Ever since the coronavirus pandemic, 5G has been a hot topic for a variety of reasons. If you’ve been following the news lately, you’re probably familiar with the conspiracy theories that blame 5G telecommunications technology caused or exasperated the spread of COVID-19. There is no evidence to support these claims and that’s not the purpose of this article. The real reason it’s such a hot topic is that the technology will, without doubt, transform the way we live and work in the not-too-distant future.
With so many of us learning how to conduct business from home, we’ve become increasingly reliant on home network connections. Thus, all the chatter about 5G and what we can expect when the technology becomes more mainstream and available in our markets. To begin to understand the impact it could have, it’s important to first understand the basics.
What is 5G?
5G is the term used to describe the next generation of wireless communication or the “5th generation mobile network.” While some people mistakenly associate the “5G” name with the speed of the network, it actually represents a list of standards set forth by the 3GPP, an organization completely dedicated to setting mobile broadband standards dating back to the original 3G network release.
What problems will 5G solve?
Picture this: You’re at Churchill Downs for the Kentucky Derby, an event with 158,000+ other individuals, all with mobile phones in hand. You’ve been in the betting line for an hour when you suddenly remember that, last spring, you downloaded the Twin Spires app (a live betting application) last spring and you might be able to bypass the line and place the same bets on your phone. Thankfully, you didn’t step out of line and lose your place because, as it turned out, you were unable to connect to the Internet. As such, the Twin Spires app you thought might save the day is inaccessible because you can’t connect to a network. After you finally wait out the line and place your bet with the friendly attendant at the betting window, she tells you good luck (does she really mean it?), you pull out your phone to text your friends to find out where they are. Delivery failed. The network pipes are completely clogged because there’s not enough bandwidth to go around.
These are the types of real-world issues 5G will solve.
In all seriousness, if 5G can deliver on its promises, the technology could help businesses increase efficiency, production, and automation breakthroughs. Ushering in a new era where hundreds of machines can seamlessly communicate with little delay and high speeds.
Who provides 5G?
AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon are all in the 5G Cellular Race. With towers going up daily throughout the US, the major providers have focused on adding 5G to most major cities. T-Mobile currently holds the title for coverage, boasting a 20,000% increase in availability over its competitors as of December 2019.
When will 5G be available in Kentucky?
For some in the Bluegrass state, 5G is already here. Providers like T-Mobile and AT&T have been establishing their 5G infrastructure throughout larger cities like Louisville and Lexington. This trend is likely to continue but some rural residents might have a long wait ahead of them. Due to technical limitations that require 5G broadband towers to be closer to residents than previous generation cell towers, bringing the service to remote locations becomes extremely difficult and expensive.
If you find yourself in one of these remote regions, don’t be too disheartened. You will be able to enjoy this new generation of wireless technology via WiFi 6 modems. While these aren’t technically “5G” services, the foundation of both technologies is closely related and WiFi 6 will be the standard moving forward for internal networks. Providing a huge boost to speeds and significantly reduced latency through your traditional internet provider.
If you have 5G Questions you’d like us to answer, feel free to drop us a line.