5G in the U.S. began deployment in spring 2019 in select cities.
In the U.S., as with virtually every major telecommunication service provider in the developed world, areas covered by 5G are divided into regions called cells, which are serviced by small, individual antennas – about 20 to 25 per square mile.
Until the 5G infrastructure of small cell towers of can be completely built out, carriers are using an assortment of fast and slow frequency spectrums such as high band millimeter waves, mid-band and low-band.
The 5G mid-band is currently the most widely deployed with speeds in the 100Mbs to 400Mbs range. Low-band uses a frequency range similar to 4G –5G’s predecessor. High-band 5G with its millimeter waves is what is commonly associated with 5G’s super-fast download speeds with actual speeds reaching 1Gbs to 2Gbs as of now with a predicted speed of 100Gbs in the future.
While 5G is often thought of in terms of mobile cellphones, the applications of its architecture are far reaching.
The auto industry, for example, believes that the incorporation of 5G technology in upcoming self-driving cars will be vital in helping autonomous cars realize their full potential. The speed of this technology will enhance the capabilities of autonomous vehicles – something the 4G network and its higher latency couldn’t do to assure accident free self-driving vehicles.
Smart homes and smart cities are also buoyed by 5G architecture with its massive expansion of Internet of Things (IoT) connectivity of devices. The smart home concept is an automated home equipped with lighting, heating, or other electronic devices that can be controlled remotely by smartphone or computer.
Compared to existing wireless technologies such as WLAN, Bluetooth Low Energy, Zigbee, Z-Wave, 5G will contribute to the success of smart homes by providing reliable and user-friendly connections to devices with various performance requirements.
Smart cities use 5G-driven Internet of Things (IoT) devices such as connected sensors, lights, and meters to collect and analyze data. The cities then use this data to improve infrastructure, public utilities and services, and more.
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