5G

Did You Know There Are Three 5G Network Types?

Overview As 5G performance becomes more concrete and mobile carriers are preparing 5G strategies, understand the three tiers of the next generation of connectivity.

The wait for 5G is coming to an end as new phones and other technology products begin to launch with 5G capabilities and global connectivity powerhouses — including CES® 2021 keynote speaker Verizon — build out 5G strategies for the future.

The 5G networking architecture consists of three different network types that will work together in the future, but the three tiers of radio signals have different characteristics.


Low Band 5G

Low band spectrum 5G is best understood as a blanket layer for nationwide coverage. It will be a baseline level of 5G. One low band 5G tower — transmitting on the same frequency that was once used for TV broadcasts — can serve customers within hundreds of square miles, also covering more rural locations.

This baseline tier is already approximately 20% faster than 4G LTE networks. CES® exhibitor and Consumer Technology Association (CTA)® member AT&T was the first to offer low band 5G across 19 cities, and it now has nationwide coverage.


Mid Band 5G

About six times faster than 4G LTE, mid band 5G is likely to be more available in major metropolitan areas of the United States. Mid band 5G offers service within smaller areas compared to low band 5G, and because carriers can allocate more resources in mid band, data speeds are higher than for low band 5G.

For everyday users, mid band 5G may prove to be the ideal tier in terms of performance and proximity to a tower.


mmWave High Band 5G

Characterized by extremely low latency and approximately 10 times faster than 4G LTE networks, millimeter wave (mmWave) 5G enables messages to transmit almost immediately, but it requires close proximity to a tower.

The new high band spectrum is what is referenced in applications in Verizon’s 5G Innovation Lab as well as in remote health care and more.

Because 5G networks operate on a higher mmWave frequency with a wider spectrum bandwidth, it enables higher capacity for transferring data. And the wider the spectrum, the more devices that can join and operate at a faster rate.

Even at its base level, 5G can enable quicker downloads, better communications and improved access to information, making businesses more efficient and powering applications across vehicle technologies, smart cities, education and more.

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