This week has seen the 5G sprayer, the creatively named sequel to 4G mobile Internet connectivity, going from a booth like Qualcomm, AT & T, Verizon and Samsung rattled of a series of launch plans early next year, while Apple was reported to sit out technology for at least 2020. As much as I love the excitement of introducing the new mobile networking standard, I'm inclined to believe that Apple is right: neither of us should be factoring 5G into our phone purchases in the coming year.
It's not that 5G is hugely promising. Samsung has today issued a press release saying it has achieved a 1
.7 Gbps throughput with a combination of Verizon's spectrum and Qualcomm's Snapdragon X50 5G modem. It's the best scenario, but even Qualcomm's real modeling suggests a still impressive jump to speeds of around 490 Mbps, a size enhancement from the 4G LTE networks we currently have, which usually offers connections of around 20 Mbps to 50 Mbps. 19659003] But be aware of the circumstances here: both Samsung and Qualcomm tell us about their laboratory results. No carrier or manufacturer walks around cities with actual 5G devices and gives us real-life measurements. At Qualcomm's big 5G meeting in Hawaii yesterday, my colleague Sean Hollister was shown only a Samsung 5G phone, which he was not allowed to touch, a 5G Moto Mod, and a few slim 5G mobile hotspots, and none of  Verizon 5G hot spot is not small. Photo by Sean Hollister / The Verge
Each participant in the limited Hawaii demonstrations had the same excuse: the test 5G network was put in a hurry by Ericsson, and the actual devices and "tuned and optimized" the words of Verizon Director of Architecture Chris Emmons) The US network deployment will actually deliver multi-gigabit speeds. Will .
In addition to being more a recipe than a fully cooked dish, the 5G also has a particularly unpleasant aspect. Its fastest speed comes from airwaves in the millimeter wave frequency range, which has been called mmWave. Verizon has 28 GHz, and AT & T operates at 39 GHz. Anyone who has ever tried the failed LTE rival who was WiMAX knows the biggest problem with these high-frequency transmissions: they struggle to penetrate walls or other physical obstacles. Lower frequency fallback, sub-6GHz 5G will happen, but we say, but the silicon that supports the FDD spectrum will not be available until later in 2019, according to Gordon Mansfield, AT & Ts VP for Converged Access and Device Technology.
To put it simple, the first 5G devices will spend a lot of their time on 4G LTE networks because it is the most compatible and available thing they need to connect.