06 Jul What the heck is 5G?
Basics on 5G and some common confusion.
One of the basic misunderstandings I’ve noticed about 5G is confusing it with an ISP (Internet Service Provider, also known as broadband provider). 5G refers to cellular data rather than data coming from your ISP.
5G = 5th Generation mobile network.
Another area of confusion is the 5 Ghz and the 2.4 Ghz wireless networks available in your home network (internet from your ISP). That 5Ghz is NOT the 5G we are talking about. It’s actually completely different; just a warning to not conflate the two.
To make the differences simple, when you’re at home you have an internet service provider. But you also likely have a cellular plan that includes data. While they both connect you to the world wide web, each has a separate way of getting there. 5G at the moment, refers to your cellular data plan.
The 5G original plan was to replace the standard ISP for a household. For example, if you live in downtown Tucson or most parts of Los Angeles, you can actually get 5G for your internet and SKIP an ISP/broadband service altogether, see here. It doesn’t look like that will happen anytime soon for those not in denser parts of cities. From what I’ve read, 5G small cells on every street across America is not going to happen. These small cells will be, and are, in dense cities. But ‘small cells’ which enable the high frequency of 5G that you may have heard of isn’t the only way 5G is being implemented. In addition to the high frequency band, the technology works with low and mid-range as well, the ranges already being used in 3 and 4G cellular networks. In the 5G world, the low and mid range frequency bands are referred to as Sub-6. Utilizing all 3 frequency bands is how 5G will be widespread but still likely only driven by your cell phone data connection unless you have a home in the denser city areas and choose 5G as your internet service provider. The high frequency band is the millimeter wave (mmWave) technology you may have heard mentioned when people talk about the dangers of 5G, and is the one that would require the 5G small cell tower installations every several feet or a very short distance apart. It enables extremely fast connection speeds but only over short distances. When you’re connected to the 5G infrastructure your phone will be able to modulate to low, mid, and high frequencies and that is how it will technically be “everywhere”.
To explain further, the towers built with mid-band radios can offer service within several-mile radiuses, shorter than low band, but further than high band. The towers with millimeter wave technology, the high frequency band, would only be in denser cities so as you travel from outlying areas to a denser area in a city your coverage would switch (modulate) to the higher frequency towers where you’d get these ridiculously high download speeds we’ve heard about.
If anyone has differing info or info to add, please do. I’m no expert, I just study. You can too. 😄 Feel free to send me your comments here.
The dangers of 5G are not necessarily about the use of the higher frequencies alone. The following is from Nick Pinealt, excerpted from his 5G in 5 Minutes document which I’ll put a link to below. These are issues you could dig into to get more information on a technology that will surely affect the health of humanity as it gains traction.
There are at least three even more important factors than frequency alone which makes 5G more dangerous:
- Communication bandwidth, which refers to the range of frequencies used in communication simultaneously (i.e., the width of the communication channel) – which is much wider in 5G in the mmWave band
- Modulation scheme, which refers to different techniques used by industry to modify signals and improve connectivity – will be much more complex and most probably much more disturbing biologically with 5G Polarization, which refers to the orientation of an
- EMF signal – is again much more complex for 5G. The industry will use new techniques such as beam-forming and “massive-MIMO”, which will likely make the signal much more disturbing biologically.
Here is Nick’s basic guide to 5G, 5G in 5 Minutes. Since it’s still so new, it’s really good to get some basics down. 5G in 5 Minutes
Extra credit for fun.
This is a philosophical and/or more likely technical question:
Is there a wave, if there is no broadcaster and receiver?
I don’t think so. So in other words, these frequency bands that are used for electro-magnetic communications that are auctioned off by the FTC are theoretical until utilized with our sending and receiving technologies. Very interesting to contemplate.