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How 5G works: the pros and cons

5G internet. We've been talking about it for a short time, and now it's finally beginning to arrive. It is a revolutionary entirely internet that promises to change everything from your Phone, to home internet, to more futuristic fields like self-driving cars and even remote surgery, but 5G's also been within the headlines lately for tons of wrong reasons with bizarre conspiracy theories and rumours. So, to assist bright things up, we're going to inform you, what exactly 5G is, how we came, what the technology behind it is, and any real concerns which may exist around the new technology. (chill music) So, what's 5G? Well, 5G or fifth generation, is that the next step in mobile internet technology.

It's what all of the next waves of phones and tablets are going to use for speed that is even faster than the LTE network that we have already got. Now, our news editor and reviewer, Chris Welch, has been testing all these networks for a while already, so he can tell you what it wishes to use these speeds today. - Okay, so all the large carriers are well underway with rolling out 5G, and by the top of this year, you ought to be ready to get it wherever you reside within the US, but what 5G means on each carrier is different. Speeds are different; coverage is different, so for the last year I've been testing out all the networks, Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint is now a part of that, just to ascertain how briskly it's and what a difference it makes in your day to day life. So let me attempt to explain. Now Verizon's 5G is blazing fast; you'll get download speeds of over one gigabyte per second. That's up to 10 times faster than most home wifi connections.

You can download a whole season of a television program in only minutes, but the problem is coverage. Verizon's 5G is extremely , very spotty. It's there on one street and gone subsequent , and indoor coverage is pretty much nonexistent. That's because Verizon bases its whole 5G plan, for now, on what's called high band millimetre wave technology.

You've seen it in those commercials as ultra wide band 5G. But the difficulty is, the signal can't travel very far, so in an city where it wants to roll out 5G, Verizon's gotta put up all these nodes everywhere the town , and that is not really practical to try to to nationwide, so afterward this year,Verizon's also gonna activate its low-band 5G network, but there the speeds aren't that much faster than what your LTE phone can do today. So for now, Verizon network isn't worth upgrading to a replacement phone for, unless you've anode like right outside your apartment or your house. T-Mobile has the most comprehensive 5G plan of all the US carriers.

Things like carrier aggregation, which combine multiple LTE bands into one data stream for faster speeds, or MIMO antennas, or multiple input multiple output, where we use antenna arrays, made up of lots of little antennas to improve connectivity. (chill music) But is 5G, or really any cellular radiation, safe? Well, therefore been a lot of inaccuracies going around about 5G. Some are completely absurd,like the idea that 5G somehow caused the corona virus, but the simple answer is that 5G is basically the same as any other type of cellular radio technology and we already have a pretty good idea that cellular radiation is not harmful. - Of course people are concerned a little about possible effects of the formation of cancer if you use your mobile Phone a lot or if you've been exposed continuously to radiation from cell towers. There's a lot of studies available on that sort of effect, but that's never been proven that indeed there is a carcinogenic effect of expose to radio frequency radiation. There's also concern that exposure to radio frequency fields, for instance the higher fields, the higher frequencies that 5G's got to use, that that may result in adverse affect on the immune system,and that people may be more susceptible for the, for infection by the COVID-19 virus. There's no proof, no indication whatsoever that there's any effect son the immune system from expose to radio frequency fields. - Now, I know that cellular radiation falls into the non-ionizing portion of the spectrum. Can you talk a little more about the differences between non-ionizing and ionizing radiation? - Ionizing radiation has very high energy content and because of that, it is possible that if you are exposed to that sort of radiation, that chemical bonds in the body, that they are damaged and broken, and that may result in uncontrolled cell growth, which may result in the formation of cancer. This sort of effect,breakage of chemical bonds, is something that is not possible with non-ionizing radiation,with the type of radiation that cellular technology uses, because the energy content of that type of radiation is not enough to resulting such chemical breakage.

 The entire spectrum of non-ionizing radiation, up to UV radiation, is something that has no energy content that is high enough to break chemical bonds. Heating is the only proven effect of exposure to radio frequency radiation. (chill music) - While 5G doesn't pose any health risks, there are gonna be practical issues with the transition to 5G. Some of the growing pains are just switching to a new generation of technology. Things like more expensive plans. That faster data speed means that you can burn through your data cap really quickly, and that's something that we're gonna have to figure out. The first wave of phones were more expensive, although prices are starting to come down. And of course, there's just building out the networks. The low range of midland millimetre wave networks, means that it'll take longer and cost more to build more towers, to get that kind of coverage that people expect. The good news is, is that we've already started. Qualcomm, for example,has made 5G the default in all of of its new chips and flagship phones in 2020, from companies like Samsung, Apple, One Plus, are eitheral ready shipping with 5G, or expected to have itby the end of the year. And that's to say nothing of the big advances that carriers like Verizon, T-Mobile, and AT&T have made in building out the actual networks. And more importantly, none of these issues are really new. The transition from 2G to 3G, or from 3G to LTE, saw similar problems and the tech industry was able to solve them.

The only difference is that we're a lot more reliant on our phones than we were 10 to 15 years ago, and that's why these issues seem so much more important now. But the key thing to remember is that 5G and the technologies around it, aren't really new. It's just our perspective on them, and our reliance on our phones that's really changed. Thanks so much for watching. We've been really working on a 5G explained for a while, so we're really glad to have put this together. If you have any other questions about 5G or technology in general, let us know. 

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