How fast is 5G?

This is Part 3 is a series of updates about the upcoming technology shift called 5G. Stay tuned to learn all about it!

That is a great question… but has an inevitably geeky answer. Truthfully the majority of day to day users will unlikely get much of a use out of this new crazy speed boost.

In a recent 5G test designed to simulate real-world network conditions in Frankfurt and San Francisco, Qualcomm achieved the following results:

Qualcomm 5G simulations


San Francisco

The Frankfrut test was performed using a 3.5GHz network, while the San Francisco test was based on mmWave bands. 3.5GHz is similar to the underlying spectrum in existing phone networks, whereas mmWave bands are extremely high frequencies starting from 26GHz. While mmWave bands can offer faster speeds than mid-band frequencies such as 3.5GHz, their range is smaller. Australian 5G networks will use a combination of these technologies.

Telstra is currently trialling 5G on the Gold Coast, where it has achieved network speeds of around 3Gbps using mmWave bands. That’s roughly 3,000Mbps, or 30 times as a fast as the maximum speed of an NBN 100 connection. This is very impressive but will not hit the market at that speed. It was likely a proof on concept.

In terms of a real world example of what these kinds of speeds mean, 5G could provide a massive improvement in mobile video streaming. Qualcomm expects 5G’s median streaming quality to be 8K at 120 FPS with 10-bit HDR colour, up from 2K at 30 FPS with 8-bit colour over 4G. While this might sound like complete overkill for regular video streaming, this kind of quality could make immersive virtual reality 360-degree video streaming a reality.

Alex Choros – WhistleOut

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