It is seen that the speed of the internet connectivity of the US is poor. And, some new reports indicate that the situation is not getting better. The US is far behind in this aspect as compared to other developed countries. The introduction of new, better and faster technology, like 5G, which will require to develop over the existing infrastructure, will create more hindrance for the US. It will only make the situation worse.
The ranking of the US with respect to download speed is at the 40th position. It has improved only by 3 ranks from last year. And the points improved from 2018 is by 13%. It is an improvement, but not a very impressive one.
5G internet speed and its effect on the US
It is said 5G internet speed will be between 50 Mb/sec – 1 Gb. The mid-band of the 5G will deliver between 100-400 Mb/sec. These numbers are very impressive and are expected to make the download time even shorter.
With the world gearing up for the fifth-generation of wireless networks, the situation of the US network can get even worse. 5G will require to upgrade the infrastructure which is currently being used for 4G. Also, they will need a huge number of fiber cables, and with more antennas, they will now be more closely located.
However, due to the high demand for data, the geographical size of it, the trade war between the US and China, will affect the introduction of new network negatively. Otherwise, the new 5G has great potential for running everything from advanced telemedicine to precision agriculture to self-driving cars.
When 4G was introduced, the US saw many new companies that were never heard of. It gave rise to app for booking cabs from home. If the US stays behind and do not ready itself for 5G, it can miss out on many such technological inventions.
Steps for making the most out of 5G
The introduction of 5G alone will not solve the problem of slow mobile speed. In order to make the most out if the 5G internet speed, the US has to make some huge modifications.
Availability of more spectrum
One of the problems with 5G is that it uses three types of spectrum. These spectrums are: mid-band, high-band, and low-band. All of these spectrums are necessary for the smooth functioning of the 5G.
More spectrums are being developed by the FCC and is made available. They are developing primarily the high-band spectrum, this is most useful in the suburban and urban areas. The spectrums that are made available by the government are not enough and more spectrums are needed to be made available.
The primary need for spectrum is of the mid-band, which has a 3.5 GHz spectrum. It is what the rest of the world is using for building the 5G networks. But, in the US, the government, fixed wireless, and satellite usage are occupying the mid-band. Hence, before auctioning these to the telecom companies, they need to be cleared first.
Streamline rules of small-cells
The previous year, a rule was sanctioned by the FCC that the small cells, devices used for signal amplification, have no need to undergo any reviews for environmental issues. This has made the process of using them more easy and streamlined. These small-cells can very effectively strengthen the mobile infrastructure for 5G.
The small-cells are the size of a backpack. It can be attached to the side of the buildings and lamposts and help in distributing the spectrum. This will be very effective in the urban area because of their requirement of high mobile-data transmission.
27 states have already agreed to the new reform of the wireless infrastructure. This will accelerate the process of deployment of the small-cells. However, the process will need to be more streamlined as the laws for the cells are still to be agreed in the other states. 5G network will need all the states to agree and use the small-cells. A new bill of the Senate is proposing federal control over the deployment of the small-cells.
Heavily regulating telecoms
Many believe that the low wireless speed rating of the US is due to the fact that the government has not incentivized the private telecom market. This has made the telecoms to charge the consumers as they want.
If regulation is put over the price telecom charges, it can make the process of adopting 5G faster. With the cut in the price, the telecoms will be able to reach more customers. With more customers, the telecoms will have more revenues. And with the demand of the customers, they will be motivated to quickly adopt 5G.
Increasing regulations over the telecoms will also make the telecoms to build networks in the remote and the poorer part of the country. Most of the 5G network which is available today is located in the urban areas. This is to quickly collect the cost of investment. Due to this reason, the backward part of the country stays disconnected.
The US, without any doubt, wants cheap, and fast internet. 5G internet speed has the potential to offer it. But, in order to achieve the full potential of the 5G, the US has to work very hard. If they follow all the right steps, they can achieve in a very short period of time.