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What is 5G millimeter wave?

This article will answer the following questions:

1. What is 5G millimeter wave?

2. What are the advantages and disadvantages of 5G millimeter wave?

3. Does the 5G mobile phone we bought support millimeter wave?

 

What is 5G millimeter wave?

As we all know, 5G mainly uses two frequency bands, namely FR1 frequency band and FR2 frequency band.

The frequency range of FR1 frequency band is 450MHz-6GHz, also called Sub-6GHz frequency band.

The frequency range of the FR2 band is 24.25GHz-52.6GHz.

Since most of the FR2 coverage bands are frequencies less than 10 millimeters in wavelength, this part of the frequency band is named “millimeter wave (mmWave)”.

Although some of the 24.25GHz-30GHz wavelengths are greater than 10 millimeters, millimeter waves have become a common name. According to the same naming method, we can also call Sub-6GHz the centimeter wave.

During the World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC-19) of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) in 2019, representatives of various countries reached a consensus on the use of 5G millimeter wave spectrum: 24.25GHz-27.5GHz, 37GHz-43.5GHz, 66GHz-71GHz The spectrum resource of 14.75GHz bandwidth is used for the future development of 5G and International Mobile Telecommunication System (IMT).

In addition, in the 45.5GHz-47GHz frequency band, some countries mark the use of IMT in the footnote; in the 47.2GHz-48.2GHz frequency band, countries in Region 2 (the Americas) and some countries in some regions mark the use of IMT in the footnote.

In fact, although we are expanding the 5G network in the Sub-6GHz frequency band in China, many operators abroad have adopted the millimeter wave frequency band to deploy 5G networks.

 

What are the advantages and disadvantages of 5G millimeter wave?

Let’s talk about the disadvantages of millimeter wave first.

Why do domestic operators currently use Sub-6GHz as the main force of 5G networks?

The reason is simple, because 5G millimeter wave has a flaw-signal.

If the current 4G signal is “full of blood” and the Sub-6GHz 5G signal is just usable, then the millimeter wave 5G signal is the “fighting five scum”.

As mentioned earlier, millimeter waves are electromagnetic waves with a wavelength between about 1 millimeter and 10 millimeters. The junior high school physics textbook tells us that the higher the frequency of electromagnetic waves, the shorter the wavelength, and the worse the penetration ability.

A leaf, a piece of paper, or even a drop of water can completely “turn over” the millimeter wave 5G signal.

Just recently, the digital broadcaster LinusTechTips tested the 5G signals of T-Mobile and other operators. Among them, T-Mobile covers Sub-6GHz and millimeter wave signals, while the compared operators mainly use millimeter wave signals.

In the demonstration, 5G mobile phones using millimeter wave signals can be blocked by almost anything, such as phone booths, a tree, glass, umbrellas, and even…air, as long as there is obstruction between the base station and the mobile phone, they may turn around. The network will immediately fall back to 4G. However, operators who use both Sub-6GHz and millimeter wave coverage at the same time are fine.

 

If the coverage of the base station is not perfect, the situation of “Fatty! You blocked my 5G signal” will appear in minutes.

To have a good 5G millimeter wave experience, a lot of base stations must be built-almost every corner!

However, such a signal “fighting the five slags” 5G millimeter wave has been placed high hopes by the industry.

According to the “5G Millimeter Wave Opportunities in China” white paper released by GSMA in March this year, it is estimated that by 2034, the use of millimeter wave frequency bands in China will have an economic effect of approximately US$104 billion.

This $104 billion benefit will come from many fields such as manufacturing, public utilities, professional services and financial services, information and communication technology, and trade.

 

The reason why 5G millimeter wave is so “weak” but so popular is simple.

The 5G millimeter wave carrier frequency is higher and the signal bandwidth is larger. Taking the 60GHz frequency band as an example, the spectrum bandwidth of each channel reaches 2.16GHz. In contrast, the available spectrum bandwidth of the 4G-LTE frequency band is only 100MHz. To put it bluntly, 5G millimeter wave network speed is very fast, faster than Sub-6GHz 5G.

The ITU IMT-2020 specification requires that 5G speeds can reach 20Gbit/s. Sub-6GHz alone is not possible, and millimeter waves must be used.

In addition, millimeter waves suffer from less frequency band interference. The 1.9Ghz-6Ghz frequency band is like a crowded subway. Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, satellite broadcasting, etc. are all “crowded” together, and “fights” are inevitable.

The millimeter wave frequency band is like a roadster in no man’s land, with extremely low latency and high capacity, allowing more devices to be connected at the same time.

All in all, 5G millimeter wave has high bandwidth, low latency and high capacity. In daily life, 5G millimeter wave can help you download Blu-ray video in seconds and enjoy high-speed internet in crowded stadiums.

In professional scenarios, 5G millimeter waves can realize remote control of industrial robots, autonomous factory transportation, and telemedicine.

In the 5G standards stipulated by 3GPP, both the Sub-6GHz frequency band and the millimeter wave are 5G standards.

Both have their own advantages. The Sub-6GHz frequency band has wide coverage, strong and stable signals; the millimeter wave has fast speed and low latency, and there is no need to grab the signal when there are many people. However, a rain may be hit by dimensionality reduction and return to 4G.

Therefore, the two are complementary, not iterative. Just like the NSA and SA networking, everyone is “true 5G”, just to see which one is more suitable for the actual needs of operators to construct and use the site.

 

Does the 5G mobile phone we bought support millimeter wave?

In fact, many mobile phones have begun to support 5G millimeter wave on the hardware, but manufacturers will make changes according to the market in different countries or regions.

For example, the current domestic market is dominated by Sub-6GHz, while the US market is dominated by 5G millimeter waves.

For example, the National Bank version of the S20 series supports the Sub-6GHz frequency band, but does not support 5G millimeter wave. This situation is the same in South Korea, where Samsung is home.

However, the situation is different in the United States. Both the S20+ and S20 Ultra in the United States support Sub-6GHz and 5G millimeter wave. The special version of the Samsung S20 launched by Verizo solves the problem that the S20 is too small to support support. Two discrete antenna modules for millimeter waves support both Sub-6GHz and 5G millimeter waves.

Generally speaking, if you are in the domestic market, you may not be able to buy a mobile phone that supports millimeter wave in the National Bank version, because it is not necessary for manufacturers to launch it. In the US market, you can buy it.

For domestic consumers, there is no need to worry about the lack of support for millimeter waves in mobile phones. There is still a long way to go before it can be commercialized in China.

 

Summarize

Both millimeter wave 5G and Sub-6GHz are good things. Their advantages complement each other and jointly promote the 5G industry for the benefit of mankind. Domestic consumers, for the time being, there is no need to worry about their 5G mobile phones not supporting 5G millimeter waves. When it is commercially available, your current mobile phone should have reached the design life cycle and needs to be replaced.

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Post time: 12-23-2021