5G is currently on everyone's lips. The new generation of mobile networks that will soon be deployed in France raises many questions. In our series of articles devoted to the subject, we propose to answer the most frequent ones: how it works, its advantages, its deployment and the controversies on the subject.
What is 5G?
5G is a new mobile (wireless) network standard. It is the successor to 1G, 2G, 3G and 4G, and is therefore the fifth generation, hence its name.
It has been developed to meet the growing need for high-speed wireless broadband.
Indeed, it promises theoretical speeds around ten times faster than 4G (over 1 Gbit per second) and extremely low latency. As a result, it is often described as a technological revolution.
How does it work?
5G is an evolutionary technology and therefore its performance will change over time. Like previous generations, it works by means of radio waves sent via antennas, and therefore does not require a wired or satellite connection.
It is based on the use of new radio frequency bands previously reserved for the military. It is now possible for operators to purchase these bands. At present, SFR, Orange, Bouygues Telecom and Free have had their purchase proposal accepted by Arcep, an independent administrative authority. It is responsible for regulating electronic communications.
Some of the frequencies used are already used for 4G+, which reduces the number of new antennas.
When 5G is deployed, it is planned that it will only operate on one frequency band, from 3.4GHz (gigahertz) to 3.8 GHz. Then other frequencies will be gradually allocated to it. Each of these frequencies has its advantages.
The lowest frequencies (700 MHz) improve range but have the lowest throughput. The higher frequencies (26 GHz) provide exceptional throughput, but have a shorter range.
Learn more about 5G with our series of articles!
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