5G Explained - Don't cancel your home internet yet

Hey, welcome to another Flarecorp Media, Whatever Wednesday.

Today, I want to talk about something you've probably heard a lot about but aren't quite

sure what it is and that's 5G.

Now 5G just simply means it's the 5th gen of cellular network.

1G being analog, that is the big Saved By the Bell speakerphone or whatever.

2G was where they switched to digital and started allowing text messages and internet

to go through and the very first iPhone was a 2G iPhone.

And then 3G is what really allowed people to kind of come into the whole mobile world.

That's where a lot of people got into it was with 3G and that gave you better internet,

you got to send bigger pictures, etc.

And then 4G or LTE is where basically mobile network is as the internet.

Like there's no distinguishing idea between cell phone internet and at home internet.

It's all the same from the user's personal perception.

So 5G is the next iteration.

Now, there's more to it than just speed as the thumbnail told you.

There's actually quite a bit of new technology that goes into it to help improve different


Now, I'm standing here because right behind me there's a tower right in the middle, a

light pole, and that light pole is covered in antennas and that is a Verizon 5G ultra-wide

band antenna tower.

And so if I come here with a 5G phone, give it a second for it to recognize that I'm near

a 5G signal.

Of course, it's not working.

Dude, it’s right there!

This is the problem with ultra-wideband, like it's literally right there and I'm getting

you know, 4G speeds.

So we're going to talk about that as well as the varieties of 5G.

Alright, I don't know where it's coming from but somewhere right around here...

Hopefully it’ll pop back into 5G.

I was just getting it.

There it is.

Okay, 5G.

I don't know where the tower is coming from.

I think the one I was showing you must be off because that's getting nothing but down

the street I was getting something.

I have stood directly below one and gotten it and so I understand what it's supposed

to look like.

So, that's why I think the one I just showed you was not working.

You see, I just lost it again.

That's the problem with this super fast 5G, the ultra-wide band.

Because it's ultra-wide band that means it’s millimeter wave is what they call it and that

means it does not travel very far.

Things like trees and corners completely get rid of it.

You can lose it, you know, putting it behind your body.

Now, I was, under a good tower, able to walk about two blocks away, including putting it

in front of my body or going behind the glass of my car window.

Right now I can't find where this thing is coming from.

It keeps popping in and out, so I thought I could sit here and do a speed test but I

need to go find a different location.


I finally got a strong signal but watch, when I move around this way, see I just lost it.

Come back.

Come back.

Come back.

There it is.

Okay, let's do a quick speed test before it goes away.


Okay, so we're above one gigabit per second which my home internet, fiber internet, the

fastest I can possibly get to my home, is one gigabit and here we are at 1.4 gigabits,

so almost 50% more if math is right.

I have been able to get to 1.7 gb/s at a better location.

So that's insane download speeds.

But you’ll notice my upload speed is only 45.

That's because these do not have the power to beam back that strength of signal so it's

just sending it basically at a 4G speed for my upload.

So it's the download that has all the power but now watch.

When I move here and put it in front of my body, odds are the 5G is going to go away.

There it went away.

So you see, it's really fickle.

This tower is currently not turned on, but it should be coming soon according to their


You can see there's a lot of technology that goes on to these towers for this ultra-wide

band and they have to put one of these up every 300 meters or so that they want coverage.

You can think of it kind of like a Wi-Fi router, you know, you need one in each building or

every couple floors or something like that, but that's just one little device whereas

this, sure you're supporting a lot more devices, like this could handle a lot of cell phones,

but that's a lot of technology just to, you know, serve a 300 meter line of sight range

of internet.

So running a speed test is all well and good but we're talking directly from Verizon's

network to Verizon's towers.

Sure, I'm getting 1.7 gigabits but what does that equate to in the real world.

So let's stop this speed test here and let's go try to download a large game.

So Call of Duty mobile, that's 1.47 gigabytes, so let's click install and see how long that's

going to take.

Alright so here's the results of the download test of the Call of Duty mobile at 1.47 gigabytes.

I tested it on Wi-Fi, 5G, and 4G and this is probably the most important thing you're

going to see in this video with regards to expectations of 5G.

So first I want to point out that this Wi-Fi is my home internet.

That's gigabit fiber internet and you can see that my download speed to my Galaxy Note

20 Ultra on my wireless AC router is 517 mb/s on average.

Now that's excellent because that's half of what plugging in an ethernet cable into a

computer would get you.

If we compare that to 5G's reported speed of 1.7 gb/s, that's more than 3 times faster,

and then if we come here and look at 4G, that's still excellent 4G speed.

