There is so much excitement Around 5G, the fifth generation of mobile network technology, has been building steadily. The long process of rolling out 5G networks is already underway and we should see some limited availability this year. Now, 5G brings a lot of potential benefits, but one of the key questions that immediately shows up in any discussion about it is about the Specs of the 5G in term of Speed and reliability?
The truth is the speeds you get will depend on many factors, including where you are, what network you’re connecting to, how many other people are connecting, and what device you’re using. The figures you’ll see being bandied about suggest download speeds between 1Gbps and 10Gbps, though it can theoretically go higher. Latency, or the time it takes to send data, could go as low as 1 millisecond.
That doesn’t mean very much in isolation, so here’s a table that compares the speeds of different generations.
The averages here are approximate and the results are complicated by all the different technologies because each generation has evolved and continued to evolve, even after the next generation began to roll out. Then there’s the issue of carriers mislabeling their networks; many labeled HSPA+, which is really a 3G tech as 4G. The latest flavors of 4G LTE-A can theoretically go as high as 1Gbps, the lower end of 5G, but those speeds are not actually available anywhere right now.
The average speed for people connecting to 4G LTE networks in the U.S. today is 16.31Mbps, and it’s slightly higher in the U.K. at 23.11Mbps, according to Open Signal. The highest average right now is Singapore at 44.31Mbps.
5G is not going to replace 4G LTE or Wi-Fi, but will work together with them to keep us connected at a decent speed wherever we happen to be.
According to an article from the Next Generation Mobile Networks (NGMN) alliance, which is trying to establish standards, 5G networks should offer 10ms latency in general and 1ms for special cases that require lower latency. The report also suggests, “data rates up to 1 Gbps should be supported in some specific environments, like indoor offices, while at least 50 Mbps shall be available everywhere.”
This 50Mbps figure has been the holy grail for a while now. It’s a generally agreed upon minimum speed that everyone would ideally have access to.
“The real benefit of 5G will be the fact that operators will be able to deliver fixed wireless broadband services to end-users that are of a similar quality to the services being delivered over fiber or cable,” Baert said. “This will increase competition as more players will be able to bring ultra-fast broadband to a substantial number of people all over the world.”
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