Last night I got about 50MMbps via my Vodafone 4G data and I thought, to be honest, that’s really not bad. Considering that the fastest normal ADSL (fixed line) speeds round here are around 30Mbps.
5G though, that’s the next big thing, and Nokia have pushed the all-new 5G frequencies to the limit. Using 8×100 MHz channels of millimeter wave spectrum they have..
..OK, wait a minute. This is the “millimeter wave spectrum”. This is the spectrum that has, if we cut through all the conspiracy rubbish, caused questions about 5G. The “millimeter wave spectrum” is also known as “mmWave” and isn’t currently planned for use here in the UK. The spectrum ranges from 30 GHz to 300 GHz but, let’s try and break this confusion down a bit.
EE, Vodafone and O2 will use 3.4GHz. Three will use between 3.6GHz and 4GHz. These are classed as “mid-band” frequencies and will cover several miles with very decent speeds. Early real world speed tests show speeds nearing 200MBps. That may increase with coverage.
There’s also a “low band” mast but, unless I’ve not had my coffee, there’s no UK 5G service that low down the dial (600-700MHz). Lower frequencies go further but speed is impacted somewhat, so that leads the likes of Nokia to look at the much higher bands.
Just like your 2.4GHz and 5GHz WiFi at home, the higher frequency can provide a better throughput, but the signal won’t go as far as trusty old 2.4GHz, which isn’t as quick in comparison.
So, there’s the 5G band with the “bad name” – mmWave / millimeter wave / high band. This sits around 24-39GHz and can deliver – in theory – 1-3Gbps speeds.
Here, though, Nokia have used standard Nokia base station equipment in use by major American mobile networks to get 4.7GBps on frequencies between 28 and 39GHz. That’s incredibly quick, but it uses those higher frequencies that people will be complaining about.
So what about the 24GHz-39GHz high 5G frequencies in the UK? Well, Ofcom had these in an auction and we’re assuming that they will be used for indoor repeaters or additional coverage due to their short-range-but-high-speed setup. Either that or in high-traffic areas of cities, like Tube stations etc. Ofcom told us that the higher 5G bands will…
Support 5G indoor applications, sharing access with the existing fixed-wireless services and satellite earth stations that operate in the band.