Everything You Need To Know About 5G

1G, 2G, 3G, 4G and now 5G are basically the names of different generations of mobile networks. The first ever generation of mobile networks, which made wireless communication possible is known as 1G which came into existence in early 1980s. This generation of mobile network used analog signals to transmit and receive information. It didn’t allow you to send text messages. Some major drawbacks of this generation were security and reliability.

Then, 2G made it’s way in the year 1991. 2G was superior to the first generation in terms of security and convenience. SMS & MMS came along with the advent of the second generation. This was possible because for the first time ever, digital signals were used to transmit and receive information instead of the standard analog signals. Maximum theoretical speed of 2G is approximately around 40 Kbps (kilobits per second).

cell tower

In 1998, 3G came into existence and for the first time, 3G introduced a faster ‘data’ transfer rate with the help of which you could watch videos directly with your ‘smartphone‘. 3G offered data transfer speeds around 3-5 Mbps (megabits per second). 3G is still prevalent in the world.

After 3G, came 4G in the year 2008. The fourth generation of smartphones meant faster data transfer speeds and better connectivity. With 4G you can stream videos, play online games, video call with much better efficiency and reliability and much more with your smartphone. Maximum real world speed of 4G is approximately 100 Mbps.


The fifth generation of mobile networks a.k.a 5G is set to become the new global wireless standard. 5G is meant to provide ultra-high data transfer speeds with negligible latency. This generation of mobile networks aims to connect not just smartphones but other IoT devices as well so that they can better communicate with each other efficiently.

Theoretical 5G speeds can be around 20 Gigabits/s but the real-world speeds are expected to be around 100 Megabits/s.

Now, this was a general explanation about 5G in terms of speed and connectivity.

What’s interesting is that 5G is divided into three categories:

  • Low-band
  • Mid-band
  • High-band (mmWave 5G)

Low band 5G works on a lower frequency in the electromagnetic spectrum around 600-800 Mhz. This category of 5G will not drastically improve previous 4G speeds, though you will get a reasonable increase in data speeds. Low band 5G should work well in suburban and rural areas as it can support widespread coverage across long distances.

Mid-band 5G works approximately in the range of 2-5 GHz. According to GSMA, majority of commercial 5G networks are relying on spectrum within the 3.3-3.8 GHz range. Mid-band 5G networks can provide much better data capacity and reasonable coverage. Many countries like China and Japan are planning to use 4.5 – 5 GHz range for 5G.

High-band 5G, also known as millimeter wave (mmWave) 5G will offer ‘true 5G speeds‘. It will operate on bands higher than 24 GHz. Frequencies like 26 GHz, 40 GHz and 66 GHz are considered suitable for mmWave 5G. High-band 5G networks are best for dense and small areas where widespread coverage is not needed.

One thing that’s important to note here is that if the frequency increases, then the distance travelled by the signal will decrease. This basically means low band 5G will have the highest coverage area whereas on the other hand, high band 5G will have the least coverage area. Not only that, mmWave 5G signals cannot penetrate through walls and other obstacles. That’s why most of the countries are preferring low band 5G networks for widespread coverage and mmWave 5G for small hotspots.

If you want to know more about electromagnetic spectrum and smartphone radiation, check out my blog post here.

Applications Of 5G Technology

5G can be used in:

By the way some companies have already started working on 6G.

That’s all for now. Signing off.

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