What Is 5G and Should I Start Using 5G for Remote Working?

5G actually builds upon and enhances 4G LTE networks via updated software & radio networks.

Not long ago, 4G network or “4G LTE” was something that every digital native was looking forward to, offering data speed that can significantly surpass 3G (which it did). With the arrival of 5G technology, most people would think that there will be a “5G vs 4G” wireless technology showdown, when in fact, 5G actually builds upon and enhances 4G LTE networks via updated software and radio networks. 

That being said, does a 5G mobile network meet your daily work-from-home demands? Let’s find out below. 

What Is 5G Technology

Before diving into the pros and cons of 5G, we need to know some background information on 5G and its current standing in Singapore. Basically, 5G is the fifth generation of communication network technology that has yet to be a nationwide network in Singapore. It provides faster speeds than previous generations. Downloading a movie took minutes with 4G while it only takes seconds with 5G. Beyond smartphones and other mobile devices, there are other applications for 5G technology that open doors to advancing virtual reality (VR), the IoT and artificial intelligence (AI).

Residents in certain Singaporean territories are already enjoying the benefits of 5G. The government recognised the importance of 5G and thus has made the decision in 2020 to establish a nationwide 5G coverage in the near future.  

Pros and Cons of Using a 5G Network When Working From Home

1. More Bandwidth

When you are using data to browse websites, download files and watch videos, you are using the bandwidth, that is the “space” available. If you want your devices to run at top speed, you will need more bandwidth. Thankfully, the fifth generation of wireless technology offers more bandwidth on the data networks of communications companies such as Singtel, StarHub and Mobile 1 (M1). With increased speed and network capacity, 5G networks can download 4K videos in seconds. 

Knowing how fast 5G is depends on its type. Low and mid-band 5G are equal or slightly faster than 4G. Meanwhile, millimeter-wave (also known as “millimeter band”) 5G networks can deliver faster speeds exponentially. 

2. Lower Latency

Network latency refers to the time it takes for a signal to travel from its source to the receiver and for the receiver to process that signal. In other words, the “lag time”. 5G networks offer lower latency than current networks, with the latency reduced to as little as 1 millisecond as compared to the usual 20 milliseconds. With 5G, you can connect your home smart devices and control them in real-time. Data lagging can finally be a thing of the past, and you will be able to stream videos quickly and easily.

Do you often experience video calls that freeze or drop all of a sudden? Users can now have smooth video calls without delays, unwanted interruptions or latency with 5G. If you are keen on subscribing to 5G, check out which telecommunications company offers 5G home internet to replace your fixed line internet connection. 5G home broadband is designed to be stationed at home and not as on-the-go mobile broadband. 

3. Less Coverage

However, an increase in bandwidth also means having less coverage for 5G. When 3G was still implemented, there was no issue with coverage because its cell towers could cover immense territory despite having relatively few cells. Since 3G did not require as much bandwidth, the network only needed to deploy fewer cells. Unfortunately, 3G could not keep up with the growing demand for faster speeds. Currently, with 4G LTE, the cells of this network are producing more bandwidth, which means the coverage radius of each cell becomes smaller. As a result, some 4G users experienced a drop in their coverage compared with 3G network usage. This limited coverage issue also continued with the 5G roll-out as more cell towers are required to produce an immense amount of bandwidth. This is because the cells in 5G are not able to cover as much space as what 3G or 4G cells can do. Thus, 5G users are expected to experience limited coverage due to the need for more cells to be rolled out.

Depending on your budget and the nature of your work, implementing a 5G network at home is something to think it over. If your work does not require a high-speed connection or being involved with heavy digital audio-visual tasks, you can still stick to your cable internet. For more digital news and trends, read our CARE blog articles today!