The short answer is not many! Around 87 countries only have this new 5G network technology. While the landscape for the new era of human connection through digital medium is taking a turn…
…still there are like hundreds of places still on 2G and 3G network technology like Niger, Mali, Gambia, Argentina, Brazil, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Bangladesh, Punjab India, Malaysia, Myanmar – Jesus Christ it looks like half the world is still on 2G!
Hi, this is your daily dose of tech news with some yo mama jokes thrown in.
It’s not much, unlike your mom who is so much she is present both down in the living room and the bedroom upstairs, but it’s an honest work.
According to an estimate 5G will have around 1.4 billion users by the end of 2023. And by the end of the same year, nearly 30% of all mobile data users will be using 5G exclusively.
What Are These 2G/3G/4G – All These GS?
Have you ever had your personal favorite food joint, where you could just go, enjoy food, catch up with your plans and thoughts and regroup?
We all have based on many factors like pricing, comfort, ambience and vicinity.
So, your internet also is graded on a few factors, like bandwidth and latency.
Bandwidth is the max amount of data your data providing company allows you to transfer within two points at any second.
And latency is the time delay between your network’s request to WWW to reply and vice-versa.
The higher the bandwidth and the lower the latency is what defines a powerful age of network.
1G got launched in 1980s and it had a bandwidth (BW) of 2.4Kbps. Since the earliest mobile networks were analog they couldn’t do even phone-y things let alone browse net.
2G arrived in 1991 and had a BW of 0.1 Mbps and a latency of 0.5 seconds. It digitized the analog networks and enabled SMS and basic mobile internet.
Commercial 3G arrived in 2001, the same year Dave Barry’s Big trouble got postponed to 2002, it had a BW of 8Mbps and a latency of 0.1 seconds and it significantly sped up things in internet browsing sphere.
4G network arrived in 2009 and it has a BW of 60Mbps and a latency of 0.05 seconds. It is the present networking technology which is still unshakeable despite 5G deploying everywhere.
And 4G has newer versions called 4G LTE and 4G LTE Advanced Category which have faster download speeds and smaller latencies.
And What the Devil Is 5G?
It is supposed to be the next advancement in digital connection with higher speeds that could go into Gbps, will have super-low latency, mega network capacity, stabilized reliability and more uniformed user experience.
Not one company developed it, many in the field of networking worked together to create it under 3GPP (3rd Generation Partnership project).
Apparently, 5G has a BW of 1000 to 10,000Mbps and a latency of 0.001 seconds!
5G got released for deployment in 2019.
In April of 2019, Verizon first introduced 5G services in USA.
The Current State of 5G Network
According to the report of Q3 2021 from Speedtest Intelligence – over the past year from Q3 2020 to Q3 2021 the download speed of median global 5G fell from 206 Mbps to 166 Mbps and the upload speed also slowed down to 21 Mbps from 29.5 Mbps during the same cycle.
And it’s nothing to lose your hair upon, many new networks have gone slow during their initial adoption phases. And all that info might seem like a let-down because the speed seems to be dipping a bit.
But that is a common compromise if you are looking for enabling broader network access. But pretty soon with further deployments and an addition with spectrum combination slated for this year, it is assumed that speeds will rise up again.
Btw, South Korea right now has the fastest 5G speeds in the world (according to that Q3 2021 report) and South Korea was also the first country to deploy 5G technology too.
Those are the guys that gave us Squid Game right? Bravo!
Your move, USA.
The Current State of 5G in USA
South Korea might be the fastest nation in 5G technology but USA is number 1 in having the highest 5G availability with a coverage and adoption rate of 76%.
But even after all those good sounding numbers, 5G still seems scarce against the pre-existing 4G mainly due to all the elemental reasons that don’t favor 5G to expand so easily.
5G towers use millimetre-waves which carry more data but don’t cover large distances so you need more antennas per mile basis.
And these signals are also easily blocked by trees, buildings and whatnot so you can see why 5G is not omni-present in USA.
There are other reasons too like the cost of spreading these networks, testing still needs more testing, not all people see the need for 5G etc.
How Is 5G User-Experience Is Different From 4G?
Well, for the most part, in reliability, consistency and speed rates the difference between 4G and 5G are currently non-existent. If you start using 5G suddenly you won’t feel much difference.
However, there is one difference that was clear under high network traffic, 5G clearly outperformed 4G and it seems that 5G will truly be best at user-experience when USA is going to be solely relying on 5G networks.
Countries Where 5G Is in Use and Where It Is Banned (!)
According to Viavi Solutions here are the countries where 5G is deployed
- San Marino
Asia and Oceania
- New Zealand
- South Korea
Middle East and Africa
- Saudi Arabia
- South Africa
- United Arab Emirates (UAE)
North and South America
- Trinidad & Tobago
Places Where 5G Is Banned
- Czech Republic
- United Kingdom
Ok, so what that means is that these countries have banned Huawei and other Chinese telecommunication networks on the basis of the belief that China is probably spying on them using their 5G networks.
Current 5G Preparation in USA
5G internet through fixed wireless broadband is available to US citizens from Verizon and other telecom companies. You can also have mobile 5G networks via AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon.
Verizon and AT&T have finally switched on their C-Band 5G services after six weeks delay and except for maybe near airports, people in some areas like Detroit and Chicago can start using faster 5G coverage. Verizon users can expect the same too.
It’s like when you have a newly painted home, everything was moved and now when all’s done and you have to re-adjust everything, things are going to seem slow and hectic.
But 5G has started to pick up reach and speed and let’s see how this one rolls out.