5G Technology and the Future
For the past couple months of people getting taken to Chicago to test 5G and doing all these crazy speed tests. It was just getting me curious about the whole thing so I bought a 5G phone.
Then I drove to the nearest 5G city and I tried it for myself so this is my new $1600 Samsung Galaxy S 10 5G on Verizon. The crew and I drove from the studio to the nearest 5G city which is Providence Rhode Island. So, for those unfamiliar, a brief explainer: well we all have 4G now 5G is the fifth generation of wireless network technology.
So, the 5G technology and the future in all the big carriers are working on building out their 5G networks right now Verizon AT&T Sprint we’re all working on 5G the main theme of 5G is again speed every new generation of the wireless networks are significantly faster and more capable then the previous ones.
You may remember the old and very slow to 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.
The galaxy S10 5G and its Verizon who’s building up their 5G network in certain cities one location at a time. So you can’t just get a software update to a 4G phone to just enable 5G that’s right.
I’m talking to you for changing people’s status bars to say 5G. 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 is not 5G it’s still 4G it’s really shame.
Anyway 5G technology and the future is more useful for day to day tasks. 5G is built on what’s called millimetre waves; it’s a new section of very high frequency spectrum upwards of 20 gigahertz all the way to near 96 gigahertz. The higher the frequency of any wave the lesser the range like that’s just the truth on paper so for the same reason five 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 millimetre wave’s 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.
5G technology and the future – We drove to Providence Rhode Island which is on the growing list of horizons 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. There we found one of them and we found it by finding one of these 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. 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 switch to indicate 5G and you open up your app of choice and run a speed test.
I’m seeing easily seven hundred eight hundred nine hundred often well above a thousand megabits per second download. The highest result I actually saw in my personal testing was 1.9 gigabits per second.
Briefly from fast com that’s just hilariously fast like you could almost use your whole data cap in a minute dreamlike speeds. 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.
It’s done but miles better than it would be on LTE the fortnight downloader progressed faster than the fortnight installer would have meaning it’s crazy impressive and downloading an entire stranger things episode from Netflix in HD.
On this phone it took about four seconds so you could grab a whole season in probably like 30 seconds. If you wanted to which is again absolutely ideal but again here’s the thing this is all while standing right next to the tower with a direct line-of-sight.
You know perfectly ideal conditions for great weather once I left that it kind of broke down pretty quickly so right around the corner of this brick building just to get into the shade. So literally maybe 75 feet away from the node but behind a wall.
I’m getting much slower 5G it’s still 5G but you can see the numbers here. Now I mean it’s kind of crazy to call 200 300 400 down slow but compared to what I was getting before that’s a pretty big difference to basically cut your speed in half just by walking a couple meters down the block.
I also noticed just by walking halfway down the block I’d start bouncing back and forth between 4G and 5G. It was frustratingly inconsistent even when I did have a line of sight with maybe a tree or two sorts of nearby my phone would drop 5G and then jump back on again. I think if it’s seated in the notification bar it would drop back to 5G and then back to 4G then. When I was on 5G and I ran the speed test it would be great. I got a thousand down again which is Hussam but when I ran it at 4G. 5G technology and the future is getting advanced every day.
I would get 4G speeds and it’s really good for G speeds but it was just weird getting those results back-to-back like half a block away and what I waited a minute. I’d suddenly get 5G again and get a thousand down so what’s the solution for this as well as we understand it basically just putting a lot of nodes all over the place.
So, essentially to maximize coverage and improve technologies so that when you move behind one obstacle or sort of drive through a city. You actively switch between nodes that you’re connected to the kind of like we do now with 4G towers.
But just much faster and I think that’s the part that kind of scares people it seems like a brute-force way to actually go fixing the problem. That’s the current plan is just blanket areas with these lower-powered cells that let you switch between them very quickly.
Instead of one giant 4G tower like you have now my gut feeling is that an infrastructure where you cover an entire city and eventually an entire country in these little nodes is gonna be incredibly expensive and probably take a very long time like years.
So it’s a long way off but here’s another thing to notice even with me standing right next to a 5G node and holding a brand-new 2020 5G phone. There were still some drawbacks to notice the main three are heat battery and upload so for one the upload appears to still be happening at 4G speed.
You want to connect it to 5G. I never broke 100 megabits per second up in all my testing which is still a great speed. You’ve probably also noticed the ping is still at 4G levels – the goal is to get this down to a millisecond or less. But that isn’t happening yet in these tests either and then heat and battery are something that this phone seemed to specifically suffer from when I was testing.
I started my day when we got to Providence with a 75 percent battery and did all my testing and that may have taken about four or five hours. When we finished I was at 21% battery and the phone was warm to the touch the whole time.
That’s why you see 5G versions of phones coming out almost always have a larger battery than their normal G brothers including the Galaxy S 10. 5 G and the phone are getting warm during the testing – when I wasn’t even gaming or doing anything graphically intensive just watching some YouTube videos and download tests was a little concerning so the bottom line 5G is like folding phones right now in 2020.
Clearly not ready yet but when you use it and you get just the right use case. You’re in just the right space and 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 outweighing the pros.
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.
Talking to each other and maybe even thinking about remote surgery with a 5G connected robot in one country with a doctor over here. A patient in another country and everything just working seamlessly like all this super high-bandwidth low-latency stuff may be the end of video buffering. Altogether all seem possible but as of right now in 2020 it just isn’t ready yet.