The failure of 5G


5G was supposed to be a revolution. So far in 2020, it’s not even been a great evolution.

December 15, 2020

By Vlad-Gabriel Anghel, DCPRO

We are reaching the end of 2020, a tumultuous year that saw us realign our priorities, re-imagine our surroundings and adapt to a new way of living – at least for the duration of the pandemic.

This was supposed to be the year in which 5G hit the big time, with wide rollout, breakneck speeds and huge bandwidth. And while it has appeared in certain instances, it seems that the real world results of 5G are, at best, underwhelming, and at worst offer no improvement over former generations of mobile communications.

Historically, rollout of different generations of mobile networks has always taken several years. And while 5G standards are adopted at a quicker rate thanks to some level of interoperability between this and prior network standards, the near snail’s pace of true stand-alone 5G rollout is starting to dent the idea that 5G will reshape industries and markets.

There are two variants of 5G: non-stand-alone (NSA) and stand-alone (SA) architecture. The majority of current deployments have been of the non-stand-alone variant, a variant which relies on LTE (“4G”) for its control channels.

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