its ear in terms of its potential for enabling game changing modalities and applications.

5G broadband is just now rolling out in the U.S., and most carriers probably will need several years to set up wireless networks to fully take advantage of what this transformational technology has to offer.

That’s why the time is now for anyone (which is just about everyone) to dig in and learn everything possible about 5G.

This especially includes tech sales specialists (aka sales engineers) who focus on complex scientific and technical products for businesses. The reason: While 4G was driven by the consumer side of things, the complexities of 5G technology make sales much less clear.

Most analysts believe carriers are at least five years away from having their 5G wireless networks set up to optimize all the benefits 5G technology has to offer. Yet that does not stop consumers and business owners from asking questions. Those in sales and tech sales need to have answers.

Perhaps one of the most important things to know about 5G broadband is that it will initially operate in more than one band-width spectrum, which impacts the data and download speeds of products.

For example, Verizon and AT&T have been granted licenses to operate in the high-band spectrum. High-band spectrum is what most people associate with 5G. That’s because the millimeter waves (mmW) of the high-band frequency spectrum offer peak speeds of 10 Gbps and the very low latency that is most talked about with 5G.

What a lot of people don’t realize is that the high-band spectrum has a major drawback: Millimeter waves are fast but provide lousy coverage and poor building penetration.

5G coverage for both high-band carriers needs to piggyback off 4G’s LTE technology until nationwide 5G-specific networks can be built out.

Since high-band spectrum trades off penetration and user area for high speed and coverage area, the carriers rely on small cells — low-power base stations that cover small geographic areas. With small cells, carriers using mmWave for 5G can improve overall coverage area. Combined with beamforming, small cells deliver very extremely fast coverage with low latency.

Not all carriers have access to the faster, high-band spectrum. Sprint, for instance, was granted access to the majority of U.S. unused mid-band spectrum, which can provide 5G peak speeds of up to 1 Gbps.

While the mid-band spectrum produces radio frequency waves with better penetration than millimeter waves, they still need a boost. Sprint gets this boost in the form of Massive MIMO (multiple input, multiple output) antenna technology to improve penetration and coverage area. MIMO groups multiple antennas onto a single box, and at a single cell tower, they create multiple simultaneous beams to different users.

Sprint also uses beamforming to improve 5G service on the mid-band. Beamforming sends a single focused signal to each and every user in the cell, and systems using it monitor each user to make sure they have a consistent signal.

5G also operates in the low-band spectrum with peak data speeds topping out around 100Mbps. This is the sub 1GHz spectrum – the same band used by carriers in the U.S. for LTE. While this band spectrum produces the slowest 5G speeds, it’s also the most stable infrastructure offering great coverage area and penetration.

T-Mobile is the carrier associated  with the 5G low-band spectrum. T-Mobile received a large amount of 600MHz spectrum at an FCC auction back in 2017.

And there’s much more to learn. That’s why Tonex offers 5G for Sales and Tech Sales/Support Training, a 2-day class that covers the 5G  and  4G/5G migration strategies. This course addresses the needs of technical sales and engineering support staff who require an overview of 5G technology.

For more information, questions, comments, contact us.

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