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How Fast is 5G Internet Network? How It Will Change Our Internet User-Experience?

When 3G was first commercially introduced 17 years ago, most cellphone users were amazed how it transformed our internet connectivity. The internet connection and data transfer has become faster than ever. All cellphones were manufactured compatible with 3G network and became a standard specs until the release of 4G(LTE) in 2009. This year we are expecting the commercial release of 5G network. But how fast is 5G internet network?

Before we answer that in a while, in order to understand how big 5G network is, let us take a look back where we started. It seems that changing of wireless network happens every almost 10 years. This just means that we can expect for the 6th generation to arrive after another decade.

 

Types of wireless network connectivity and their differences

Of course, 5G started from 1G, 2G, 3G, & 4G. Developers took 10 years each to fully develop and introduce these networks commercially. The number before the letter “G” means its ability to function efficiently through the wireless network. The higher the number, the faster and the better. On the other hand, “G” means “Generation”, so we can call 5G as fifth-generation cellular mobile network.

With 10 years of labor that has been spent for every wireless network research and development, we can expect big differences per each era. The first generation (1G) offered only voice services and used analog radio signals. When the 2nd generation (2G) was introduced, mobile phone users were able to send and receive messages in the form of SMS(Short Message Service) or MMS(Multimedia Message Service) or picture message.

The 3rd generation (3G) was already a breakthrough when it comes to internet speed. With 3G network, mobile phone users were able to access the internet in their mobile phones, have video calls, and access GPS services that were not available during the 2G era.

We had thought that 3G is already fast, not until 4G (LTE) was introduced which has made internet connectivity even faster. If you are using LTE for quite a while, you would feel the difference in internet connection speed and might be annoyed when you suddenly switched to 3G network.

This is because 4G is more than 4 times faster than 3G when it comes to internet connection speed. To better understand this, let us say you want to download a movie of 1GB in size. Downloading this file size through 3G network will take up to 30 minutes to complete.

On the other hand, if you use 4G (LTE), downloading time will just take 7 to 11 minutes. That’s a lot of time saved! Of course, the connection speed differs from network provider to network provider and it depends on how your providers designed their own network and how much signal you receive. However, the speed comparison ratio will be the same.

 

How fast is 5G?

So how fast is 5G internet network then? 5G as the name suggests is the fifth-generation wireless mobile network technology succeeding the 4G. This new generation expects to provide an internet browsing speed of 7 times faster than the 4G, ranging from 490 Mbps to 1.4 Gbps. If this would be materialized, search results from the internet would be in a lightning speed.

If you are still not convinced, which I know it is a little hard to visualize how fast is the browsing speed, let us compare 4G and 5G download speed. 5G offers a download speed of 442 Mbps as compared to 5 to 18 Mbps of 4G.

This just means that if you are downloading a movie of 1GB in size, it will just take you 18 seconds to fully download the file, as compared to 7 minutes when using 4G, and 30 minutes in case of 3G. That is really fast! On the other hand, the internet speed will still depend on your location and your network provider. Nonetheless, we can see a very promising future of the internet connectivity.

 

Advantages of 5G

  • Faster data transmission because of high data rate which can reach up to 20Gbps (gigabits per second). This allows you to download HD videos or photos faster in seconds as mentioned above.
  • With the low latency of 5G, travel of data from the sender to the receiver is expected to be 1ms (millisecond) so you can be sure that your message is received by the other end in less a second after you press that send button.
  • Since 5G can handle large amount of data at the same time, it allows more devices to connect to the network without affecting the internet speed, which will eliminate network traffic that we experience oftentimes.
  • Another benefit from 5G is its cost-effectiveness. If you are paying internet data per hour or minute, you can maximize that 1 hour of data to download more files or browse more internet pages. This is because with 5G, you can transfer bigger data faster, thus saving you time and money. With its considerably improved upload speed, I think many will be encouraged to use cloud storage (which are usually free for a limited capacity) since uploading will consume less time.
  • Energy-saving is another feature of 5G. Transferring data requires power from your device. If your network is slow, it will take time to download files or load a page, hence consuming more power. You will notice that when the network is slow, your mobile device tends to get hot. With 5G network, you can do that in seconds allowing your device to consume less power.

 

Limitations of 5G

Unlike Bluetooth versions, 5G is not backward compatible (similar with the past generations). You cannot use a non-5G-compatible phone to access 5G networks. This just implies that you need to upgrade or change your phone. Starting this year, manufacturers will release 5G-compatible smartphones, so we are expecting from 2020 most smartphones will be accessing the 5G network.

 

What is the future of 5G?

5G wireless mobile network offers a low communication latency which enable to send message in 1millisecond. This kind of speed is applicable to tasks requiring instant response such as in robotics which will be beneficial to manufacturing firms, hospitals, and many more.

