In an earlier article, I committed to a monthly update on 5G and the status of how it directly affects you or, for most of us now, affects you as of the end of January 2020. We need to outline what 5G means to us and if it changes the way we conduct business. To understand what 5G is compared to 4G there are three major components we need to consider: speed, capacity and latency. Let me take each area and look at what 5G will do for us:
This is a big one all the phone carriers will be talking about because we consumers can relate to how long it takes to download and use our mobile devices. True 5G is billed as 100 times faster than 4G which let me give you an example. You want to download a full-length movie, 4G would take about 48 minutes with 5G about 7 minutes. As you can see the time saving would be 41 minutes. Think about how much time you currently spend on your phone using apps, visiting websites and email, a few seconds saved every minute will add up!
This one you might have experienced and will love the change. 5G will give us more capacity which can be called bandwidth, here’s a visual, taking your busy road you drive on and moving from 2 lanes to 100 lanes. In the real world, you are attending a sporting event, concert and try to share a Facebook Live or Instagram to brag about where you are, no service or very slow. 5G will be very noticeable when you have thousands of people trying to use the internet, today even smaller groups can tax the network depending on the bandwidth.
The word latency you will be hearing a lot as being one of the biggest advantages to 5G. With 5G some of us might notice a slight difference when it comes to latency, if you are a gamer or use Virtual Reality oh, your world will change with 5G. To understand latency, it’s the time between your request for data to a server and the amount of time the data is returned to you. Before I share facts, you need to understand what a millisecond is, 1/1000 of a second. To give you a reference a blink of an eye is 100-150 milliseconds. Let’s start with 3G which was introduced in 2003, latency 100-500 milliseconds, 4G was released in 2010, latency 50-100 milliseconds, 5G 1-10 milliseconds.
As I am researching and taking notes I see a trend already starting, truth or lack of truth in advertising, anybody surprised? I will be doing my best to sort out fact from fiction with 5G, I do not have any conflicts or hidden agenda to promote or discourage any carrier. As of February 2020, I would not change carriers or invest in a 5G device today.
In the following months, I will be explaining the nuts and bolts of 5G and how it works, how 5G will change our lives and at some point, comparing 5G devices and service providers. So, for now enjoy your 4G phone and don’t get caught up in all the hype!