5G Migration: What You Need to Know
- 01 Jun, 2022
As progress continues, we have technology now that we wouldn’t have thought possible a few years ago. 5G is one such example. By the end of 2022, 20% of all mobile traffic will be on 5G. How can you get on board cellular’s new high-speed data highway?
What is 5G?
5G is short for 5th generation mobile network. 1G was introduced in the 1980s and was solely for analogue voice traffic. In the 1990’s 2G was introduced and opened up the exciting new world of digital voice. Remember those indestructible Nokia phones, and whose batteries will outlive us all? Those were 2G. Revolutionary at the time, it was the start of commonplace mobile technology as we know it today. In the early 2000’s 3G was introduced, bringing us. Mobile data. With it came a slew of message apps like Blackberry messaging and mobile email. In 2010 4G came along, and now, over a decade later, we have 5G.
5G offers the speeds required to stream content with no interruptions. Think of 2G like a back country road. Not much traffic can flow along it, and definitely not at a decent speed. 3G offered a two lane highway, 4G six lanes, and 5G is twelve lanes. Data can move on it astonishingly fast with reduced latency, opening up exciting possibilities.
What is 5G C-Band?
Although 5G is incredibly fast, its signal is rather weak and cannot travel far. 5G signal can be interrupted by mountains, buildings, and trees. The signal is worse the further you are away from the cellular tower. To prevent this, network providers have purchased portions of what is called the C-Band.
Higher frequencies (millimeter waves or Super Data Layer) are lightning fast, but are relatively weak, and lower frequencies (called Coverage Area) are strong, but don't carry much data. C-Band lies in between, and can carry 5G farther distances. It will be found in both remote and urban areas, whereas 5G millimeter wave can only be found in urban areas.
You may not realise that you've change over if you have a 5G enabled mobile. Your phone will automatically find and use the best signal, whether its 5G or 4G LTE. For now, 5G is mostly in urban areas. If you reside in an outlying area, you’re likely still using 4G.
Voice over 5G is not supported by network providers yet, though they sell voice as an essential part of their packages. Voice over LTE (VoLTE) remains the main channel for making calls, no matter where you are sitauted. In other words: 5G is data only for now, while calls are made using 4G/LTE. Of course, if you don't have a 5G enabled phone, you will need to get one in order to use the network.
The Future of 5G is promising
With reduced delay on the 5G network, its future is thrilling. Latency is how long it takes for a data package to travel between devices. For example, the time it takes for an instruction to reach a drone from your device. Some uses include autonomous vehicles, remote surgery, and agriculture. Imagine a fleet of unmanned harvesters responding to remote controllers via an application.
What about Network 5G Migration?
Network providers have been developing their 5G networks for years. A lot of C-Band infrastructure is already in place and just needs to be activated, with more continuing to be rolled out. As more mobiles become 5G enabled, the older generation of networks will be phased out. There are only so many wavelengths to broadcast on. We don't want to dedicate them to outdated technology.
IoT devices don't need the super-fast speeds of the 5G network, and still operate mostly on 4G and 4G LTE. LTE stands for Long Term Evolution, and like its name will be around for a while.
Getting the Best out of The 5G Network
To make the most of the incredible speeds being offered on 5G, you need to have good signal. As mentioned, 5G signal is not always strong in many areas. Installing a signal booster and a good antenna is the best way to ensure that you stay connected. Signal obstructions can be killers, especially when they affect your business. If you are in an urban area you can get away with a decent signal booster kit that includes an antenna, but if you are rural, a stronger antenna is suggested.
Bolton Technical currently stocks two 5G ready antennas:
The Crossbow 5G Antenna | Bolton Technical South Africa
- High gain: up to +12 dB
- N-Female connector ports, 50 Ohm
- Over 8km of range
- Weatherproof, all-weather tested
- Works across the 617-3800 MHz cellular bands
The Crossbow has around 8km range, meaning that as long as you have some cellular reception, you can bring it directly to your node. With up to +12 dBi of gain you’ll see a significant difference when comparing it to the standard antennas that come packaged with hotspots. This makes The Crossbow ideal for remote areas, as well as inside a metal building or other structure with difficult building materials which distort signal.
The Long Ranger – Ultra high gain parabolic antenna | Bolton Technical South Africa
- Can send and receive a wireless signal from 16kms away (under perfect conditions)
- Radiation pattern ranges between 4 to 20 degrees
- Designed to withstand extreme weather conditions
- Sends and receives vertically or horizontally polarized sound waves
- Provides up to +28 dB gain
- Perfect for long-range point-to-point and point-to-multipoint networks
The Long Ranger is the most powerful directional cellular antenna in the market. It’s perfect for remote environments with cell towers that a far away.
This antenna features ultra-high gains of up to +28 dBi, making it extremely directional, which allows for farther reach. It has a radiation beam of about 10°. Thus, installation may take some time because it must be pointing at your closest cell tower with such precision for best results. In ideal circumstances, it can reach cell towers found 16kms away.
More 5G ready products
Bolton Technical will soon be launching some new 5G ready products. Take a look at some of the products we will be bringing to SA in the near future:
- Remote management capability via LTE connectivity
- Rapidly deployable requiring only AC power and no fixed backhaul
- Withstands rugged environments and extreme temperatures
- Efficiently amplifies signal using dielectric waveguide antennas
- Amplify high-band 5G operating on mmWave outdoors
3.7 to 3.8 GHz
- Amplify mid-band 5G operating on C-Band frequencies in-building
- Sync with network time-division duplexing
- Use dual-amplification paths (2x2 MIMO) or split mode
- Remotely manage the system with WilsonPro Cloud
- Optimize signal with network scanning
How May We Help You?
Bolton Technical is a leading provider of cell phone signal boosters, devices that amplify 4G & 3G LTE for any phone with any carrier for home, office, or car. We’ve boosted over 1,000,000 m² of signal for homes, buildings, and vehicles across America and Canada and now that same power is boosting signal across South Africa.
- Free consultation (ask us anything) with our South African-based customer support. Email us or Call us today.
- Free shipping over R500 to Major South African cities. Usually ships same day.
- 30-day money back guarantee. You want to make sure you're satisfied.
Our goal is simple: keep people connected. Ask us anything and we'll be glad to help.