Understanding The Different Types of 5G

7th April 2022
5G in the sky showing that it can be used anywhere

The latest generation of network broadband is becoming more widely available. When most people think of 5G, they look forward to its most popularised features, including high speeds, more data and lower latency.

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5G actually has far more varied benefits than many businesses initially realise. This is because there isn’t just one kind of 5G. Since 5G uses a larger spectrum of radio frequencies than previous generations like 4G, there are, in fact, multiple levels of 5G.

The highest range delivers those high speeds, more data and lower latency that are often heralded as the main advantages of 5G. Yet the other ranges still have plenty of benefits for businesses too, such as a more reliable connection, especially when Wi-Fi is poor, and the ability to get a connection anywhere as the infrastructure around 5G expands.

Types of 5G

With the various radio frequencies, there are three bands of 5G coverage:

Low-band – While low band 5G has limited performance compared to high band 5G it has the best ranged coverage. These are the frequencies that will give power to employees to connect and work from virtually anywhere with a more reliable connection than 4G. This 5G signal is also better at penetrating solid objects than mid or high band. Its ability to provide more stable coverage over long distances and through obstacles means it opens up new ways of working for remote workers and rural businesses.

Most tasks and even some IOT capabilities will be possible on low band 5G.

Mid-band This frequency is 1-7GHz. Upload speeds can be as high as 350 Mbps and downloads as fast as 1.5GBps. Latency is only 8-12ms. Speeds are mid-100Mbps and these continue to rise. This range will certainly help with capacity and allow more wireless applications to run from your mobile.

Faster Speed

High-band The high band is the highest frequency for 5G. We’re looking at frequencies above 24GHz. This offers that peak performance and high speeds that 5G is known for. Download speeds are expected to be up to 3Gbps with upload speeds up to 1.5Gbps. Latency should be in single digit milliseconds. This band can carry much larger amounts of data compared to the lower bands. However, it is limited to near line of sight transmission. Weather, distance, and structural interference will weaken the highest band. The high band of 5G creates many opportunities for the advancement of technologies, particularly in machine learning and AI. Wireless robotics will benefit the most from this band and we could even see surgeries being performed by robots using 5G.

Businesses and 5G

All the bands of 5G will be of great use to businesses. They can offer more flexible working for their staff while increasing productivity. Regardless of staff’s wi-fi capabilities in and out of the office, 5G will allow greater access to a strong, stable internet connection.

Businesses will find the stability of the lower bands a great support for wi-fi and often an improvement for their wi-fi. Communications such as video conferencing and tasks including video streaming will become much easier and smoother for businesses.

By investing in 5G laptops for your staff, you are giving them better ways to work while future proofing their technology for the coming years.

5g iPads from anywhere

Hardsoft can lease a range of 5G laptops, including ThinkPads from Lenovo.

Our current 5G devices include:

iPad Mini

11-inch iPad Pro

GalaxyBook Pro 360 5G Hybrid

Lenovo ThinkPad 1X Fold Hybrid

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 5G

If your business needs help choosing the best 5G devices for your staff’s roles, Hardsoft can offer an evaluation and select the most suitable options.

5G Requirements

Not all devices are capable of offering 5G. Even if your staff use 5G laptops, this is no guarantee that you’ll be able to have employees use 5G.

To ensure all workers can gain the benefits of 5G for your business they require:

  • A new 5G compatible device
  • A network provider who offers 5G
  • A data package with that provider that allows for 5G

Enabling 5G on PC

To check if your device has 5G capabilities head to your device manager settings and look under network providers. Look for ABGN or AGN. If these show, then it is likely to have 5G.

Enabling 5G on your laptop is quite simple. If you provider offers 5G then there are usually two settings on your router. One for 2.4GHz (which works better over distance) and 5G which works better at close range to the router.

The former can pass through walls more easily.

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You should check if your router has the dual modes before enabling 5G on your laptop.

In Device Manager select Properties, then Advanced. If your laptop supports 5G then you should see it there in the list of options.  

Hardsoft can offer a range of high quality 5G laptops for lease, including the Galaxy Book Pro 360 5G, the Lenovo X1 Hybrid, or the Lenovo X1 Carbon. All these devices have outstanding performance thanks to their high-quality hardware and software. Lenovo and Samsung are some of the most popular brands for high-end business laptops and 5G will boost their performance even further.

So, why would you want 5G if 2.4GHz works better over longer distances?

The premier level of 5G, with the phenomenal speeds and data, works best over a shorter distance. Therefore, if you’ve enabled 5G on your router, your devices will work on 5G optimally if they are in the same room.

However, 5G uses a greater range of radio frequencies than 4G. The result is that there are actually various levels of 5G with some being more effective than others. The fastest 5G only works over short distances.

Better area of connectivity

Despite its shorter range, 5G can definitely be worth it. With more towers being built, distance is becoming less of an issue. The increased speed, data and capacity offered by 5G could:

  • Significantly increase productivity in offices
  • Provide more reliable connectivity
  • Equalise the quality of work between on-site and in-field staff

Enabling 5G on iPad

In addition to many new PC laptops gaining 5G capabilities, Apple is adding 5G to their new iPads. An update in the latest IOS will allow users to manually switch to 5G on their iPads if they have an iPad Pro 12.9 inch (5th Gen), or an iPad Pro 11 inch (3rd Gen) or an iPad Mini (6th Gen).

Simply head to your Settings then click Mobile Data. You will be able to select Auto 5G, 5G On or LTE. The latter is switching 5G off for everything, the middle option keeps it on permanently and the former adapts to provide the best experience based on your battery life and usage.