How Fast is 5G? Speed Explained

For years, 5G networks have been attracting a lot of excitement. All major 5G operators have already deployed their first “nationwide” networks and are all ready to expand those networks’ reach and capabilities throughout the year. While there are many benefits to 5G over 4G technology, one critical question that is raised in any discussion about 5G is: How fast can 5G speeds be?

You could answer, “How long does a piece of string take?” but that would not be very helpful. It’s a fact that 5G speeds will vary depending on where you are, which 5G network you connect to, how many people are connected, and what 5G device you’re using.

This is everything you need to know.

Speed of 5G theoretically
Although 5G’s theoretical maximum speeds are quite impressive, we still have a long way to go before we can achieve that level of real-world speed. Your 5G coverage can affect your maximum download speeds. Latency (the time it takes for data to be sent) could drop to 1 millisecond (ms).

This doesn’t necessarily mean a lot in isolation. Here’s a table that compares 5G technology’s theoretical speeds to different types of wireless technology.

These averages are only estimates. All the technologies make it more difficult to calculate the results. Each generation has changed and grown even after the next one was released. There is also the problem of carriers mislabeling networks. Many labeled HSPA+ (which is a 3G technology) as 4G.

4G LTE A can theoretically reach speeds up to 1Gbps. This is well within 5G territory. These speeds aren’t available everywhere right now and depend on the modem in your device.

5G real-world download speeds
Download speeds can vary depending on which 5G network you are connected to. The frequency spectrum of 5G is comprised of several frequencies. Sub-6 is the low-band spectrum. It can travel far and through obstacles but has slower download speeds. You’ll experience the opposite with the high-band spectrum mmWave — although you will get extremely fast download speeds, radio waves cannot travel long distances or pass through obstacles. Check out our guide for more information about 5G spectrum and different types of 5G.

All of the currently available national networks are dependent on low-band5G. While there are some areas with mmWave coverage, most people won’t spend too much time in these areas. As 5G networks become more reliable, this will change.

5G Speed and Latency
Latency is perhaps more important than download speed (at least initially).

In an interview, Els Baert, director of marketing and communications at NetComm said that 5G will bring faster speeds to end-users. However, speeds will depend on how operators design their networks, and how many users they have. Although 5G will offer faster speeds, the most noticeable difference for end-users will be the lower latency of 5G than 3G and 4G. This will allow them to explore new opportunities in the Internet of Things.

A white paper by the Next Generation Mobile Networks Alliance that helped to establish standards states that 5G networks should have a 10ms latency for general use and 1ms in special cases. According to the report, data rates of up to 1Gbps should only be used in certain environments like indoor offices. However, at least 50Mbps must be available everywhere.

What is the speed of 5G in 2021
5G service is now available to all 5G phones, but it’s not yet the superfast alternative to 4G. As every carrier improves its wireless networks and works on 5G deployment, 5G customers can expect lower latency and faster speeds.

In the coming years, you will see increased access to high- and mid-band frequencies. This is in addition to the expansion of the coverage area for 5G networks. There will be a significant increase in 5G-capable phones. Although there is a 5G iPhone, and a 5G-enabled Samsung Galaxy S20 available, not all devices support the new wireless technology. Both smartphone manufacturers and carriers will need to wait for 5G.

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