One huge step for connectivity, One small step and you’ve lost signal.

Many people are experiencing the change of signal strength from 4G to 5G, with the new surge in supported devices such as the iPhone 12, Galaxy 21, OnePlus and Google handsets. But the real question with a new “#G” coming out every few years, how much faster is it? Today we will be exploring the benefits, dangers, and efficiency of this mobile frequency and where it is used today.

What’s in it for me?

Due to higher connectivity speeds, 5G will offer over 50Mbps up to a possible 950Mbps, if not more, depending on device and location. Over in Germany, Deutsche Telekom tests the 5G strength within a city, where the outcome was incredible. They got a high-speed connection, measuring to 923Mbps – meaning of course, if they wanted to download a high-definition film, they would have it downloaded and ready to watch within 1minute and 20seconds. That makes downloading easy.

From a business perspective, not only will downloading files become faster, but it will also have a significant impact on how we advance in technical development as things will generally run smoother. One example is sensors on machines that feed information back to employees running those machines remotely from their device. With 5G, much more information is sent at faster speeds; therefore, their processes will function better.

Will it melt my brain?

Almost every technical advance brings a health scare for society and people around the world. Although the internet can be used for great things, it can also help rumours and wild conspiracy theories flourish. For example, one article claiming to prove ‘5G will cook our brains and kill us’ was later proved wrong. David Robert Grimes, a physicist and cancer researcher, states mobile phone frequencies are non-ionising, meaning “it lacks sufficient energy to break apart DNA and cause cellular damage.”

It’s not uncommon for society to react to new technological advances. A similar comparison was in the late 1800s when streetlights around the world transitioned from gas to electricity. Again, rumours and theories spread, saying it would throw off people’s ability to tell night from day, ruining our sleep cycle. Causing people to get ill, potentially even die from lack of sleep. However, even now, we realise when late evening approaches, it’s time for bed, regardless of whether the streetlight is on outside or not. 

5G A Telecommunication Revolution?

To explain things clearer, 5g is built on millimetre waves on a new section of a very high-frequency spectrum – upwards of 20 gigahertz all the way to near 96 gigahertz. The current problem is, the higher the frequency of any of these waves, the lesser the range. You can see a similar comparison in your everyday home WiFi, where the 5 gigahertz WiFi option, although faster at close range, doesn’t travel as far as the 2.4 gigahertz WiFi. 

A recent test subject* found a local set of 5G nodes (antenna) and positioned himself close whilst running a speed test. The speed test showed download speeds over 1000Mbps, meaning he could download a full-length 4k film within minutes. However, he then composed the same test 75 yards away behind a brick building, and the results showed a decrease of 71%, measuring at 400Mbps. This problematic decrease in connectivity was swiftly known by the manufacturers, and the only current way around it would be to deploy more 5G nodes across any given location. 

Consumers sometimes fail to understand that 5G was initially invented for technological advances and worldwide society development. Not originally for smartphones. When smartphone companies integrated their devices with 5G capability, consumer satisfaction diminished significantly because of the lack of connectivity. Network providers now have no other choice than to increase the amount of 5G nodes deployed globally to co-align with the amount of 5G smartphones being manufactured. Whether 5G being worth the transition or not depends on your opinion, you will be getting a hugely higher speed connection! If you are in the right place.

*Marques Brownlee