Nearly a year after the initial rollout of 5G in the U.S., the grand promise of 5G wireless service with connection speeds 10 times as fast as the speediest home broadband service is slowly moving closer to reality.
Last December AT&T for instance launched its new 5G service in 10 cities based on real 5G standards as opposed to its earlier 5G evolution offering, which was actually just a variety of the previous generation, 4G.
The point is that all four major US carriers now have some sort of real 5G service available to its customers, although the fastest download speeds in the U.S. still top out at around 1.8Gbs, which is still a far cry from 5G’s potential of 10Gbps.
The problem is that it will take several years for carriers to build out their infrastructure to handle maximum 5G speeds. Meanwhile carriers are relying on a makeshift 5G using different radio frequencies to deliver 5G services.
The Federal Communications Commission divides the wireless spectrum into three categories: low band, mid band and high band. The high band is what carriers need to deliver optimum 5G speeds. This is the millimeter wave range. The issue here is that carriers can’t fully use this band because millimeter waves don’t travel far and have weak penetration capabilities. That means carriers need time to build more towers to cover the space necessary to make full use of millimeter waves.
In the meantime, the low band and mid band ranges are being used for 5G architecture. The low band, used by mobile data and broadcast television is crowed and slow. The mid band is better, but still has less bandwidth available that the high band.
Businesses as well as consumers are patiently waiting for a fully developed 5G wireless network in the U.S.
The great majority of companies have indicated they intend to make significant changes to their businesses in order to take maximum advantage of 5G as the rollout continues into year No. 2.
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