Home Blog Terms & Conditions Privacy Policy

Adstoppi Blog | Five questions about 5G, answered

Published by:

There is a lot of 5G hype — too much, actually — and it’s much more complicated than the transition to 4G was. On top of complicated technological questions about millimeter waves and modems, there’s also geopolitics, trade wars, gigantic lawsuits between tech titans, and empty buildings in Wisconsin.

We’re tracking all of those stories on The Verge — you can find our 5G coverage right here — but if you just want a quick primer on what’s going on now that 5G phones are starting to be sold in stores and the White House is issuing 5G-related orders, read on.


Why not?

The networks are barely existent, present only in a few cities. Even then, they only work well in certain blocks, and even then, you need line of sight, and even then, you will still have LTE upload speeds.

Oh. Well maybe I should buy a 5G phone anyway since I need a phone right now, and I don’t want it to be obsolete if I keep it for a few years. Is that a good idea?

No. Please don’t do it. The first generation of phones that use new cellular technology is generally pretty bad. They’re big, battery-sucking, inefficient monsters. This year might be a little different since the $1,400 Samsung Galaxy S10 5G looks pretty decent. But even if it’s great, you’ll still be stuck with a phone that costs a ton of money to access a network that is only getting off the ground.

Even if a miracle happens and the networks spread faster than anyone expects, it’s likely that the modem inside your phone won’t be nearly as good as the second- or third-generation modems that are coming next year and the year after that. Qualcomm makes all of the 5G modems for phones in the US right now, and it’s announcing new modems almost as fast as it’s shipping current ones.

(You know what? I’m counting all three of those questions as one question. The answer when we first saw 5G in 2018 was “no.” The answer in 2019 is “no.” Ask me again in 2020 — but no promises on whether the answer will be any different at that point.)

There are a lot of reasons. Here’s a cynical one: phone sales in the US are really slowing down, and the entire smartphone industry is looking for ways to goad consumers into another wave of expensive upgrades.

Here’s a less cynical reason: when 5G works, it is legitimately, truly fast with super low latency, which could enable a lot of surprising new technologies we haven’t thought of yet. Think about the early days of the smartphone when it seemed like every day, somebody figured out a clever new thing you could do with your phone.

A lot of people are hoping for another wave of innovation like that. Rather, a lot of people are hoping to make a lot of money by convincing you that another wave of innovation like that is about to happen. It might not, though, because 5G networks are way harder to build out than 4G networks were. They require many more cell sites, and the signal can’t easily punch through buildings. So all of the promises of innovation are probably way too optimistic or completely hollow. Wow. That got cynical again, didn’t it?

Well, the truth is that there’s a lot to be cynical about with 5G. Companies are overpromising and underdelivering right now. The gap between the massive amount of marketing about 5G and the number of actual 5G products and services we can test is huge. And in that gap, there’s not a whole lot to do but wait and wonder.

Below is a series of sentences stating facts that just beg to be connected but shouldn’t necessarily be. As you read them, understand that there are two ways to interpret them. One: the way technology works in our day and age is an impossibly complex interplay between massive, semi-monopolistic giants, and sometimes weird coincidences occur. Two: there is a vast 5G conspiracy.

Qualcomm stands to gain a lot from 5G.
Qualcomm was in a legal fight with Apple over how it charged for stuff.
Carriers have hyped up 5G so much that it could feel like any phone that doesn’t have it in a couple of years is doomed.
Apple had been pushing Intel to get 5G modems right so it could be less reliant on Qualcomm. It didn’t go well.
Apple decided to settle with Qualcomm.
Intel announced it’s not making 5G modems anymore.
Should you connect those dots? Some of them, maybe! But probably not all of them. But to answer the question: those are all things that happened.

The government’s concerns with Huawei predate the current trade war with China, though you’re welcome to connect those on your own time if you like. But don’t try too hard because even though no US carriers sell Huawei phones in the US, lots of other Chinese companies still sell phones here.

