Will 5G replace home Wifi or cable internet?

Picture of 5G

With the development of technology, the 5G era is getting closer to us. At the recently concluded MWC of 2019, the GSMA released the “2019 Mobile Economy” report. It predicts that at least 18 Countries will have commercial 5G networks by the end of this year.

At the same time as MWC, US operator Verizon announced plans to launch 5G home Internet in more than 30 cities in the US in the first half of 2019, and the promotion of 5G home Internet will continue to expand in the second half of 2019. It’s worth noting that Verizon’s 5G home Internet service has no restrictions on data usage and comes with 3 months of Youtube TV. Mobile manufacturers like Samsung, Huawei, ZTE, OPPO Xiaomi, and other brands have also already started releasing 5G mobile phones.

The data tariffs are no more expensive as of a few years back. In this context, the use of 5G can become a reality. There is an ongoing debate on whether 5G can replace the traditional home Wifi or cable internet? Many people believe that the main advantage of WIFI lies in its unlimited use. So, once the 5G network starts providing unlimited internet, Home Wifi or cable internet is likely to be replaced by 5G.

Actually, 5G replacing Home Wifi and Cable internet is a false proposition because 5G and WIFI are not things on one level. 5G refers to the fifth-generation standard of wireless access networks. The main features are wavelengths of millimeters, ultra-wideband, ultra-high speed, and ultra-low latency. WIFI is a wireless LAN protocol created in the IEEE802.11 standard.

5G has the characteristics of low delay, high reliability, and large concurrent access. Therefore, theoretically, it can replace WIFI. However, 5G uses millimeter waves with weak penetration and rapid attenuation. With modern buildings and infrastructures, the concrete material will obviously block the strength of signal limiting the coverage area of 5G.

The current mainstream of WIFI is 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz, which has more strength than the 5G millimeter wave and is more suitable for indoor LAN layout. At the same time, for individuals and families, although WIFI is not as portable as 5G, it is easier to install. It only needs to be installed through broadband and wireless routers. 5G requires the intervention of the operators and the establishment of base stations.

5G and WIFI are not mutually competing for relationships but are complementary to each other. In the outdoor, the portability of mobile networks makes 5G more flexible than WIFI. Signal strength makes WIFI more suitable for Indoor User. Therefore, WIFI will be used as a means to convert 5G networks into local area networks in the future. In other words, WIFI will be incorporated into the 5G architecture instead of being replaced.

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