What is 5G all about?

There is the 5GHz WiFi standard, and there is the 5G for cellular networks – these are as different as planes and trains.  Each has its purpose, for various situations.

The 5GHz WiFi standard, known as 802.11ac, can deliver faster speeds than previous 2.4GHz WiFI but is targeted for inside your home and that range.  It is used in other situations, but that will be another article.

The Cellular 5G is the new generation following 4G (LTE/WiMax).  It is targeted for densely populated areas such as cities and it has significant data throughput capabilities.

What does this do for the average person in Manitoba?  It is a balance between economics, population density, and capabilities.

Deployment of the new 5G systems is very expensive, and the intention was not an increase in coverage but rather the number of active devices and the capacity required to support it.  The target audience is dense areas because that is the area that can support the expensive upgrades.  These areas have significantly higher usage and require the additional capacity.  For comparison, think of Costco and 7-11.  If you needed a pack of 2 batteries, it is $8 at 7-11 and Costco doesn’t sell just two but you can get 24 for a little more than $20.  In the dense cities areas, there will be a Costco.  If you live in Dugald or Petersfield it is unlikely the population can support a Costco anytime soon.

So with 5G and all the hype – it is real technology, it does work, there are rollouts happening around the world, BUT it is destined for the most dense of areas.  Over time, technology will catch up.  In the interim, make use of your WiFi.


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