Photo by Lars Kienle on Unsplash
Written by: Aiya Rodjel
If you’re in the loop with internet speeds, you might have heard of the concepts 5G and fiber optic cable internet. It’s common knowledge that they’re faster than your average broadband connection or even LTE networks.
Countries around the world are racing when it comes to 5th generation networks capability. The question is: are these technologies the same thing?
In this article, we’ll be discussing the future of mobile technology, the 5th Generation mobile network. We’ll talk about the basics of this new innovation, including air interface, high-band radio frequencies, and how it works.
We’ll compare it with its predecessor, specifically 4G LTE, and what makes it so revolutionary. Innovations such as self-driving cars will be discussed as well.
What is this 5th Generation, anyway?
Before we delve into the nitty-gritty, what is 5G anyway?
Basically and as mentioned above, 5G is the fifth generation of mobile networks designed to meet the increased transference of mobile data. It’s development was after 1G, 2G, 3G, and 4G networks.
The first deployment was in 2019. And 5th gen cell sites are ongoing continuous development by service providers worldwide. The development of 5G doesn’t mean 4G is automatically obsolete though. It’ll take time to spread out this 5th generation of mobile network.
Benefits of 5G
5G enables a new kind of network designed to connect virtually everyone and everything together. These includes machines, objects, and devices. 5G wireless technology has the goal to deliver higher multi-Gbps peak data speeds and ultra-low latency.
It was also made to be more reliable, with massive network capacity, increased availability, and a more uniform user experience to more people. In short, you don’t have to put up with a spotty internet connection. This applies even when you’re in a crowded area with a lot of connected devices.
The 5G network also simplifies mobility, with seamless open roaming capabilities between cellular and Wi-Fi access. Through 5G, your device can stay connected as you move between outdoor wireless connections and wireless networks inside buildings. This is without user intervention or the need for users to reauthenticate.
How does it work?
Although 5G is a new type of wireless solution, it still relies on a physical network connection. It cannot provide for a wide expanse of users on its own. Why? Basically, 5G signals run over radio frequencies. These require updating radios and other important equipment in cell sites.
There are three methods for building 5G networks, depending on the assets a wireless carrier has. A low-band network has a wide coverage area but is only about 20% faster than 4G.
The high-band network has ultrafast speeds but signals don’t travel really well. Plus, they struggle to move through hard surfaces. Meanwhile, mid-band networks balance speed and coverage, so high-band doesn’t always mean better.
Service providers need to develop must install tons of small cell sites in small proximity to one another for 5G to be optimized. Because of this, ultrafast networks are mostly deployed city by city.
In short, it takes time and a lot of building to develop low-band networks into mid-band networks. Getting to offer 5G services doesn’t happen overnight.
However, just because your area is 5G capable doesn’t mean your device can connect to the network. To enjoy the speeds and low latency of 5G, you need a device that’s compatible with 5G networks. Companies have been slowly rolling out devices that can connect to 5G.
Comparing 4G and 5G technology
The need for 4G 5G speed
It goes without saying that 5G is a significant upgrade from its predecessor, 4G or 4G LTE. Why? Fundamentally, 4G LTE focused on delivering much faster mobile broadband services than 3G.
On the other hand, 5G is designed to be a unified, more capable platform that not only elevates mobile broadband experiences.
It’s definitely faster than 4G technology. 5G is capable of delivering up to 20 Gigabits-per-second (Gbps) peak data rates and 100+ Megabits-per-second (Mbps) average data rates.
To give you an idea, downloading a high-definition film over a 4G network takes 50 minutes on average. On 5G, it takes just nine minutes. This increase in download speeds makes a huge difference. 4G 5G improvement is powerful.
Plus, 5G is designed to support a 100x increase in traffic capacity and network efficiency as compared to 4G LTE. It also has significantly lower latency to deliver more instant, real-time access: a ten-time decrease in end-to-end latency down to 1ms.
Low latency means there is less delay between sending and receiving information. This means not only is 5G faster than 4G LTE but there is also less lagging as well. Thus, 5G is definitely the better version of its predecessor. 4G 5G upgrade can change your life.
5g networks Speed vs Fiber optic cables
To date, the optic cable is the latest technology in terms of internet cabling. Created from thin glass or plastic, optic cables transmit information coded within a beam of light. Basically, it’s designed to replace traditional copper cabling and telephone lines.
Optic technology has long been used in long-haul networks due to its high performance over long distances — optic cables can travel as far as 40 miles without losing signal strength.
In terms of technology, 5G NR, a new air interface, makes use of radio waves for sending and receiving data, while the latter uses light to transmit data through optic cables. 5G has download speeds capable of up to 20 Gbps and 10 Gbps for uplink. On the other hand, the practical speed measured on optic cables is 100 Gbps.
