With 2019 entering its last week, a new decade is just about to start. Many expect it to be a decade of new technological revolution, and 5G is not only on the list of technologies people hope to see explode, but it is also among the first significant breakthroughs that people expect.
The fact that Apple is planning to release its 5G-friendly iPhone 12 is making the growth of 5G networks that much more exciting.
With that in mind, multiple US carriers are already hard at work when it comes to rolling out their offerings and increasing coverage. Recent reports claim that T-Mobile has already introduced 5G to over 5,000 cities, while AT&T did the same on a smaller scale, expanding it to 10 major cities in December alone.
Verizon is also stepping up its game, and it did not only manage to reach its goal of expanding to 30 cities before 2019 ends — it exceeded it by covering 31 cities and 15 NFL stadiums. Of course, the fact that a city has a presence of 5G is not the same as having a good quality 5G, particularly when it comes to actual speed and its range.
Will 5G disappoint?
In theory, 5G should bring incredible speeds. It should be so fast that people would require a huge or even unlimited data plan in order to enjoy it to the fullest. So far, the tests did not disappoint, at least in areas where 5G is strong and solid. The goal is to have speeds of up to 10 Gbps, which is a major improvement on 4G LTE speeds that are 0.1 Gbps, at maximum.
However, the reality of the situation is a bit different, as carriers are trying to increase coverage, rather than performance. While this is not necessarily a bad thing, it will disappoint those who were hoping to get futuristic speeds unmatched by anything ever witnessed before.
For now, the carriers only delivered 600 MHz and sub-6GHz 5G networks, which are in the lower point of the 5G spectrum. It is still slightly better than what 4G has to offer, but it is nowhere near expectations, which might impact the performance of the iPhone 12 itself.
Still, there is plenty of time next year for 5G to reach its full potential, so all may not be lost just yet.
Image courtesy of Flickr @Mike Mozart.