Many have had great success with 5G, but we still haven't wholly defaulted to 5G- Why is that? In this brief article about 5G, we will explore what it is, who is developing 5G and when it's set to thrive in the USA. 

 

Definition

5G stands for "fifth-generation technology" standard for cellular networks, which mobile phone companies began deploying worldwide in 2019. South Korea has the highest number of cities with 5G availability, followed by China, the U.S., and the U.K. In this chart below, we'll take a look at 4 of the USA's largest carriers, and how they're planning to unveil in the coming years for 5G in the market.

 

Why is 5G better than 4G? 

5G's biggest differentiator to 4G will be as a gateway for the Internet of Things-connected world at scale. Eventually, 5G networking will be revolutionary for data-driven industries, smart cities and infrastructure management because it will be possible to have many more devices working, reliably, securely, and uninterrupted in the same area. While many are excited about the personal benefits of advantages like faster streaming, the business potential for IoT is incredible.

 

5G's Promise

Much like 4G introduced the world to the gig economy, mobile 5G will jumpstart the next wave of unforeseen innovation.

 

What will 5G look like?

5G will make it easier to download large amounts of data. Imagine that 4G is a normal-sized door: one person can get through quickly, but if you try to push too much through, the door will get clogged. 5G will be like a large hallway that allows lots of people to move at once without getting clogged up.

In practice, 5G will make it easier for Internet-enabled devices, like special refrigerators and coffee pots, to stay connected. Some experts believe that 5G will make robotic surgery possible. Finally, experts believe that 5G will also make self-driving cars and delivery drones more efficient.

Moreover, 5G infrastructure will be different. Because of how 5G is designed, it will need antennas that are significantly closer to the cell towers that we currently have. That means you'll be seeing small antennas everywhere.

5G will also change your phones themselves. 5G enabled phones will need to have different antennas inside them. 5G phones are expected to use less power, meaning you won't have to charge your phone as often.

AT&T

AT&T 5G 

AT&T will be developing 5G through three "core 5G pillars." Those pillars include mobile 5G, fixed 5G, and edge computing — all of which will play a significant role in 5G development as time goes on.

Where is 5G available?

5G+ is our name for 5G areas expected to provide even faster 5G service in select areas around the country. This will create innovation zones where the most ambitious uses of 5G can come to life. While the initial launch of 5G+ is modest, speeds, coverage, and devices will improve. You can see if your device is compatible with our 5G+ network by checking the wireless specs for your device.

5G+ is now available in select areas of the following cities:

AZ: Phoenix
CA: Los Angeles, Menlo Park, Oakland, Redwood City, San Bruno, San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose, West Hollywood
FL: Jacksonville, Miami, Miami Gardens, Orlando
GA: Atlanta
IN: Indianapolis
KY: Louisville
LA: New Orleans
MD: Baltimore, Ocean City
MI: Detroit
NC: Charlotte, Raleigh
NV: Las Vegas
NY: New York City
OH: Cleveland
OK: Oklahoma City
PA: King of Prussia, Philadelphia
TN: Nashville
TX: Austin, Dallas, Houston, San Antonio, Waco

Verizon

Verizon 5G

Verizon's 5G speeds are the fastest in the world right now, with their 5G Ultra Wideband delivering speeds more than 10 times faster than some other 5G networks. Also, the first to truly reach 5G on a consumer level in the US.  Although Verizon "won" the race, America's other top carriers are not far behind. Verizon has many compatible consumer devices ready  for 5G speeds. You can get a full list here.

Where is Verizon 5G available?

Verizon has expanded service to 34 cities, and their 5G services are also available in 24 stadiums and arenas. 

T-Mobile

As a result, T-Mobile customers will find themselves on the 600MHz network more often than not. It's currently available in about 5,000 cities and towns, including many rural locations. People in urban areas will increasingly be able to connect to the company's mid-band spectrum. According to Ray, peak speeds of 600Mbps are already being delivered to Philadelphia customers. 

Small pockets of cities (think blocks) will deliver up to 1Gbps 5G speeds. Digital Trends has tested Verizon's mmWave 5G network in Chicago, and the experience should be similar on T-Mobile's mmWave network. In areas covered by T-Mobile's 600MHz 5G network, you should see speeds regularly around 200 to 300Mbps, which for many rural areas, is a massive improvement over LTE. The difference might be less noticeable in suburban areas where cellular networks are more robust.

T-Mobile's low-band 5G network is live "nationwide" on its 600MHz spectrum. It's the first "layer" of what its CTO Neville Ray calls a "5G layer cake" comprised of widespread low-band 600MHz, the company's mid-band 2.5GHz holdings, and high-band mmWave at the top. Compatible devices are already widely available, and more will become available throughout 2020.

Promising dramatically faster speeds, instantaneous communication, and the ability to network everything, 5G has incredible potential. A limited rollout of the service began in select cities in 2018, and 5G started appearing in the towns around the U.S. in 2019, with much more comprehensive launches expected throughout 2020.

T-Mobile 5G 

Where is 5G available?

T-Mobile says it plans to work on it's mid- and high-band deployments in earnest in 2020. While Verizon was first to launch its 5G network, recently, both T-Mobile and AT&T have started to build out their own aggressively. By the end of 2020, a large percentage of the country will have access to 5G in some form. But Verizon is a behemoth and has the capacity (and money) to vie for a piece of the U.S. 5G pie aggressively.