The thing with using 5G technology though is that each station or cell can expand up to a few hundred meters only. Meanwhile, the signal of optic cables can reach up to 70kms. That’s a huge divide when it comes to optic cables and 5G coverage.
When it comes to costs, the rollout time and cost for users are significantly lower for 5G. However, the operational cost for 5G can drive up to 5 times higher than optic cables. Optic cables also boast of providing a speedier response time, which is not the case when it comes to 5G.
Can 5G replace optic cables?
While there are a lot of benefits of 5G, up to now, mobile networks around the world have yet to provide as fast and reliable internet connection as their wired counterparts. 5G is likely to provide people with a more superior connection to optic cables.
However, it will depend on the applications it supports and what the user needs. Plus, because the optic cable is more established than 5G, it might take some time before it exceeds optic cables when it comes to functionality.
However, the two can work together to provide users with a great internet connection. Optic cable remains the backbone of the 5G network, connecting to the various cell sites.
On their own, their services are some of the best available. Together, 5G technologies and optic cables can increase the bandwidth and speed of the user dramatically.
Why does 5G need optic cables?
According to a 5G Operator Survey released by the Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA), 5G operators consider optic cables as a very important proponent for the backhaul portion of 5G.
5G needs the power of optic cables to significantly increase its frequency bands and bandwidth. It will also set the stage for 5G to take the world by storm.
Here are some reasons why there is a recommendation for 5G and optic cables to work together:
- 5G’s development was to support IoT and Big Data. Both of these rely heavily on real-time data collection and transfer. Decisions based on these data are usually in an instant. Thus, lower latency and higher bandwidth levels are essential needs to ensure quicker data transfer. Because of its unlimited potential, the recommendation is to use optic cables to support 5G.
- Because of the influx of connected devices, it is expected that the demands will increase because of 5G. There will be the need for higher network availability levels, full wireless network coverage (no dead spots). There will be lower latency and higher bandwidth capabilities.
- To achieve expected performance levels for 5G networks, more small cells (or nodes) and mobile edge computing will be needed to get rid of network bottlenecks. These small cells rely heavily on optic cables for the backhaul portion of the network.
With 5G and optic cables combined, more devices can be connected to the 5G network. Technologies will be able to function at a faster pace. The development of new innovations is made so much easier. Services that require fast responses will be able to function at better speeds.
What is 5G capable of?
It goes without saying that 5G will help usher the world into a smarter and more interconnected future. 5G enables the vision of a truly connected society with its impact being felt across basically every industry. The 5G evolution will also pave the way for industrial evolution, robot, and drones.
With the power of 5G, self-driving cars can drive people wherever they need to do. This innovation was far-fetched with 4G only. Parking these new use cases like autonomous vehicles would be easier and more efficient through 5G networks.
5th gen mobile network is expected to impact IoT or the internet of things. This means that people will get to operate more of their mobile devices even from afar. The IoT opportunities that will especially benefit from mobile and cellular connectivity include transportation and even farming.
It also means the advancement of more smart cities. This 5th gen is the technology that the smart city and connected communities use cases have been looking for.
As of now, a lot of cities in North America, especially the United States, and the United Kingdom boasts of smart cities. The rest of the world can follow suit with the power of 5G.
5th gen network is set to revolutionize the health sector as well. 5G will enable online medical appointments to substantially increase the effectiveness of preventative care. It will also increase the efficiency of robotic surgery.
It is also expected that it will boost the competition in the technology sector. Not all connected devices support this 5th gen technology. Thus, if you want to experience the power of 5G, you need to invest in 5G phones.
The Bottom Line
5G is the future of connectivity, but it still needs the power of optic cables to expand its coverage area, and reach more people. They’re different tools of connectivity that can usher people into a faster and more reliable internet connection.
However, low band networks are only a small improvement from 4G. Thus, a lot of investment is needed to develop mid-band and even high-band networks. It’s a hefty investment, but the benefits of this 5th gen are worth every peso spent. This is why more people are investing in 5G devices such as 5G-enable phones and applications.
The truth is that the country still faces challenges when it comes to cell site development for this 5th gen networks. Not all areas and networks in the country have 5G access or even 4G access sadly.
However, applications are being made, and the networks are pulling out all the stops to make this 5th gen available to more people.
Raising a generation of wireless connection
We at Streamtech have the commitment to provide a reliable and unlimited internet connection that’s faster than 4G. With Streamtech, you can exceed your limits through our powerful internet service.
We offer dedicated internet access, leased line, and WiFi services to subscribers in franchise areas powered by our own optic backbone link. Whether you’re a student continuing your studies at home or a business operating in different locations, we empower you to stay connected at an affordable price.
We also help you enjoy the same quality of internet connection no matter how many devices you opt to connect to your wi-fi. Our Extendifi WiFi extender paves the way for your household to enjoy the Streamtech wireless network.
Contact our team today to experience firsthand why more people are making the Streamtech switch.