5G is still in its early phase so we are expecting more improvement within the next 10 years. By then, more and more devices will be compatible with this fifth-gen mobile network, allowing better internet user experience.

What do you think about 5G network? We would be delighted to hear your thoughts. Share them below!

Dan Sicat

10 Comments

  1. Hello Dan,

    As I read your post on the 5g network speed, I couldn’t help but drop my jaws. Like, that type of speed is crazy. I can’t wait to start surfing the internet on such speed. I literally thought 4g was amazing now I know 5g will easily eclipse that.

    Sadly, may take a couple more years before it’s fully operational in Africa.

    Thanks for sharing, really enjoyed your post.

    • Hi Louis! Thanks for dropping by.  I am now using 4G and as compared to a 3G network, it is really fast. Imagine this internet speed, 5G will surely change our internet user experience. Although manufacturers plan to introduce 5G-compatible phone this year, I think availability of 5G network in other countries not only Africa will be next year.

  2. Dear Dan,

    This is an interesting and helpful review. Thanks for the article I enjoyed it.

    I am also hearing a lot of news about the arrival of 5G and excited about it but to be honest I am not aware of its advantages and benefits. I got great insights from your post. The example you gave with the 1GB movie download is very helpful to get the clear picture.

    7 times faster than 4G is really going to be awesome and amazing and being a full-time blogger working from home using both desktop and mobile this is going to be a greater help and I just can’t wait for it.

    Wishing you much Success!

    Paul

    • Thanks Paul for sharing your opinion on this topic! Specs of 5G promises this speed but still we need to take note that actual performance may differ since it is also dependent on your network provider, your location, and other factors that may affect the signal. Even in our current 4G some network can offer faster speed than others. Nevertheless, our internet user experience is about to change, that is for sure.

  3. Oh what a great world we live in.  Im still from the days of NG (No G)  When we still had a rotary phone and in some cases even shared the same line with the neighbor(party line)To think I have been around since the first cell phone that was like a big brick, then all sorts then there was the favorite of everyone.  Especially the flip phone.  They all went to tiny and now have got a little bigger again.The technology today is absolutely amazing and im glad to be a part of it.Thank you for giving us an article with all this great information.Dale

    • Hi Dale! Thanks for sharing your experience. I liked that term “NG”;) . Technology is fast advancing. I am just amazed that things that were just fantasized decades ago, are now becoming a reality. Well, I am talking about the good things. I hope the bad ones will not materialize 😉 If you notice, smartphone models are fast-phasing because of technology. You just bought a high-end model today, then after a few months another latest one comes.

  4. Wow, good to know. I am sure that will improve call drops and disconnectivity with some providers. This is truly amazing. It will help in getting more done than waiting for computer to open or file to download. My question will be how safe will that be in terms of cell phone use and radiation effect. There are still rumors here and there that cell phones can cause cancer, the higher the speed, one should think that the risk might increase with it. What do you think about that? Should we have any concern? I was trying to log into my website this moment and I guess they switched back to 3G for me lol.

    • Hi Regina! I also heard about these rumors but there is no concrete evidence or studies that can prove that radiation in cellphones can cause cancer. Cellphones emit only non-ionizing low frequency radio waves which is use to connect to the network unlike the high frequency used in X-rays that can cause cancer for prolonged exposure. In fact according to National Cancer Institute, most studies proves that radiation from cellphones cannot cause cancer. Read more HERE.

  5. Seem’s like just yesterday that 4G was coming out and glad you pointed out that it will be pretty much a lock that you’ll need to purchase a new phone to access 5G. The first question is why is that? Is it because of the way phones will be build or the way engineers build the 5G structure? When the new 5G phone’s do come out will you still have the option of 4G? Don’t see why anyone would still want to use 4G after reading your article but we’ve seen dumber things happen. The last question will providers change their pricing structure again for the 5G you know charge more? Okay this is the last question how will this affect those budget cell phone providers I believe the majority of them are owned by one of the bigger companies out there like Verizon or t-mobile anyway and use the same towers but their phones are usually not the best ones and still use an older generation for some time is this just a way to boost up pricing and sales again for the larger companies?

    • Hi Jason! Different internet network operates in different frequencies. They are designed to operate in a single type of frequency. Even if 5G arrives, still we can use our old phones from 4G and older versions but you cannot access 5G network. You may need to change your phone if you want to access the 5G network. Similar scenario when 4G was introduced. Otherwise, it is not that major concern. At present, there are still phones operating in 2G and 3G. Of course not many can afford a new phone immediately. So budget phones will still be available. Maybe at first 5G would cost more but as the years pass by, competition will be strict so we can expect of affordable 5G network same thing what’s happened to 4G.

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