“5G” is mostly about adding capacity in major markets, and offering a broadband-like wireless connection

There had been much talk about 5G expanding rural coverage. Nope.

5G involves both new, faster modulation, but especially involves large spectrum allocations at millimeter wavelengths. The latter do not travel far due to path loss. This is why urban areas are expected to see small 5G base stations (or cells) on every block. (Some of the tech, albeit with less capacity, can be deployed at lower frequencies – existing cell frequencies below 1 Ghz and in the 1 to 6 Ghz range,  with somewhat greater range. But the big capacity improvement comes from the use of bands at 26 Ghz and higher.)

5G is primarily a way of delivering higher speed and greater capacity in urban markets, and provides a way to compete with wired Internet providers. That’s about it. Present technology also requires the installation of an outside antenna.

How much speed do you actually need? As the WSJ reported, few people come close to fully using a 100 Mbps connection – markets that are marketing faster speeds as supposedly needed for video are selling snake oil.

Source: 5G promises

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