It seems impossible to turn on your TV, open an Internet browser, or scroll on social media these days without noticing some mention of 5G connectivity – and hey, we aren’t mad about it. 

Promising faster, better, and premium connectivity, the fifth generation of cellular networks is poised to usher in connectivity like we have never seen before. It’s no surprise that the major wireless players are itching to talk about the 5G networks they are working so hard to build across the United States. 

Here are some exciting 5G stats you may or may not be aware of: 

How do cell networks actually work?

Before we dive into 5G and its implications for you and your organization, it’s worth taking a few moments to brush up on how cellular networks are constructed 

Cell towers emit radio frequencies within a certain geographical area – shaped like a honeycomb. All devices (such as smart phones) within this ‘cell’ will connect to the frequency and use a slice of the available spectrum.  

Most cell towers nowadays are segmented into three triangular segments facing three different directions. Each transmits a different signal frequency to maximize coverage. This is how wireless carriers use smaller, shorter-range towers placed closely together to boost capacity in a dense city, while larger, more spaced-out towers can adequately cover rural areas. 

Related: Understanding MNOs, MVNEs, and MVNOs

What is 5G?

So now that we understand how cellular networks work, we’re ready to turn our attention to what 5G brings to the table. 

5G technologies allow for significant improvements in both coverage and capacity through enabling access to a much broader range of cellular spectrum than the existing 3G and 4G LTE networks. For individual users, this means faster browsing speeds and lower latency for the online activities we all enjoy (streaming movies, online gaming, etc.). 5G is also great news for sports and concert fans, as it will allow excellent, high-speed coverage for all users in even the most densely populated areas such as stadiums and concert venues. 

5G is not just one thing, though. It encapsulates an array of improvements over three key areas: 

Improved antenna design – Through MIMO (multiple input, multiple output) technology, cell antennas can receive data through multiple transmitters and then disperse that data over multiple carrier streams with no interference.  

Higher frequency bands – In addition to existing cellular spectrum, 5G utilizes higher frequencies on the RF (Radio Frequency) spectrum, which can support more subscribers and higher traffic volumes. 

Lower latency – Latency is the time between initiating an action and the action actually occurring. 5G promises to deliver lower latency and higher speeds than ever before. 

Okay, so 5G is pretty cool and all – but is there anything I should actually do about it right now? 

Preparing for the 5G revolution

All of the major U.S. wireless carriers now offer some form of 5G service – and though it is not yet widely available outside of major U.S. cities, the technology is growing each day. It’s an exciting time in the industry, to be sure. 

Here are the steps we recommend you take to prepare yourself and your systems for the next generation of wireless connectivity. 

  1. Evaluate your organization’s goals and current wireless solutions. Even if you don’t think you need 5G connectivity now, take a look at your roadmap over the next few years. Do you have students with increasing connectivity needs for learning at school, at home, or on-the-go? Do you plan to incorporate IoT solutions into your business’ operating procedures that could benefit from reliable, real-time data updates? 
  2. Conduct a network audit. Understand and document where your network is today so that you are prepared to take steps towards 5G when the time is right.
  3. Future-proof your tech wherever possible. The good news is that for the time being, 5G will be supported on much of the existing cellular infrastructure. But onboarding with a vendor partner whose wireless expertise will grow with you is a great way to set yourself and your organization up for future success. 

Related: 9 Ways Smart Cities Are Transforming the Future

Final thoughts

These developments are exciting. We have collectively watched cellular connectivity grow into something many of us could not have imagined – not only a powerful tool for IoT analytics and data-driven decisions, but also for access to learning, healthcare, banking, emergency services, and closeness with our loved ones in a time in which virtual connection is a lifeline. 

Kajeet is committed to helping you create connections for good. As part of this commitment, we recently announced SmartBus™ 5G, a future-forward solution for the connected school bus. With SmartBus™ 5G, riders can enjoy premium coverage on either 5G or 4G LTE networks and transportation leaders are able to future-proof their school bus technology. 

As the world continues to grow and develop, so will the needs of our customers – and we want to assure you that when you onboard with a Kajeet solution, your technology is future-proof. Whatever cellular standards come our way in the next five, ten, or twenty years, you will receive protocol management and lifetime support from Kajeet. Contact us today to learn more or to schedule a free consultation.