5G is a replacement of 4G network which was previously redeployed on telecommunication devices in the past years.
The 5G network in recent times has been a controversy which many claimed it is a means of unleashing some diseases or danger to human health.
As we speak, many countries has rejected the 5G network citing security issues if allowed.
Below are the facts you need to know about the 5G network;
1. In the telecommunications world, 5G is the fifth generation technology standard for cellular networks, which cellular phone companies began deploying worldwide in 2019, the planned successor to the 4G networks which provide connectivity to most current cellphones.
2. Like its predecessors, 5G networks are cellular networks, in which the service area is divided into small geographical areas called cells.
3. All 5G wireless devices in a cell are connected to the Internet and telephone network by radio waves through a local antenna in the cell.
4. The main advantage of the new networks is that they will have greater bandwidth, giving higher download speeds, eventually up to 10 gigabits per second (Gbit/s).
5. Due to the increased bandwidth, it is expected that the new networks will not just serve cellphones like existing cellular networks, but also be used as general internet service providers for laptops and desktop computers, competing with existing ISPs such as cable internet, and also will make possible new applications in internet of things (IoT) and machine to machine areas.
6. Current 4G cellphones will not be able to use the new networks, which will require new 5G enabled wireless devices.
7. The increased speed is achieved partly by using higher-frequency radio waves than current cellular networks. However, higher-frequency radio waves have a shorter range than the frequencies used by previous cell phone towers, requiring smaller cells.
8. So to ensure wide service, 5G networks operate on up to three frequency bands, low, medium, and high.
9. A 5G network will be composed of networks of up to 3 different types of cells, each requiring different antennas, each type giving a different tradeoff of download speed vs. distance and service area.
10. 5G cellphones and wireless devices will connect to the network through the highest speed antenna within range at their location:
Low-band 5G uses a similar frequency range to current 4G cellphones, 600-700 MHz, giving download speeds a little higher than 4G: 30-250 megabits per second (Mbit/s). Low-band cell towers will have a range and coverage area similar to current 4G towers. Mid-band 5G uses microwaves of 2.5-3.7 GHz, currently allowing speeds of 100-900 Mbit/s, with each cell tower providing service up to several miles in radius. This level of service is the most widely deployed, and should be available in most metropolitan areas in 2020. Some countries are not implementing low-band, making this the minimum service level. High-band 5G currently uses frequencies of 25–39 GHz, near the bottom of the millimeter wave band, although higher frequencies may be used in the future.
11. It often achieves download speeds of a gigabit per second (Gbit/s), comparable to cable internet. However, millimeter waves (mmWave or mmW) have a more limited range, requiring many small cells. They have trouble passing through some types of walls and windows. Due to their higher costs, current plans are to deploy these cells only in dense urban environments and areas where crowds of people congregate such as sports stadiums and convention centers. The above speeds are those achieved in actual tests in 2020, and speeds are expected to increase during rollout.
12. The industry consortium setting standards for 5G is the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP). It defines any system using 5G NR (5G New Radio) software as “5G”, a definition that came into general use by late 2018. Minimum standards are set by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU). Previously, some reserved the term 5G for systems that deliver download speeds of 20 Gbit/s as specified in the ITU’s IMT-2020 document.
13. 5G networks are digital cellular networks, in which the service area covered by providers is divided into small geographical areas called cells.
14. Analog signals representing sounds and images are digitized in the telephone, converted by an analog-to-digital converter and transmitted as a stream of bits. All the 5G wireless devices in a cell communicate by radio waves with a local antenna array and low power automated transceiver (transmitter and receiver) in the cell, over frequency channels assigned by the transceiver from a pool of frequencies that are reused in other cells.
15. The local antennas are connected with the telephone network and the Internet by a high-bandwidth optical fiber or wireless backhaul connection. As in other cell networks, a mobile device crossing from one cell to another is automatically “handed off” seamlessly to the new cell.
16. 5G can support up to a million devices per square kilometer, while 4G supports only up to 100,000 devices per square kilometer. The new 5G wireless devices also have 4G LTE capability, as the new networks use 4G for initially establishing the connection with the cell, as well as in locations where 5G access is not available.
17. Verizon and a few others are using millimeter waves. Millimeter waves have a shorter range than microwaves, therefore the cells are limited to a smaller size. Millimeter waves also have more trouble passing through building walls. Millimeter wave antennas are smaller than the large antennas used in previous cellular networks. Some are only a few inches (several centimeters) long.
18. Massive MIMO (multiple-input multiple-output) was deployed in 4G as early as 2016 and typically used 32 to 128 small antennas at each cell.
19. In the right frequencies and configuration, it can increase performance from 4 to 10 times. Multiple bitstreams of data are transmitted simultaneously.
20. In a technique called beamforming, the base station computer will continuously calculate the best route for radio waves to reach each wireless device and will organize multiple antennas to work together as phased arrays to create beams of millimeter waves to reach the device.
21. 5G speeds will range from ~50 Mbit/s to over a gigabit/s. The fastest 5G is known as mmWave. As of July 3, 2019, mmWave had a top speed of 1.8 Gbit/s on AT&T’s 5G network.
Sub-6 GHz 5G (mid-band 5G), by far the most common, will usually deliver between 100 and 400 Mbit/s, but will have a much farther reach than mmWave, especially outdoors.
22. In March 2019, the Global Mobile Suppliers Association released the industry’s first database tracking worldwide 5G device launches. In it, the GSA identified 23 vendors who have confirmed the availability of forthcoming 5G devices with 33 different devices including regional variants.