5G spectrum is almost here, with major telecom providers nationwide planning on launching their telecom networks nationwide by early 2020. Most telecom companies in the United States will offer some 5G connection by the end of the year. 5G promises some serious advancements in download and upload speeds, but also improvements to latency and ping. That’s not the only thing we’re excited about.
5G is going to bring something with it called Fixed Wireless Access (FWA). FWA is mostly 5G Internet, but for your home. Yes, you’ll be able to sign-up with a telecom provider to bring 5G WiFi to your home, bringing you that fast and low-latency Internet straight to the devices inside your home.
The question is, is this new type of Internet going to be what finally replaces traditional cable Internet?
What is 5G WiFi?
As we just explained, with new 5G Internet, consumers will be able to get a direct wireless connection to their homes. This is a WiFi network that gets its signal for a telecom provider’s 5G wireless network. This is through a process that is typically called fixed wireless access (FWA).
This is generally through an advanced router or base station for your home. It receives a signal from an antenna or receiver hooked up on the outside of your home.
It’s generally set up this way because 5G typically has weak signal through walls and obstacles. With the base station able to pull in 5G Internet from that antenna, you get high-speed WiFi from your telecom in your home.
Why get 5G WiFi?
5G WiFi has a lot of benefits. Download and upload speeds have seen some major improvements, so it’s going to be able to bring you some incredibly fast speeds to your home. 5G’s rated to bring you around 2.5GB per second in peak download speeds. You won’t get those speeds precisely since there are levels of interference that you still have to adjust to, as well as for accommodating millions of other devices on the tower.
One of the beautiful things about 5G WiFi is that it’s the perfect solution for rural and hard to reach communities. These communities have typically been underserved because it’s not easy to build out the infrastructure needed to bring blazing fast Internet to a couple of homes at a time. Since 5G is emitted through the air, just about any home with 5G coverage will be able to have access to 5G Internet.
In some cases, depending on how telecom providers decide to build out their 5G plans, 5G WiFi like this could potentially be a lot cheaper than traditional cable Internet packages.
Or, instead of picking up a Fixed Wireless Access setup, you can still use your smartphone to connect your home devices, but it would be via a Mobile Hotspot. The Mobile Hotspot is going to be significantly slower since you’re going to be dealing with obstacles and interference through walls and such.
Will 5G replace Cable Internet?
We definitely don’t think 5G is going to replace Cable Internet. Cable Internet is still so much quicker than what 5G can offer, especially since you don’t have to deal with nearly as many devices fighting for priority service. And, many Internet Service Providers (ISPs) are launching their own networks that have speeds of 1GB or higher.
That’s way more than 5G will reach. 5G is rated for more, but again, that’s just something you’re not going to achieve because of all the devices connected to the telecom tower. That said, 5G is optimal for areas where folks wouldn’t typically be able to get excellent Internet access.
When will 5G WiFi Launch?
5G as a whole will be launching in early 2020 through most telecom providers. Mobile devices that are 5G-capable will be able to hook up to 5G networks starting around that time on at least the four major carriers — AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon. All four are currently testing 5G mobile networks, as well as Fixed Wireless Access.
Fixed Wireless Access is being tested in small spots around the United States, but should progressively launch over time. T-Mobile plans to have over 200 million households covered with FWA by the end of 2020, for example. So while there’s no set date, a staggered launch will start in early 2020.
As you can see, 5G isn’t replacing high-speed Cable Internet anytime soon. Instead, 5G makes it easier for people to get access to things like the modern Internet in areas where it wasn’t possible before. This makes it easier for people in underserved communities to get easy and quick access to entertainment, as well as other things like online education.
Are you looking forward to 5G WiFi?