The bigger issue is that Huawei makes a lot of the equipment used for networking infrastructure around the world, and it does so cheaper than a lot of its competitors. There are concerns that Huawei is too close to the Chinese government, and all that networking equipment could be a security risk. That allegation is something Huawei strenuously denies and also something we have yet to see concrete evidence of.

Does that mean you can definitely trust Huawei? That’s tough. Other countries are using the equipment, and lots of rural companies in the US would like to, too. The old “absence of evidence is not evidence of absence” phrase applies here, especially since so many in the US government are pretty firm about not trusting Huawei. There’s also a whole other issue about extraditing Huawei’s CFO on charges related to fraud.

One thing is for sure: this conflict is escalating.

Foxconn promised to build a factory to make TVs, which would create jobs. But then that plan changed, and everything has become very weird and very complicated. Everybody started seeing how shady it all was, so Foxconn admitted that it wasn’t building that factory; instead, it said it was going to create a lot of jobs around the hippest things happening in technology. It put together three acronyms that sounded futuristic. 5G, as previously mentioned, has a lot of hype around it.

Then, to make everybody feel better about this weird ever-changing deal, Foxconn bought a bunch of buildings but left them empty. (It said they weren’t empty, but they’re definitely empty.)

It does not. AT&T is lying to you with an icon, and the company that makes your phone is helping it do it. For the record, since 5G E isn’t really 5G, I’m not counting this as a question about 5G. (Also, I really wanted to keep the headline down to “five questions” because it’s about 5G.)

Recent Post

YouTube Premium is changing because it has to

Published by:

YouTube is gearing up to offer its prestige lineup of original series and films for free to all users, turning to its traditional ad-supported system in an attempt to bring in more viewers. The company is looking to pull back on its ad-supported programs by 2020, limiting the number of original series and films it orders, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Series that are ordered, which include a few with Hollywood star talent attached, will be available to all YouTube users for free, regardless of whether they’ve signed up for YouTube Premium. In the past, pilot episodes were free to watch, but users had to pay a monthly $12 fee to watch the entire series. Robert Kyncl, YouTube’s chief business officer, told The Hollywood Reporter that the company learned through experimentation...

Google has released Beta 5 for Android Q today, and the big change is a confirmation of what we’d already suspected: a tweak to how the back gesture will work. The back gesture will now work differently depending on what app you’re in, and Google has finally landed on what it thinks the gesture should be to invoke the Google Assistant. Let’s start with the back gesture. Starting with this beta, swiping in from the left side of the screen with apps that use navigation drawers will cause those drawers to “peek” in to show you that instead of a back gesture, you’re opening the drawer. Apps that don’t have a drawer will still just go back when you swipe in, and swiping in from the right side will still just take you back. If you managed to wade your way through all those...

Comcast is introducing eye control to its X1 cable platform, a new effort that the company says will improve the experience of watching TV for millions of people with physical disabilities. Eye control lets customers change channels, pull up the X1 programming guide, set DVR recordings, and navigate through other menus of the cable box using only their eyes. Comcast says it’s supporting basically all popular eye gaze hardware and software on the market to make the feature as accessible as possible — including devices from Tobii — plus “Sip-and-Puff switches and other assistive technologies.” Tobii president Tara Rudnicki said, “we are pleased to see how Comcast continues to make their products and solutions accessible.” To use eye control, customers can sign into Comcast’s...

Tesla has started taking preorders of Model 3 cars produced at its new Gigafactory in Shanghai, China. Bloomberg reports that the cars, which are available to order exclusively in China, will have a base price of 328,000 yuan ($47,510), 13 percent cheaper than the model imported from the US for a price 377,000 yuan ($54,616). The Model 3s being produced in China are the Standard Plus versions of the vehicle with a range of 460km (286 miles). Tesla says that it expects to start making deliveries from the Shanghai factory in the next six to 10 months. Tesla started making Model 3 deliveries in China back in March. These locally produced cars will allow the company to avoid import duties, which are becoming more of a problem as the Trump administration’s trade war with China intensifies....

