As the world prepares for the eventual rollout of 5G technology, it’s often forgotten just how far the technology still has to go. When it comes to consumers, the notion that faster, more reliable cellular connectivity is on the horizon is as attention-grabbing as it gets – but just how much of that attention is warranted?
Christopher Mims, a technology columnist at the Wall Street Journal, dissected how the introduction of this technology will remap the wireless industry. One of the main issues the writer calls upon is the reality of how expensive hardware replacements may be when it comes time for the 5G launch. Without a future-ready hardware system in place, providers and consumers will be left to bear the burden of extensive infrastructure overhauls to interoperate well within the new network offering.
Expensive installation will inevitably make the accessibility of 5G a scarce commodity when it first rolls out. Since the next-gen network will build in higher frequencies than are currently in use, there won’t be many access points that will support its bandwidth.
Many of the benefits of 5G won’t be realized until equipment is installed that is capable of operating at those higher frequencies. Part of the reason that equipment won’t show up any time soon is that operators just finished investing in their 4G networks and only in some parts of the world. Additionally, extensive tests are taking place to better understand how those high frequencies will travel and penetrate inside the buildings, both residential and commercial.
Which frequencies 5G signals will use to provide reliable 5G service inside various types of buildings and venues remains to be seen; however, early indications are that, for wide area indoor coverage, those frequencies will be in the sub 6GHz range.
Zinwave offers the industry’s most efficient solution for those indoor locations where sub 6GHz frequencies will most likely be used. Building and venue owners investing in their infrastructure can enjoy peace of mind that their investment will be supporting 5G in the sub-6GHz range without any additional future hardware upgrades. Because Zinwave’s patented wideband DAS covers all frequencies from 150MHz-2.7GHz, and 3.5-6GHz, buildings that are served by Zinwave will have the opportunity to bring 5G connectivity to their customers as soon as carriers begin to support it in their market, all through simple software upgrades.
The line once existing between wired and wireless service providers will soon disappear, Mims also notes. As wired companies prepare to take advantage of 5G technology to deliver connectivity to traditional broadband customers, the next-gen network may lead to increased segmentation as more network operators enter the bid for additional spectrum. Companies with dense wired networks have implicitly acknowledged the opportunity that awaits behind the move into mobile. This increased competition will inevitably demand systems that are capable of managing connections to as broad swath of the spectrum as possible, and with minimal configuration and hardware required.
Mims hit the nail on the head in telling readers to be prepared for a long, slow rollout of 5G networks due to the complexity of the process and the additional associated costs. The market will shake and move with the introduction of new competition and reliance on outdated connectivity methods. However, Zinwave’s in-building DAS solution offers a glimpse at the next generation of wireless connectivity and is future ready to support 5G deployments at any and all frequencies below 6GHz.