On my old phone, my Pixel 4 XL, I was getting, you know, 60 or so, but the modem and antennas

in this Galaxy Note 20 Ultra are much better, so I got 130 mb/s.

Okay, so now let's go ahead and look at the time though.

We can more or less disregard this yellow because that is just the install time and

that's 12 seconds and that's 12 seconds and that's 11 seconds.

So, it's the same all across the board.

That's just how long it took my phone to process.

But what's important here is despite the Wi-Fi being three times slower than the 5G, the

time to download is significantly faster.

So if you’re kind of wondering what this Time Until Verification is.

So when you're downloading a big app, it downloads to anywhere from 92% to 99% and then stops

in terms of the progress bar moving forward and it just...

I assume it’s verifying the data that it just downloaded.

So that's what the blue line is, to wherever it stopped.

92% and this was 99% and this was 98%.

And then the final 4%, were just before it started actually installing the download was

done, that's the red.

So that's really the most important number because that's when the install actually started

after that.

So it’s like I said, Wi-Fi at three times less the speed is one minute and 41 seconds

faster at downloading the 1.47 gigabytes than the 5G.

And even the 5G compared to the 4G, I mean, really the time isn't that much different

on the total time.

Sure to verification it is faster but that's only you know, 18 seconds different in full-time

despite it being a much bigger difference between the speeds.

And if you're wondering, it wasn't the ping time.

The ping time on average was three milliseconds and this was, I don’t know, two milliseconds.

I didn't record what the milliseconds were on this but it was in the 50s and the jitter

was only five milliseconds.

So it's not like this was having outrageous ping times, but remember, this was the speed

test was to my provider Allo, and this was to Verizon and this was to Verizon.

So I'm wondering, I really wish I had tested going to a different speed test provider because

I'm wondering if they're cooking the books making this number bigger by talking directly

to Verizon and after you get to Verizon then it slows way down.

That’s the only way I can figure that or there's just so much overhead in a cellular

connection despite being way faster in raw data, the overhead of verification is just

that much worse than normal Wi-Fi and home internet.

So anyway, don't let the numbers fool you into thinking that this is, you know, amazing,

get rid of your home internet, because right now my home internet, despite being way slower,

is kicking its butt in terms of actual useful speed.

The ultra-wideband is just one piece of the three piece puzzle.

So we've got the ultra-wide band, that's the high top speed, That’s the one that is easy

to market, the one that gets people most excited about it but that's also the most finicky.

Below that you have the medium band and the low band.

Now Verizon and AT&T have put a lot of effort into the ultra-wide band.

In fact, that's pretty much all Verizon has at the moment.

T-Mobile has put just a little bit in, a couple hot spots, but they've been focusing on the

low band and medium band.

So, what's the difference?

Well, the Low band is what has allowed T-Mobile to unveil the nationwide 5G first because,

I think in a way, it almost uses the same infrastructure as LTE, I'm not quite sure,

but basically they're using technologies to improve speeds by up to about 20% using about

the same frequency range as LTE.

Then the medium band was owned only by Sprint and that allows about six times the speed

of LTE.

Well, Sprint was just bought by, merged with T-Mobile.

So now T-Mobile has low band and medium band and so now they're able to start working on

the high band whereas Verizon, like I said, they worked on the high band and now they

need to start building out their infrastructure on the lower band.

So aside from just speed, there are more technologies coming to 5G and a lot of them are coming

right from our Wi-Fi routers in our house.

So one of them is MiMo, multi-in and multi-out, antennas, and what that is is you know back

in the day when you only had like two or three things on your Wi-Fi network, a laptop, a

phone, and maybe another laptop.

Now we have 20-30 devices.

We have lights, we have refrigerators, we have TVs, we have all kinds of Wi-Fi signals

in our house.

So the Wi-Fi group created something called MiMo to allow support for all these devices

to get attention when they need it and continue to get speed.

Well, that's something they're bringing to 5G.

They're bringing massive MiMo and what that is is basically the ability to handle more

devices on one node.

Something else that they're bringing from Wi-Fi routers is Beamforming and basically

it's Wi-Fi magic is the only way I can describe it.

They take multiple antennas and triangulate where your device is and then they use the

power of reflective beams to focus the signal towards your device.

So in the old days, it would just be a circle.

They’d just send it out in all directions unless it was specifically a directional antenna

and so that was a lot of extra, you know, noise pollution, radio wave noise pollution

that affects other things.

Plus it's not putting all the power directly towards your device.

So now using the band beamforming they can signal in and bounce things off walls and

stuff to get to your device better.

So they're bringing that to 5G.

The other thing that they're also bringing is closer compute units.

Right now when you talk to a cell phone tower it has to go talk to its processing center,

all that stuff.

