Pixel Envy

Written by Nick Heer.

Understanding 5G

Glenn Fleishman, TidBits:

However, 5G won’t be transformative for most people or purposes. Its advantages primarily accrue to cellular carriers, even more so than 3G or 4G, which offered significant boosts in throughput and allowed higher rates over broader areas. 5G will let carriers charge more for service in some cases, handle more customers simultaneously, break into new markets that require higher throughput or low latency, and equip more kinds of devices with ubiquitous high-speed cellular data connections.

For users, it will gradually feel like we have broadband no matter where we might be, which is not terribly exciting except when you want to stream a 4K movie in the backseat of a car on a highway or download a 5 GB file in a minute in a coffee shop. The level of excitement should be more akin to finding out your city has (silently) dug up the streets while you were sleeping, replaced 10-inch water mains with 20-inch ones, and then cleaned it all up without you knowing. 5G is better network plumbing that your “Internet utility” had to install to deal with the amount of data and new data connections it wants to move around a city.

This is the best primer I’ve read about 5G. Fleishman manages to bring all of its different narrative strands into a coherent and easy-to-read article.