5G a Primer

You are probably familiar with the Cellular GSM speed standard terms of 1 G(GPRS), 2 G (EDGE) 3G (HSDPA), and 4G (LTE), but what about 5G?

Well 5G arrived in India in February 2018 with first tests with AirTel and Huawei . So first , what are  the standard acronyms of 5G? Well some call it NR, or New Radio but there is also Enhanced Mobile Broadband (eMBB), Ultra Reliable Low Latency Communications (URLLC), and Massive Machine Type Communications (mMTC) But the most important  thing about 5G is that it can support speeds of upto 2 Gbps over the 5G millimeter wave band, not the mid band or  low band. That means a whole DVD can be downloaded in just 2  seconds!

So first let’s explain Cellular GSM technology, of course, Cellphones or mobile phones use antenna towers that transmit in three directions to enclose a hexagonal cell, within which transceivers share and transmit mobile location, frequency, ID, handoff and strength and or interference between antenna sites or base stations. 5 G antennas do the same,  except the antennas use Multiple input Multiple output or MIMO using 5G NR or 5G New Radio Frequencies. And these frequencies often overlap at a cell site and maybe different in different geographies, but consist of  Frequency range1 below 6 GHz, frequency range 2 above 24 GHz, and femto, pico and microcells that work almost like wi fi.

So the millimeter wave band is the weakest, and has the smallest range and footprint but offers great latency and speeds. Even walls and human bodies can interfere with this band. The greatest range is the T mobile type 700 MHz band, which offers great range but slowest speeds, these would be great for rural area, whereas Metro cell sites would require lots of femtocells and nanocells.

Many nations including Korea, USA, Ireland, UK, have live 5G networks, but within very limited urban jungles, and nationwide deployment with Massive Machine type communication where even AI cars communicate with each other are yet to be developed and provisioned.

So should you get a 5G phone yet?If you have 1 GBPS wi fi dual band and do not work while comm uting or travelling, you are probably better suited to dual  band wi fi ac.

But if you need the internet to send that vital 1 GB video file to your client, then you should wait and see until the first 5G NR goes live in  your geography, and then get a new 5g phone with AirTel or Vodafone like iQoo or Xiaomi  Mi max Alpha or Oppo reno 5G etc.

Do share your reactions of what you think about 5g, if you’ve  experienced it already?