Glossary

5G support

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What is 5G?

Many people know that the fifth generation of wireless network technology has been wrapped in controversy from the get-go, but don't really understand what it is and how it works.

In essence, 5G currently makes for the fastest data transfer rates and the lowest latency (delay) one can experience. It also allows for more devices to simultaneously join a network. Besides facilitating everyday activities that rely on connectivity, 5G is expected to boost developments in the transportation and medical industries (to name but a few).

Although 5G is already being deployed across the globe, the technology is still in its very early stages, and just how much faster it is than 4G is yet to be seen. While some experts speak of a tenfold speed increase, others bet that 5G could multiply 4G data transfer rates by 100 once it's fully rolled out. Currently, 5G is not much faster than 4G, and it is mostly only high-end smartphones that support 5G.

5G can also operate over a high-band millimeter-wave radio frequency (known as mmWave). Unlike the low-band spectrum, the high-band range doesn't support signal propagation over long distances. It's also easily blocked by walls, trees, and even buildings. Because of these limitations, it remains to be seen whether mmWave 5G will ever take off.

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