Well they're bringing that processing center, the computing center, closer to the actual

tower which is going to lower latency.

Why do you care about lower latency when maybe all you care about is videos and can just

wait for it to buffer a couple more milliseconds?

Well, lower latency, we're talking 1 millisecond to 3 milliseconds, that's close to fiber speeds

in your home.

That is going to be better for things like smart cars who need to talk and make split

second decisions and they need the information quickly, you know things are changing, I need

instructions that I can't process or I need more information about the context of the

traffic or something like that.

Having faster, shorter speeds between them and the server is going to improve their ability

to function.

But so what do these non-speed related technologies mean for the end user?

Well not a whole lot that's tangible other than the fact they may see more consistent

internet speeds.

Right now on a good 4G LTE connection you may get, you know, 60 mb/s but the moment

you move into a congested area like a park or stadium or downtown area your speeds may

tank down to like 5mb/s.

And so in 5G, with these new… the extra carrying capacity, you may only go down to

20 to 30 mb/s and that's going to allow you to stay on the cell phone network longer.

So right now if you're going to a stadium often times you just have to fire up Wi-Fi

and connect to their unsecured Wi-Fi network and that unsecured means that it's not secure,

plus you’re limited to whatever the speed that that Wi-Fi network is, but with the ability

to remain on 5G inside of these congested areas, it's going to be more secure and your

phone is going to continue to talk directly to the tower.

Odds are you going to see more consistent speeds.

Right now I know there's someone in the comments saying ‘but Jason, I heard 5G is bad for

your health’.

Let me stop you right there.

No it's not.

The part of the electromagnetic spectrum that these 5G signals run in is lower than light

and what that means is it's not ionizing electromagnetic radiation.

Ionizing radiation is ultraviolet, which is just above visible light, ultraviolet and

up and that's the stuff that comes in and steals electrons from your atoms and destroys

your DNA, and that's why we tell you where sunscreen, because you’re bombarded by that

all the time.

And this electromagnetic band that we're using for 5G is way below that and it does not cause

any known cancerous or otherwise health results.

Then I know there's some of you who are going to say ‘but Jason, there is a governing

body that has released a document that says there is a chance that 5G Wi-Fi could cause

ill health effects and cancer’ and that governing organization has to err on the side

of caution.

They will say anything could cause those if a significant study hasn't been done to prove


If there's even a tiny tangible amount of evidence that something could be bad for your

health, they will mention it.

It's kind of like when you use a device that says the state of California says that there's

something in here that could cause cancer but you continue to use it anyway.

That's because if we use things safely, it's not going to be bad for health as well as

the thing in there, sure there may be an element that could cause cancer, but when put together

in the whole unit itself, it isn't going to cause cancer, but a significant study hasn't

been done to prove that that isn't bad for your health.

And so what I'm saying is basically we've been using these Wi-Fi frequencies for years.

They're really close to our Wi-Fi routers.

We've been using them for TVs.

They're all lower than ionizing radiation.

And so, they're not bad for your health and until a study is done to prove that they are

bad for your health there's no reason to be concerned.

So as I was explaining this new technology something should be glaringly obvious and

that's the fact that there's not a whole lot of incentive for carriers to deploy 5G in

rural parts of the United States.

Sure T-Mobile turned on nationwide 5G, but they're still missing a lot of sections and

I don't expect them to necessarily try to reach those new sections anytime soon just

because there's not the need.

In order to get the super high speeds, you need those ultra-wideband towers that don't

cover very far.

And then the extra carrying capacity just isn't needed in less dense parts of the United


So that's why you're going to continue to see 5G, the fast stuff you actually are going

to want to play with and care about, is going to continue to be in high dense urban populations

and then the medium band is going to be covering, you know, bigger cities.

That's why you’re going to continue to see it go from large areas to smaller areas and

maybe eventually, like LTE, it'll cover most of the United states.

So what that amounts to is basically even in 2020, there's not a real good reason to

buy a 5G phone specifically.

Now if the phone you want has 5G in it, great you’re future proofed.

That's what I did with my Galaxy Note 20 Ultra.

I wanted the phone.

I'm good to go now.

But if you're looking at two different phones, one of them has 5G and one doesn't and the

one that doesn't is less expensive, unless you're living in a stadium, living a highly

congested non-stop area and you already have 5G, there's really not a good reason to pay

the extra money right now because it's going to take a while for them to continue to roll

out the network and, like I said, you're not going to see those speeds really unless you're

near one of the high speed centers and unless you're dropping signal all the time due to

congestion, you're not going to see a benefit from the extra carrying capacity.

That's going to do it for this episode of Flarecorp Media.

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