- A new survey finds that many mobile users are disappointed with their 5G service.
- Experts say that 5G is not yet widely available in many areas.
- In its initial implementation, 5G networks were not as fast as expected by many users.
Phone companies have been heralding the benefits of 5G for years, but the technology may not live up to its potential in everyday use.
A new survey found that one in six mobile users felt the benefits of 5G had been over-promised, with less than half saying they had seen noticeable improvements in speed or reliability since the upgrade. Some experts say that 5G still has a long way to go.
“As with any new network rollout, 5G is not as widely used or available. Most people are still on the current 4G network,” tech advisor Vaclav Vincalek he told Lifewire in an email interview. “And most devices don’t have the ability to connect to 5G anyway. There’s also concern that 5G may be easier for hackers to penetrate as more and more IoT devices connect to it. Many devices IoT are generally not that secure.”
The promise of speed
Speed is 5G’s promised advantage over older mobile networks. and a new study reinforces that idea, showing a 40 percent improvement and more in cellular performance on iPhone 14 and 14 Pro in the US.
5G will take years to implement and transform businesses and industries and will affect our entire civilization.
But Swarun Kumardirector of the Emerging Wireless Technologies Laboratory and associate professor of electrical and computer engineering at carnegie mellon universityhe said in an email that “so far, 5G has over-promised and under-delivered.”
He added: “There is no doubt that enterprises around the world are investing in 5G. However, deployments have not yet reached full scale. As a result, the first group of network customers in their early stages of development are not Seeing the speed-ups you were promised Much of the disappointment felt around 5G can simply be attributed to a lack of large-scale deployment of both the infrastructure and application maturity that take full advantage of 5G” .
Under the hood, 5G offers other advantages than just browsing speed. The technology offers lower latency and special treatment for different types of traffic in a method called network cutoff, Ritesh MukherjeeVice President of Enterprise Networks inseegoa 5G network company, told Lifewire by email.
“This means that regular users can access remote files, programs and applications in the cloud as if they were local,” he added. “These laptops and phones require less memory and processing power without sacrificing user experience, which translates to lower costs.”
Advantages of 5G for users include lower latency and special treatment for different types of traffic (network outage), Mukherjee said. This new network management technique means that regular users can access remote files, programs and applications in the cloud as if they were local. “These laptops and phones require less memory and processing power without sacrificing user experience, which translates to lower costs,” she added.
Taking full advantage of 5G means wireless carriers had to overcome significant infrastructure challenges, Babak D Beheshtithe dean of the Faculty of Engineering and Computer Science of the New York Institute of Technology, he told Lifewire by email. Companies had to invest in new cell sites and equipment and deal with complex network architecture and government regulations.
Beheshti explained that a 5G network is made up of the cell sites and their core network, called “independent 5G.” In initial 5G deployments, service providers used the existing 4G core network with 5G cell sites.
“As a result, the data speeds achieved through these initial 5G networks did not come close to what was promised from 5G,” he added. “Also, the radio frequencies that provide the highest data rates (millimeter waves) were not used in many of the initial deployments.”
Get the most out of 5G
Even if 5G doesn’t always match the speeds initially promised by wireless carriers, there are still ways users can take advantage of the service, Mukherjee said. Many wireless services offer flat-rate pricing and no-overage data plans.
“If a user has a 5G phone with an unlimited data plan, they can download and upload content faster,” he added. “Users can watch content offline or stream movies without pause.”
5G phones can be used as a hotspot to connect laptops and other devices on the go, Mukherjee noted. Devices paired with the phone, such as smart watches and connected healthcare, can enable location and patient monitoring. She said that studies have found that 5G users consume up to 2.7 times more mobile data than 4G users. “It shows that users who switch to 5G find more ways to use the additional bandwidth,” she added.
wireless technology analyst Jeff Kagan said in an email that 5G’s best days are yet to come.
“We tend to talk about 5G as if all the benefits are with us today,” he added. “However, 5G will take years to implement and transform businesses and industries and will affect our entire civilization.”