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Old 10-18-2020, 06:17 PM   #1
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5G from the major carriers

AT&T and Verizon have now joined TMobile in covering the weekend airwaves with ads touting their “nationwide” 5G coverage. What’s been the actual experience for you? Is it real yet?
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Old 10-18-2020, 06:30 PM   #2
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I don't think it is real yet, but if you're getting a new phone it probably is important to get 5G to futureproof. For RV use I wouldn't worry about mmWave bands, those are more for high congestion areas.

I just bought a new phone but didn't get 5G because I'll be upgrading the wife, strike that, upgrading the wife's phone pretty soon. I think it's only important that one of use have 5G for tethering. I'm pretty sure I'll go with the Pixel 4a 5G for her because she likes that screen size and I like the 3 years of monthly security updates.
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Old 10-18-2020, 10:07 PM   #3
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My new Samsung connected for the first time to a 5G system in our local town.
Yes it's real. Just not widespread yet.
We will be swapping our new iPhone 11 for the new 12 due to 5G availability on Wed.
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Old 10-18-2020, 10:12 PM   #4
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What Verizon announced last week was that it was going to expand its 5G network through the use of lower frequency bands in addition to the millimeter wave bands that it had been using in big cities. This is the approach that T-Mobile announced quite some time ago.

The millimeter wave approach has the potential for much higher speeds but those frequencies don't penetrate buildings well and require lots and lots of transmitters all over the place. That's Ok for cities but not so good for more rural areas.

The lower frequency signals have been penetration but don't provide nearly as high speed performance.

From a practical perspective of what phones to buy, Verizon's announcement was coupled to the release of the iPhone 12 which is capable of receiving both low frequency and high frequency 5G bands. Other new phones such as the Google Pixel 5 will also be able to receive all these bands. I'm not nearly as confident that all 5G phones released previously will be able to receive all of them.

FWIW I live in a rural area and doubt that I'm going to see 5G anywhere in my neighborhood for a good long time.

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Old 10-19-2020, 08:59 AM   #5
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Ok thanks for the replies. I have all the internet I need with my OTR & Visible duo. But after being inundated with the ATT and VZW commercials all weekend during the football and baseball games I was just wondering about the reality.
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Old 10-19-2020, 09:08 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Chuck&Pam View Post
Ok thanks for the replies. I have all the internet I need with my OTR & Visible duo. But after being inundated with the ATT and VZW commercials all weekend during the football and baseball games I was just wondering about the reality.
My desire is just redundancy in remote areas. The more channels your phone can receive the better. That's why the wife's phone will be 5G, a just in case thing. But her phone needs to be replaced in any event.

For the rural area 5G I've not really researched whether the 5G does travel better, over hills and such. I suspect 4G may travel further distances in many locations.
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Old 10-19-2020, 09:31 AM   #7
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My view. The major benefit of 5G will be much higher speeds. As was noted, current reports are that 5G requires that you be fairly close to the cell tower. So, initial roll out of coverage using the truly high speed frequencies will be in places where population is dense, big and rich cities. Speed increases on the less capable frequencies will be much lower. It isn't going to enable heavy streaming in your favorite campground for quite some time.
All companies are revenue dependent and lots of people just HAVE to have the latest thing and are happy to provide the support. So some folks will jump to get the latest 5G phone, just because.

For me, I see no reason to spend big $ to get something that will provide minimal if any benefit to me. There are still many places I can't get 4G coverage.
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Old 10-19-2020, 09:36 AM   #8
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My view. The major benefit of 5G will be much higher speeds. As was noted, current reports are that 5G requires that you be fairly close to the cell tower. So, initial roll out of coverage using the truly high speed frequencies will be in places where population is dense, big and rich cities. Speed increases on the less capable frequencies will be much lower. It isn't going to enable heavy streaming in your favorite campground for quite some time..
The first part of the quoted material describes mmWave 5g.

As to the last part, you don't really need all that fast of speed to stream at campgrounds, so it's really more of a coverage issue. But if you're in a relatively remote area I suppose congestion could be an issue if others on your same network (same carrier and 4G or 5G) are also streaming. I hadn't thought about that before, but that might be another reason for the wife to get 5G. 4G might be more congested in a specific location.
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Old 10-19-2020, 09:45 AM   #9
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It's important to understand that there are two primary types of '5G': mmWave and Sub-6 (aka low band.) mmWave utilizes very high frequencies and can provide radical improvements in speed, however these cells are usually limited to dense urban areas and it will be a long time, if ever, that they are of value to the typical RVer. Low band 5G is more ubiquitous but may or may not offer huge jumps in speed, although it is frequently superior to LTE.

Neither technology is a 'must have' right now (in fact it's not likely most people will see much of a difference with a 5G phone in the next few years), but naturally manufacturers are staring to include it in their new models. If you're getting a new phone then you'll have the feature, but if not there's not much reason to upgrade for that reason alone, rather just wait until your next normal phone replacement.
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Old 10-19-2020, 10:29 AM   #10
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Most of my RV use is extremely rural. The very rural areas will be the last places to see 5G roll out.
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Old 10-19-2020, 01:47 PM   #11
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Most of my RV use is extremely rural. The very rural areas will be the last places to see 5G roll out.
You may never see the super-high-speed mmWave stuff out in the boonies, but you will see low-band 5G, in fact it may be available in many rural areas even now. That said, for previously-mentioned reasons it's not much to get excited about yet.
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Old 10-19-2020, 05:28 PM   #12
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A little off the initial subject but still a need to know. I've read on the Internet that the new 5G network generates radiofrequency radiation that can damage DNA and lead to cancer, cause oxidation damage that can cause premature aging, disrupt cell metabolism, and potentially lead to other diseases.
Also, according to a German study if you live within 1/4 mile of a cell phone tower or antenna, you may be at risk of serious harm to your health being exposed to hazards associated with electromagnetic frequencies from these towers.


The FCC reaffirmed the radio frequency radiation (RFR) limits that were adopted in the late 1990's. And these limits were based largely on research from the 1980's.


All this I read on the Internet after Googling "Danger to 5G Networks", something like that, and also "Radiation Health Risks.com, trying to understand what I had heard about 5G. I don't have a 5G phone nor any desire to own one but just wondering what big companies like AT&T may be dumping on us. [Mod Edit]


Just the worries of an old senior RVer.
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Old 10-19-2020, 05:33 PM   #13
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Wonder if the sim cards that we got with the old mobley plan will work in a new 5g hotspot and receive 5g?
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Old 10-19-2020, 06:45 PM   #14
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Do current 5G phones allow you to turn off 5G and default to LTE in order to lower battery usage?
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