ASK ME ANY­THING

HWM (Malaysia) - - LEARN - by Alvin Soon

Q: What is 5G?

5G is the next-gen­er­a­tion net­work that will su­per­sede 4G, and it’s sup­posed to be sig­nif­i­cantly faster. But how fast, ex­actly?

No­body ac­tu­ally knows. That’s be­cause 5G stan­dards haven’t been fi­nal­ized yet, but early tri­als have de­liv­ered con­nec­tions as fast as 1Gbps to 36Gbps. That’s much faster than cur­rent 4G LTE-A stan­dards, which max out at 1Gbps.

Be­sides band­width, 5G has a lower la­tency rate than 4G, so de­vices can com­mu­ni­cate al­most in­stan­ta­neously on the net­work — some­thing you’ll want for a drone or driver­less car. It can also sup­port more con­cur­rent users and de­vices, so peo­ple can stream Net­flix next to you and they won’t slow down your con­nec­tion.

How­ever, be­cause 5G will use higher fre­quen­cies than 4G, the sig­nals don’t travel as far, and have more dif­fi­culty get­ting through ob­sta­cles. Car­ri­ers not only have to up­grade their in­fra­struc­ture, they’ll have to in­stall more an­ten­nas for 5G to work.

5G sounds great, but you’ll need to wait a lit­tle longer to be able to sign up for a 5G plan. While tri­als are al­ready be­ing con­ducted around the world, the Next Gen­er­a­tion Mo­bile Net­works Al­liance ex­pects 5G to be com­mer­cially avail­able only in 2020.

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