What Does Business Venture Mean

Published by:

Nigeria moved 24 places up from the Doing Business report from 169. The Doing Business Index measures the ease of conducting business. New Zealand was ranked the country to begin and run a company, while that with the surroundings occupies the position was Somalia in 190. This newest ranking also set Nigeria in the top 10 most advanced economies in 2017. But does this affect the average Nigerian? One of the reforms instituted by the Nigerian authorities to make conducting business, simpler this year has been strengthening access to credit by making a centralized security registry, improving authorities on-line portals, making property transfer simpler, etc. Nonetheless, the World Bank detected these reforms both the two largest cities in Nigeria, in Lagos and Kano. Other cities must have...

Ford is now taking preorders for its first all-electric SUV, the Mustang Mach-E. The company is currently taking $500 deposits for those wishing to reserve their Mustang Mach-E. But as the automaker noted at its launch event in Los Angeles Sunday night, deliveries are still a long way off. You can visit Ford's reservation site for the Mach-E, where you can configure the desired trim, paint color, battery pack, and more. As mentioned previously, Ford is offering a veritable smorgasbord of different versions of this car in an effort to cast as wide a net as possible. The cheapest version is the $43,895 Select (or $44,995 when taking into account delivery costs), which comes standard with 255 horsepower, a 75.7kWh standard range battery pack, and a driving range of 230 miles. But that can...

Challenges Of Small Enterprises

Published by:

ADVERTISEMENTS: Some of the issues faced by small and micro enterprises are the next! Of Chemical Substance: A problem the small and micro enterprises must contend with is the procurement of material. The form of: a scarcity has been assumed by raw material's problem. A low quality of raw materials, and - A high cost. The majority of small and micro enterprises produced items dependent on raw material. There wasn't any serious problem in getting the materials that are essential. Butever since the development of scale businesses that are modem manufacturing a lot of items, raw material's problem has become a problem on their manufacturing efforts. Face material problem mainly in getting this material either or a number of reasons that are many. The micro and small businesses that depend on...

In 2015, a Connecticut teenager raised the question of whether our robots have the right to bear arms when he jury-rigged a working flamethrower — and separately, a semiautomatic pistol — to his drone. But this Thursday, for better or worse, you’ll be able to easily build a flying flamethrower yourself. You’re looking at a the Throwflame TF-19 Wasp, a functional flamethrower attachment for commercial-grade heavy lift drones that can hit targets up to 25 feet away, with a one-gallon fuel tank that can produce a stream of fire for 100 seconds, according to the company. Mind you, the $1,499 price for the flamethrower won’t get it up in the sky, as you’ll need to provide the drone, too — which you may need to piece together since commercial drones are often modular, and don’t...

Libra, and the nonprofit association that will oversee it raises questions about the future of global banking and Facebook’s role in it. But behind Facebook’s ambitions to create a quasi-nation state ruled by mostly corporate interests is a secret weapon, one the company hopes it can use to create another platform used by billions of people — and generate enormous new revenue streams along the way. It’s called Calibra, and it’s a new subsidiary of Facebook the company is launching to build financial services and software on top of the Libra blockchain. At first blush, Calibra resembles a fairly standard payments company — but its tight integration with Facebook’s enormous user base could give it a significant advantage over any rivals. Thanks to its proximity to the...

Sony has sold 100 million PS4s

Published by:

Sony’s PlayStation 4 console has been a huge hit for the company, and it has now hit the 100 million sales milestone. Sony revealed in its latest earnings that the company sold 3.2 million PS4 devices in the quarter ended June 30th, meaning exactly 100 million have now been sold in total. Sony was previously sitting at 96.8 million PlayStation 4 consoles after the previous quarter. While sales of the PS4 might be slowing down, it’s still the fastest home game consoles to reach 100 million unit sales, according to Daniel Ahmad, Senior Analyst at Niko Partners. That’s faster than both the PlayStation 2 and Nintendo’s popular Wii console. The PlayStation 4 reached this milestone after just 5 years and 7 months, and less than 3 years after passing 50 million sales. Sony’s PS4 sales...

Login Join Now