5G is on the way and what you can expect when it's available

March 08, 2018



Last year we explored the emergence of 5G coming in the new year.  This included some of the roadblocks cleared by the FCC to open the door to infrastructure deployment and just how fast speeds will really be.


Now that we are a few months into 2018, the "big four" wireless providers in the United States have already released road maps for planned deployment of 5G signals in specific cities, while Gizmodo has examined what you can actually expect from the speeds (1).

What To Expect With 5G Speeds

5G, or five generation of wireless communication, will include much faster upload and download speeds that will exceed one gigabit per second and latency as low as 1 millisecond.


As the market stands today, 4G LTE averages in the range of 150-300 Mbps or up to 1 Gbps (Gigabytes per second).  5G will offer 10 Gbps. Channel bandwidth will also see a significant increase, with current 4G LTE speeds averaging 20 MHz. 5G will provide up to 1,000 MHz.


Smartphones will be the biggest benefactor of these new speeds as every major carrier in the U.S. and abroad is working hard on network upgrades.  However, it doesn't appear a mass audience will get the chance to utilize it until 2019.



Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint 5G Plans

The next 10 months will see the four major wireless carriers begin to introduce the expansion and rollout.


Verizon will be offering fixed 5G installations in consumer homes, serving as household broadband instead of traditional cable or Fios.  Sacramento is the only city scheduled to start getting this tech early, although two to four more cities are planned for the end of the year.  Verizon will continue to work on infrastructure upgrades before offering 5G-capable smartphones.


AT&T is promising to be the first and only carrier to provide 5G mobile in 2018.  The company did confirm they will make it commercially available before the end of 2018, providing actual devices that would be capable of utilizing the fast speeds.  Cities expected to have access include Dallas, Atlanta and Waco.  Nine other cities are expected to have access as well.




T-Mobile is continue to upgrade exisiting networks to prepare for the 5G push in 2018 and be ready when the first 5G-capable smartphones are available in early 2019.  The company is claiming they will make over 30 cities ready this year, including New York City, Los Angeles, Dallas and Las Vegas.  T-Mobile seems content playing the long game, focusing on mobile as the main goal.


Sprint announced its mobile 5G service wouldn't be officially available until the first half of 2019.  The company claims that due to upgrades made to support faster speeds in the future, customers in Chicago, Dallas and Los Angeles will start to experience "5G-like capabilities" including faster data speeds and increased capacity.  Sprint also plans to use Massive MIMO radios with 128 antennas to support 5G and 4G LTE.

Upgrading Exisiting Telecom Infrastructures

As fiber and 5G network expansion continues heading into the new year, Fiber OSP Construction services will become increasingly valuable. As these networks expand, having access to turn-key fiber splicing and installation services will be key.

This includes construction services for outside plant focusing on residential, commercial, and governmental applications. 

These specific fiber services include bulk fiber optics cable to support industrial, commercial, municipal, and governmental data centers, as well as fiber network design for industries like healthcare, education, pipelines, railroads, telecommunications, and banking. 

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(1) Gizmodo: Here's What You Can Expect From 5G in 2018