Qualcomm claims that a new study proves the benefits of 5G over 4G thus far in 2019
Qualcomm, by now clearly a leading proponent of the 5G revolution, has released the results of a study conducted on its behalf by Signals Research Group (SRG). This weeks-long project reportedly involved thousands of gigabytes of 5G data taken from those US cities in which this new mobile data service is active, as well as certain countries that included the UK, Switzerland and South Korea. The results apparently show that the new bands are already gaining ground over conventional 4G/LTE.
SRG found that the implementation of 5G has resulted in "substantial" improvements in terms of performance and capacity for the carriers in question. Furthermore, the testers reportedly gained mean data speeds of 220 megabits per second (Mbps) while walking around London on a sub-6GHz network. The best rate, however, was found in Minneapolis, where SRG recorded a peak of 1.6 gigabits per second (1.6Gbps). Then again, the median in the same location was 383 Mbps.
The network in that city was mmWave rather than sub-6GHz, however, which raises a common reservation among consumers with this new tech: this band is seen as unreliable, perhaps as its signals do travel shorter distances compared to other 5G (or LTE) modalities. However, Qualcomm has asserted that its new study proves that the band was capable of speeds of up to 1.2Gbps, although this dropped to 200Mbps without line of sight.
Qualcomm also points to the example of the US Bank Stadium in Minnesota, a football ground equiped with mmWave 5G. SRG found that coverage to each of this venue's 66000 seats was rated 'good' to 'great'; on the other hand, this requires no less than 13 new cell towers placed strategically throughout the stadium.
On the other hand, 5G may be linked to other disadvantages, such as increased battery drain thanks to the energy requirements of the new modems and other components needed to receive it. Qualcomm counters these concerns with an additional conclusion from the new study: a phone with 5G can download approximately 3 times the data compared to one on 4G/LTE with the same battery capacity (276.5 megabytes (MB) compared to 91.9MB).
Therefore, Qualcomm asserts that 5G has numerous advantages as a mobile data standards, compared to more established bands. However, it remains that devices with this emerging tech that are actually affordable are still a way off down the road. In addition, time will tell if results of semi-empirical studies such as these translate to real-world use.