What is 5G ?

Well we all have 4G now. 5G is the fifth generation of wireless network technology and so all the big carriers are working on building out their 5g networks right now Verizon, AT&T;, Sprint all are working on 5g

The main theme of 5G is again speed, every new generation of the wireless networks are significantly faster and more capable than the previous, some of you may remember the old and very slow 2G and 3G and how much better 4G is than those 5G represents another step forward

So to take advantage of 5G you need a 5G device with 5G radios and a 5G network so for me that’s the galaxy S10 5G and it’s Verizon who are building up their 5G network in certain cities, one location at a time.

You can’t just get a software update to a 4G phone to just enable 5g that’s right I’m talking to you AT&T. Changing people’s status bars to say 5GE when it’s really just 4G it’s stupid, it’s basically a lie, you’re kind of trying to trick people into thinking they got 5G, 5GE is not 5G, it’s still 4G it’s really shame anyway, 5G is built on what’s called Millimeter waves, it’s a new section of very high frequency spectrum upwards of 20 gigahertz all the way to near 96 gigahertz but the catches the higher the frequency of any wave the lesser the range like that’s just the truth on paper so for the same reason 5 gigahertz Wi-Fi doesn’t travel as far as 2.4 gigahertz Wi-Fi,  the same reason microwaves don’t cook things on the other side of the glass wall, that’s the same reason 5g doesn’t travel as well through the real world so millimeter waves biggest problem is that even if you’re standing pretty close to the node like a couple hundred feet away it only really travels well within direct line-of-sight so things like trees and walls and buildings block and disrupt the high frequency signal even if you’re still close to it I’ve heard even that rain in the air could potentially be a problem.


So this is why I wanted to test this for myself so we drove to Providence Rhode Island which is on the growing list of Verizon’s 5G cities it’s not the whole city that’s one big 5g hotbed it’s only certain areas sort of tucked away happens to be near Brown University where we found one of them and we found it by finding one of these this is a 5g node or three nodes to be specific at the top of a light pole you could tell because it said Verizon right on the pole and because if you stand right next to it with a 5g phone in your hand and run a speed test the results are just absolutely ridiculous the 4G and the notification bar switches to indicate 5g and you open up your app of choice and run a speed test and I’m seeing easy seven hundred eight hundred nine hundred often well above a thousand megabits per second download highest result. 

I actually saw in my personal testing was 1.9 gigabits per second briefly from fast comm that’s just that’s that’s just hilariously fast like you could almost use your whole data cap in a minute dream like speeds very very nice of course you want to see what this type of speed is actually good for other than a speed test so YouTube videos just played instantly without any buffering in HD I could fast-forward right off the bat no problem what browsing of course would be super fast hopping into the Play Store to download a gigantic game like pub G mobile progress moves pretty fast not like a blink of an eye and it’s done

You’re at just the right space you get this amazing little glimpse into the future that you wish was ready for right now because it’s so great but it’s not and currently the cons sort of outweigh the pros

and I wouldn’t spend extra money on it right now in 2019 the future of 5g is really bright assuming you know the infrastructure happens and isn’t too obtrusive and that’s a big assumption but then we’re talking virtual reality streaming and networks of autonomous cars that are all internet connected and talking to each other and maybe even think about remote surgery with a 5g connected robot in one country with a doctor over here and a patient in another country and everything just working seamlessly like all this super high-bandwidth low-latency stuff maybe the end of video buffering altogether all seem possible but as of right now in 2019 it just isn’t ready yet but I’m super ready for what it is either way.

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