Sunday, February 21, 2021

More 5G

A year ago, I posted on "What is 5G." I started it with "It depends."

It still does, depend.

But a lot has happened in the last year.

Android Central's podcast is one of my favorites. Their Episode 510 features Sascha Segan deep diving into the current state of 5G worldwide. Just listen to the first 30 minutes or so.

Here are a few excerpts:
... 5G can use bigger wider radio channels than 4G can. And if we look at the countries that have the best 5G performance, it's generally places where their governments have allocated the appropriate wide channels exclusively for 5G. And so you see places like South Korea where they had a very orderly very thoughtful allocation of useful mid-band spectrum to their carriers who cooperate moderately well. And so as a result you have a really nice 5G layout that is operating in channels wider than could have been used for 4G and is operating in cooperation with 4G ...
And the result is the vast majority of people in the US who see 5G on their phone, that 5G is just operating in the little odds and ends and corners of the existing 4G frequencies. It's just ... using bits of leftover 4G, essentially. And so for the vast majority of 5G users, especially on AT&T and Verizon, they see that 5G and they're "Like this doesn't seem faster than 4G. In fact, it even sometimes seems slower" and they're right. Because the 5G that they are getting, most of the people in AT&T right now, is just little odds and ends of 4G with a number 5 tacked on.
T-Mobile's in a slightly better position. T-Mobile, because of their purchase of Sprint, had some suitable mid-band 5G spectrum available and over the last half of the year, of last year, they've been building out that spectrum in a lot of major cities ...
Take the time. You'll learn a lot.

PS. I used Google's Recorder app to transcribe this podcast.

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