There has been a lot of talk about 5G and the carriers are now in full swing with rolling out the new technology around the world. 5G is a technology that, in itself, is not particularly revolutionary. Still, this new generation of mobile network has managed to divide the world into two camps, those who look forward to being able to surf at extremely fast speeds with all the possibilities it entails and those who are worried about what the new technology will mean.
As always, when something new comes along, it means that people need to change, and new technology do not always bring only positive things. In this blog post, I thought I would mention 5 disadvantages of 5G, which you may not have thought of.
1. 5G does not work on all phones
Of course, it is awesome with super fast internet connections, but unfortunately not all phones have the capacity for 5G. There are a lot of phones out on the market today, which have the right capacity and fortunately the prices of these are starting to drop a bit. Samsung Galaxy s20Plus and OnePlus 8 are examples of phones with capacity for 5G that have received high ratings from users, but not everyone can afford to invest in a new phone. Apple has not yet launched a mobile phone with capacity for 5G, and iPhone enthusiasts are eagerly waiting for this to happen. If you are sitting on an old mobile phone, you will unfortunately have to open up your wallet if you want to be able to surf with 5G.
2. More expensive subscription costs
When we are still on the subject of money, we can also mention that many who have variable price plans may experience higher subscription costs. This is for the simple reason that if you can surf at incredible speeds, your subscription will be able to use more data, at a faster pace. We can only hope and believe that the market solves smart subscriptions that allow users to surf in peace, without worrying about sky-high costs.
3. Uneven coverage
It’s not just the very frequency of 5G that makes the network so fast. It is a combination of frequency and the new technology that is in the masts, such as MIMO, beamforming and throughput (read more about these terms here). In order to be able to deliver 5G, new masts must therefore be installed. This is a job that is both expensive and time consuming. In addition, the work has taken even longer in some places, this due to resistance from residents nearby. For some time to come, many will therefore experience a spotty coverage of 5G.
4. Replaces battery capacity for speed
When it comes to our smart devices, such as mobiles and VR games, we always want more. We want them to work faster and the battery to last longer. 5G will be a pretty battery-hungry network. This means that manufacturers have to choose whether they want to invest in their devices to have more bulky batteries that last longer, perhaps provide the opportunity to be able to change the battery, or to force users to charge their devices more often.
5. Few will have access to the really fast 5G
There are different types of 5G. They are usually divided into low-band, mid-band and high-band 5G. Simply put, low-band 5G is slower but has radio waves that reach further. Many places that have low-band 5G deliver internet that is not much faster than what 4G LTE did. However, the masts can sit further apart and still provide an even coverage.
High-band, on the other hand, has a higher frequency, between 25-39 GHz, which provides extremely good internet speed. With high-band 5G you can download an entire series in just a few minutes and it is often up to ten times faster than the WiFi we have at home. But high-band 5G signals do not go very far, this means that carriers need to set up nodes quite close together to be able to deliver consistent coverage. In the cities that have high-band 5G, users today can experience an inconsistency in their coverage and speed.
Further more, the indoor coverage for high-band 5G does not usually make users rejoice. The short wavelengths in the frequency are very bad at getting through things like concrete and metal.
So that really fast 5G, which many have been waiting for, will be accessible to very few, now in the beginning.