Five questions about 5G, answered

There are a lot of exaggerations of 5G (too much, really) and it is much more complicated than the transition to 4G was. In addition to the complicated technological questions about millimeter waves and modems, there are also geopolitics, trade wars, gigantic demands between technological titans and empty buildings in Wisconsin.

We're tracing all those stories in The Verge – you can find our 5G coverage right here, but if you just want a quick introduction about what's happening now that 5G phones are starting to be sold in stores and the White House is issuing orders related to 5G, read on. [19659003] 1. Should I buy a 5G phone this year?

No.

Why not?

Networks barely exist, present only in some cities. Even then, they only work well in certain blocks, and even then, you need a line of sight, and even then, you will have LTE upload speeds.

Oh. Well, maybe I should buy a 5G phone anyway since I need a phone right now, and I do not want it to be obsolete if I keep it for a few years. It is a good idea?

No. Please do not do it The first generation of phones that use new cellular technology is usually pretty bad. They are big, inefficient monsters that suck the battery. This year could be a bit different since the Samsung Galaxy S10 5G of $ 1,400 seems pretty decent. But even if it's great, you'll still be stuck with a phone that costs a ton of money to access a network that is just taking off.

Even if a miracle happens and networks propagate faster than anyone expects, it's likely that the modem inside your phone is not as good as the second. or third-generation modems that will come next year and the next. Qualcomm manufactures all 5G modems for phones in the United States at this time, and announces new modems almost as fast as the current ones.

(You know what? I'm counting the three questions as one question.) The first time we saw 5G in 2018 was "no." The answer in 2019 is "no." Ask me again in 2020: but do not promise if the answer will be different at that time.)

2. What's up with all the 5G hype then?

There are many reasons. Here's a cynical one: phone sales in the United States are really declining, and the entire smartphone industry is looking for ways to entice consumers to another wave of expensive upgrades.

Here is a less cynical reason: when 5G works, it is legitimately, really fast with a super low latency, which could allow a lot of surprising new technologies that we have not yet thought about. Think of the first days of the smartphone when it seemed that every day, someone discovered a new and intelligent thing that could be done with your phone.

Many people expect another wave of innovation like that. Rather, many people expect to earn a lot of money by convincing them that another wave of innovation like that is about to happen. However, it may not, because 5G networks are much harder to build than 4G networks. They require many more cell sites, and the signal can not easily cross buildings. Then, all promises of innovation are probably too optimistic or completely empty. Wow. That was cynical again, was not it?

Well, the truth is that there is a lot to be cynical about 5G. The companies are excessively promising and of insufficient delivery at this time. The gap between the huge amount of 5G marketing and the number of real 5G products and services that we can prove is enormous. And in that gap, there is not much to do but wait and ask.

3. I heard there was something with Apple, Qualcomm, Intel and 5G. What happened there?

Below is a series of sentences that indicate facts that only ask to be connected but not necessarily must be. As you read them, understand that there are two ways to interpret them. One: the way technology works in our day is an incredibly complex interaction between massive and semi-monopolistic giants, and strange coincidences sometimes occur. Two: there is a big conspiracy of 5G.

Should you connect those points? Some of them, maybe! But probably not all of them. But to answer the question: those are all things that happened

4. Why is the United States government so angry with Huawei and 5G?

The government's concerns with Huawei predate the current trade war with China, although you can connect with your own time, if you wish. But do not try too hard because even though no US operator. UU Sell ​​Huawei phones in the US UU., Many other Chinese companies are still selling phones here.

The most important problem is that Huawei manufactures much of the equipment used for network infrastructure. The world, and it makes it cheaper than many of its competitors. There is concern that Huawei is too close to the Chinese government, and all that networking equipment could be a security risk. That statement is something that Huawei denies energetically and is also something that we have not yet seen concrete evidence.

Does that mean you can definitely trust Huawei? That's hard. Other countries are using the equipment, and many rural businesses in the United States would also like to do so. The old phrase "the absence of evidence is not evidence of absence" applies here, especially because many in the United States government are quite adamant about not trusting Huawei. There is also a totally different problem about the extradition of the Huawei CFO on charges related to fraud.

One thing is for sure: this conflict is intensifying.

5. What about the Foxconn factory in Wisconsin that has something to do with "AI 8K + 5G"?

Foxconn promised to build a factory to make televisions, which would create jobs. But then that plan changed, and everything has become very strange and very complicated. Everyone began to see how dark everything was, so Foxconn admitted that he was not building that factory; Instead, he said that he would create many jobs around the most modern things that are happening in technology. He gathered three acronyms that sounded futuristic. 5G, as mentioned above, has many exaggerations around it.

Then, to make everyone feel better with this strange and constantly changing deal, Foxconn bought a lot of buildings but left them empty. (He said they were not empty, but they are definitely empty).

6. My AT & T phone says "5G E" on the corner. Does that mean I have 5G now?

It does not have it. AT & T is lying to you with an icon, and the company that makes your phone help you do it. For the record, since 5G E is not really 5G, I'm not counting this as a question about 5G. (Also, I really wanted to keep the headline in "five questions" because it is 5G).

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