5G is disappointing despite its rapid deployment. Let’s take a look at this new generation of mobile networking.
of 5G began its deployment in France in 2020. Two years later, despite record approval, opinions on this new technology are very divided and disappointments are great. What should we expect from this new mobile network?
5G is disappointing
A study conducted by switch in the UK shows that 5G is disappointing. One in six users believe the technology doesn’t live up to its promises, and only half say they’ve noticed faster speeds or improved connection stability after upgrading to fifth-generation mobile networks.
However, 5G is the mobile network generation with the fastest deployment and adoption to date. According to Ericsson, 25% of the population was covered at the end of 2021, six months less than for 4G. But what is his real problem?
5G coverage will improve
The first problem with 5G is inherent in its youth. This is of course its cover. Although many people have a smartphone and a compatible plan, the network is still unevenly distributed. In France, there are only 35,718 5G sites in service, compared to 48,207 for 4G. Knowing that high (faster) bands cover a shorter distance and than free skews the numbers a bit with its fast deployment of the 700MHz band – also used for 4G and slower – that’s not much. If we count only the sites that can transmit on the 3.5 GHz frequency (the new 5G frequency), there are 16,778.
Moreover, these countries are mostly located in built-up areas, which creates a real gap between the rural and urban worlds. In the UK, 17% of rural people say they have never managed to connect to a 5G signal, three times less than the urban population.
5G, yes, but for what uses?
Next come the uses. While 5G brings more speed and better stability, it struggles to demonstrate its usefulness while many users are content watching videos and browsing the web and social networks.
The promise of 5G is to enable new uses, such as cloud games or virtual reality. In the first case, the coverage is not enough to allow use on the move without the slightest cut, which encourages play “in the clouds» only from a fixed connection.
In the second case, the innovation is too late. While some companies like Meta have turned to Metaverse, many reports predict completion of this business by 2025. Web 3.0 and life in virtual reality do not excite the general public.
Although major players have jumped into this market with both feet (Meta, Microsoft, etc.), the latter is still bleak. There is still a real shortagekiller appsmaking you want to immerse body and soul into this virtual universe. We know others will soon follow, starting with Apple, which could breathe new life into 5G.
Meanwhile, 5G is of little interest for everyday use by the general public. However, it promises to be innovative in many aspects in the professional world by promising new uses enabled by the lack of latency. We are thinking, for example, about remote surgery that can partially solve the problem of medical deserts.
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