So I bought a 5g phone, and then I drove to the nearest 5g city. And I tried it for myself. So this is my new $1,600 samsung galaxy s 10. 5g on Verizon. And so the crew and I drove from the studio to the nearest 5g City, which is Providence, Rhode Island. So for those unfamiliar, a brief explainer, what is 5g? Well, we all have 4g now.5g is the fifth generation of wireless network technology. And so all the big carriers are working on building out their 5g networks right now Verizon, at&t, Sprint, are all working on 5g. The main theme of 5g is again, speed, every new generation of the wireless networks are significantly faster and more capable than the previous. Some of you may remember the old and very slow 2g and 3g and how much better 4g is than those 5g represents another step forward. So to take advantage of 5g you need a 5g device with 5g radios and a 5g network. So for me, that’s the Galaxy S 10. 5g. And it’s Verizon who’s building up their 5g network in certain cities, one location at a time. So you can’t just get a software update to a 4g phone to just enable 5g. That’s right. Talking to you at&t changing people’s status bars to say 5g when it’s really just 4g, it’s stupid. It’s basically a lie, you’re kind of trying to trick people into thinking they got 5g 5g is not 5g. It’s still 4g.
It’s really a shame.Anyway, 5g is built on what’s called millimeter waves. It’s a new section of very high frequency spectrum, upwards of 20 gigahertz all the way to near 96 gigahertz. But the catch is, the higher the frequency of any wave, the lesser the range, like that’s just the truth on paper. So for the same reason, five gigahertz Wi Fi doesn’t travel as far as 2.4 gigahertz Wi Fi. Same reason, microwaves don’t cook things on the other side of the glass wall. That’s the same reason 5g doesn’t travel as well through the real world. So millimeter waves biggest problem is that even if you’re standing pretty close to the note, like a couple 100 feet away, it only really travels well within direct line of sight. So things like trees, and walls, and buildings block and disrupt the high frequency signal. Even if you’re still close to it, I’ve heard even that rain in the air could potentially be a problem. So this is why I wanted to test this for myself. So we drove to Providence, Rhode Island, which is on the growing list of reasons 5g cities, it’s not the whole city that’s one big 5g hotbed, it’s only certain areas sort of tucked away happens to be near Brown University where we found one of them and we found it by finding one of these. This is a 5g node or three nodes to be specific at the top of a light pole. You could tell because it said Verizon right on the pole and because if you stand right next to it with a 5g phone in your hand and run a speed test, the results are just absolutely ridiculous.
The 4g and the notification bar switches to indicate 5g and you open up your app of choice and run a speed test and I’m seeing easy 700 800 900 often well above 1000 megabits per second download. Highest result I actually saw in my personal testing was 1.9 gigabits per second briefly from fast calm, that’s just that’s that’s just hilariously fast. Like you could almost use your whole data cap in a minute.
dreamlike speeds, very, very nice. Of course, you want to see what this type of speed is actually good for other than a speed test. So YouTube videos just played instantly without any buffering in HD. I could fast forward right off the bat no problem. web browsing, of course, would be super fast hopping into the Play Store to download a gigantic game like pub g mobile progress moves
Pretty fast, not like a blink of an eye and it’s done but still miles better than it would be on LTE. The fortnight downloader progressed faster than the fortnight installer would have meaning it’s it’s crazy impressive. And downloading an entire Stranger Things episode from Netflix in HD on this phone took about four seconds. So you could grab the whole season in probably like 30 seconds if you wanted to, which is, again, absolutely ideal. But again, here’s the thing. This is all while standing like right next to the tower with a direct line of sight, you know, perfectly ideal conditions, great weather, once I left that, it kind of broke down pretty quickly. So right around the corner of this brick building, just to get into the shade. So literally, maybe 75 feet away from the node. But behind a wall, I’m getting much slower 5g, it’s still 5g, but you can see the numbers here. Now, I mean, it’s kind of crazy to call 200 300 400 down slow. But compared to what I was getting before, that’s a pretty big difference to basically cut your speed in half just by walking a couple meters down the block.
And also notice just by walking halfway down the block, I’d start bouncing back and forth between 4g, and 5g. And like it was frustratingly inconsistent. Even when I did have a line of sight with maybe a tree or two sort of nearby, my phone would drop 5g and then jump back on again. And they can see it in the notification bar, it would drop back to 5g and then back to 4g. And then when I was on 5g and I ran the speed test, it would be great, I get 1000 down again, which is awesome. But when I ran it at 4g, I would get 4g speeds. And it’s really good 4g speeds. But it was just weird getting those results back to back, like half a block away. And what I waited a minute, I’d suddenly get 5g again and get 1000 down. So what’s the solution for this? Well, as we understand it, basically just putting a lot of nodes all over the place. So essentially, to maximize coverage, and improve technologies so that when you move behind one obstacle or sort of drive through a city, you actively switch between nodes that you’re connected to, kinda like we do now with 4g towers, but just much faster. And I think that’s the part that kind of scares people, it seems seems like a brute force way to actually go about fixing the problem.
But that’s the current plan is just blanket areas with these lower powered cells that let you switch between them very, very quickly. Instead of one giant 4g Tower, like you have now my gut feeling is that an infrastructure where you cover an entire city, and eventually an entire country in these little nodes is going to be incredibly expensive, and probably take a very long time like yours, so it’s a long way off. But here’s another thing to notice. Even with me standing right next to a 5g node and holding a brand new 2019 5g phone, there were still some drawbacks to notice the main three are heat, battery, and upload. So for one, the upload appears to still be happening at 4g speed. Even when I’m connected to 5g, I never broke 100 megabits per second up in all my testing, which is still a great speed. But my dream of uploading an 8k YouTube video in like five seconds, or going live streaming high resolution VR or something like that are not possible at all yet. You’ve probably also noticed the ping is still at 4g levels to the goal is to get this down to a millisecond or less. But that isn’t happening yet. And these tests either and then heat and battery or something that this phone seemed to specifically suffer from when I was testing. I started my day when we got to Providence with 75% battery, did all my testing and that maybe took about four or five hours. And when we finished I was at 21% battery and the phone was warm to the touch the whole time. This is why you see 5g versions of phones coming out almost always have a larger battery than their normal 4g brothers including the Galaxy S 10. 5g. And the phone. getting warm during the testing to when I wasn’t even gaming or doing anything graphically intensive. Just watching some YouTube videos and download tests was a little concerning. So the bottom line 5g is like folding phones right now in 2019. Clearly not ready yet. But when you use it, and you get just the right use case and you’re at just the right space, you get this amazing little glimpse into the future that you wish was ready for right now. Because it’s so great. But it’s not. And currently the cons sort of outweigh the pros. And I wouldn’t spend extra money on it right now, in 2019. The future of 5g is really bright, assuming you know the infrastructure happens and isn’t too obtrusive. And that’s a big assumption.
But then we’re talking virtual reality streaming and networks of autonomous cars that are all internet connected and talking to each other. And maybe even think about remote surgery with a 5g connected robot in one country with a doctor over here and a patient in another country and everything just working seamlessly
Like all this super high bandwidth, low latency stuff, maybe the end of video buffering all together, all seem possible. But as of right now, in 2019, it just isn’t ready yet. But I’m super ready for when it is. Anyway, thanks for watching. Catch you guys in the next one, this
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