Millimeter wave technology is extremely hot and is widely used in various industries. Among them, one of the successful cases of millimeter wave applications is 5G millimeter wave. So, how much faster is 5G technology using millimeter wave compared to 4G? How much faster is millimeter wave than Sub-6GHz?
1. The battle between 4G and 5G millimeter wave
Recent measured data in Europe and the United States confirms that 5G (especially millimeter wave) can bring users a higher-speed connection experience in actual use environments. These measured data are obtained by Ookla, the world’s leading mobile and broadband network insight, test application and technology organization, through its Speedtest application to help a large number of users perform connection performance evaluation tests.
Ookla’s analysis based on measured data shows that in the UK, the average 5G download rate of terminals equipped with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon mobile platform is 5 times faster than 4G LTE, which means a significant improvement in user experience. Consumers can enjoy a better video transmission experience through 5G. The rate of downloading games, movies or other data-intensive content using 5G is 5 times faster than that of LTE, which indicates a substantial breakthrough in the increase of network capacity. The speed enhancement brought about by 5G deployment not only benefits 5G terminal users, but also improves the experience of all online users. In addition, the increase in network capacity can reduce the unit bit cost and support network operators to continue to provide unlimited data packages when the scale of data traffic consumption continues to expand.
Even more exciting is that the rate data is expected to further increase after the commercialization of millimeter waves in Europe and other parts of the world. In this regard, another analysis result of Ookla provides a reference: In the United States, the peak rate of 5G millimeter wave terminals equipped with the Snapdragon mobile platform exceeds 2Gbps, and the average download rate exceeds 900Mbps. This is equivalent to more than 4 times the frequency of the 5G mid-band spectrum, which is a significant increase compared with 4G LTE.
The above data is obtained based on the 400 MHz bandwidth millimeter wave spectrum test currently deployed. It is expected that millimeter wave deployment will expand the bandwidth to 800 MHz, and the rate will be doubled by then. Snapdragon 5G products can already support millimeter wave connections with 800MHz bandwidth.
2. The battle between Sub-6GHz and 5G millimeter wave
In order to realize the 5G vision of “gigabit rate, large capacity, wide coverage and low latency”, operators generally adopt the “below 6GHz + millimeter wave” 5G deployment strategy, and make full use of low, medium, and high frequency bands to deploy 5G. The mid-frequency band can achieve a balance between network coverage and capacity, while millimeter waves can provide a multi-gigabit rate and large capacity. The millimeter wave and the sub-6GHz network cooperate with each other to make full use of the potential massive spectrum resources to provide a large capacity layer and support extremely high speeds.
More and more countries are supporting 5G millimeter wave deployment. Some European countries have begun to deploy millimeter waves. Italy and Russia are accelerating their support for millimeter waves. Other EU countries also plan to auction millimeter waves later this year. Operators in South Korea, Japan, Australia and some countries in Southeast Asia plan to start 5G millimeter wave deployment this year or next year.
Millimeter waves will enable a wide range of use cases. For example, more than 80% of mobile data traffic is generated in indoor scenarios, which brings development opportunities for millimeter wave indoor deployment. Mobile operators can use millimeter-wave spectrum for indoor deployment. Indoor millimeter-wave private networks can bring multi-gigabit rates, ultra-low latency, and extremely large capacity to indoor environments such as enterprises, stadiums, and transportation hubs.
Another use case of millimeter wave is fixed wireless access (FWA), which can replace traditional broadband and directly provide high-speed Internet connections to homes. According to data provided by Ookla, the average download rate of traditional broadband services worldwide is only 74.74Mbps. With the current proliferation of streaming media, games, and video call services, millimeter waves can help operators cope with the increase in traffic demand while maintaining the quality of service that can meet customer expectations.
As the industry’s first chip manufacturer to launch 5G system-level commercial solutions for smartphones that support sub-6GHz and millimeter waves, Qualcomm Snapdragon 5G modems and radio frequency systems are helping many mobile phone manufacturers, including Chinese partners, provide truly global The 5G connection capability meets the needs of users from all over the world.
Today, the world has realized that 5G can not only meet the growing demand for network connectivity, provide a digital backbone for key industries and infrastructure, but also spawn new technologies and new use cases. To ensure the full connection between people and all things, more 5G spectrum resources are needed. Therefore, only by making full use of richer and high-quality spectrum resources including below 6GHz and millimeter waves, can we support higher-speed 5G and fully Unleash the potential of 5G.
In order to realize the technical goals and vision originally designed for 5G, the industry needs to scientifically allocate and use all spectrum resources. As one of the indispensable core technologies in 5G design, the combination of millimeter wave and the frequency spectrum below 6GHz will fully release the potential of 5G and bring consumers and a wide range of industry users a new experience and new applications that exceed expectations.