Mostly Everything

5G Is Here, But What Does It Bring?

For many of us 5G has already arrived and for others it may be just around the corner as local infrastructure is set to roll out the networking upgrade on a wider scale – many of our devices are also already compatible with 5G and upcoming devices to be launched within the coming months will already be compatible too. Despite the unfounded concerns spreading around what 5G is, it brings a huge number of benefits that may change the way our devices behave and how we interact with them.

Speed – Perhaps the most notable change for many will be in the speed possible with 5G – currently our 4G network is comparable to what may be found from the typical home router with a theoretical max speed of 100 Mbps, for context that would download a two hour movie between six and ten minutes. The theoretical max speed for 5G is 10 Gbps – one hundred times faster, using the same point of reference this would download the same movie in three to four seconds. This will be felt across all streaming media as the quality of what can be watched dramatically increases – 4K HD will stream seamlessly where it may have stuttered before, other services such as our favorite puzzle and bingo games here will have the potential to introduce new features for players as connection is improved. It is important to note, however, that these speeds will be limited at first by hardware capacity and will only get faster as network chips improve on the devices.

Capacity – The next important factor is within capacity – data transfers over a certain spectrum and once that becomes too crowded, much like wifi, connection is slowed as an impact of this. 5G will change that by increasing the bandwidth capacity that is available, meaning that despite the number of people actively using their mobile network, the everyday user should never see any difference in performance as it remains at a higher potential for longer.

Upload Ability – This goes hand in hand with both speed and capacity but our mobile habits have changed as social media has grown – we now send just as much data as we download as programs such as Snapchat require a lot of upload capacity – 5G increases the speed and availability of uploading and provides opportunities for how our devices communicate and transmit data going forward as current restrictions are lifted.

Once it is fully introduced, 5G will likely be around for a long whilst to come – it is a vast improvement in mobile networking, and in the long term presents a lot of opportunities for what may be possible. For many the connection is also much faster than what is possible on their own home internet and WiFi connections, and as such it may be further reaching than just mobile as home internet is also forced in to a position to upgrade infrastructure to provide a similar service to what is possible on our mobile devices.

Mostly Everything

“Real world” SMART LTE speed test (they secretly reactivated the beta SIM cards — ahihihi)

OK so this is funny. I heard a rumor that the LTE SIM cards were reactivated in time for SMART’s launch tomorrow. It so happened that I *forgot* (I really did!) to return my LTE SIM + USB dongle to Abbie Real and Meg Ruiz.

While waiting for a meeting I decided to unearth the USB device and plug it into my MacBook (running Windows 7). Turns out, the rumor mill was true — the telco had re-activated the SIM cards! Usually, you’d get a registration error when connecting to the mobile helper. I guess there are indeed rewards to those who … don’t forget to return their beta devices. Ahihihi.

As I write this post I’m downloading (a legitimate copy of) the newly released Counterstrike: Global Offensive via Steam. For the past 2 days I’ve been trying to download the 4.x GB file only to encounter suspended downloads and restart errors which is typical for new games being released via the Steam store. Well guess what? LTE works!

So here are the stats:

The Bonifacio Global City area is covered by LTE signal. Indoors I am not experiencing full bars — but 2 bars of signal gives me about 10-15mbps download speeds which translates to roughly 1MB/second. See the photo above. Before hitting publish on the blog post, I went in to check the download and I’m now at 49% completion which is basically 2.0GB of the total 4.x GB in less than 10 minutes. I’m streaming one HD films on Vimeo in the background.

After about 7 minutes:

PLEASE NOTE: Though I was a SMART beta tester and have SMART as an advertiser on my blog, this speed test isn’t endorsed by SMART at all. In fact, I’m not even supposed to have this USB device. Oops. To Meg and Abbie, sorry for forgetting to return! I’ll buy you J.Co. Anyway, it’s fast naman eh! =)

Disclaimer : I’m currently using the beta USB dongle from HUAWEI. I’m not sure if this is the same one they are launching LTE with. This is the LTE test a day before the official launch.