Where does 5G come from in Russia.

Fontana, together with colleagues from IAA Telecom Daily, tested the first public areas of the 5G network in the center of St. Petersburg. In short, everything flies at an inhuman speed, and soon it will be even faster. Beyond the research brackets is the question of who and, most importantly, why all this is needed.

The study of user areas of the networks of two mobile operators, which simultaneously announced the launch in the center of St. Petersburg, was carried out on May 31 using the Huawei P40 Pro phone. This should be noted separately – not every even the most modern smartphone has a module for working with a 5G network. For example, noticeably more expensive iPhone 12s have them in theory, but their work is blocked on the territory of the Russian Federation. Yes, everyone saw Tim Cook’s presentation, he promised that, but no.

In order for your iPhone 12 to connect to Russian 5G networks, you need: a) that they are fully launched into commercial operation,  that Apple enable the ability to search for 5G by your phone itself. How is this technically done and is it possible to tweak something so that “now” – you can look for advice “of all trades for masters” on specialized forums. But “Fontana” will not recommend doing this with devices for 60-100 thousand. Just humble yourself and wait.

However, from the rest of the phone variety, there is no shortage of smartphones that catch 5G. There are a couple of dozen of them on the market, mainly Chinese brands. The cheapest is Xiaomi Redmi Note 9T for 15 thousand rubles.

Separate pieces of 5G have been working with us for quite some time – for example, one of the country’s first test networks appeared in Ronstadt. However, few people dared to go there just to try what kind of animal it was. The announcement of the opening of the “user” (this wording does not mean “commercial”, that is, in fact, still “test”) network in the form of separate fragments now in the center of St. Petersburg came on Monday, May 31st. At the same time, experts from IAA Telecom Daily, which specializes in measuring the speed of mobile Internet, went on exploration using their Megabits mobile application. Here’s what their resume looks like.

“During the second half of May 31, dozens of measurements were made in the area of ​​Newsy Prospect, Palace Square and other places. The range of speeds to the subscriber is from 300 to 515 megabits per second. For comparison: today the average speed in existing LTE networks in St. Petersburg is about 20-25 Mbit / s, that is, the results obtained are more than 10 times higher than the current ones. At the same time, you should also pay attention to the minimum value of such an indicator as ping, which averaged 10-12 mms, which indicates the minimum response time and loading of the necessary content. As operators promise, by the beginning of SPIEF they will be able to fully debug the operation of their fragments of fifth-generation networks so that they can get speeds under 1 GB. ”

As a result, the conclusion: speeds of 400-600 Mbit / s are now available at least from two operators here and there in St. Petersburg. They themselves assure that as soon as permission is obtained for the commercial use of this technology (and so far no dates have even been named), 5G will cover the entire city as soon as possible.

In practice, the speed of 500 Mbit / s, and even more so the promised 1 Grit / s, is still very few people need. “There are no applications that require higher speeds, except perhaps for cloud gaming, but playing on smartphones is not as convenient as on a PC,” explains the head of Telecom Daily Denis Kuzco. – So far, the main scenario for the development of 5G remains industrial automation with the deployment of local networks of this standard in enterprises. We are talking, for example.

about the control of robots in production with hundreds of thousands of different sensors or the control of cars with autopilots. As extreme examples, the possibility of performing medical operations by a surgeon controlling a special robot at a great distance is usually cited. It is not reported when this will become technically and legally possible in reality.

The main property of 5G is not speed, but faster, compared to LTE, response (that is, in practice, the time it takes to execute a remote command) and a large capacity. The latter means that even when hundreds of thousands or millions of devices are in the coverage area of ​​one base station, the data transfer rate to them does not decrease in proportion to the number, as it happens in modern networks. Another plus is that working on a 5G network requires less energy than LTE. Among the disadvantages is the shorter range of the transmitter, which will require an increase in the number of base stations to cover the same area.

As for the common myth about the danger of 5G due to some kind of special radiation, here Fontana and Telecom Daily can both reassure and alert at the same time.

“Everything has to be honest. To speak with confidence about some specific impact of this technology on a person, careful long-term research is needed, which has not yet been done in any country. On the other hand, those base stations that we burned in the south of the country last year for fear of 5G had nothing to do with this communication standard. That is, this is pure obscurantism, not based on any real data, – says Denis Kuzco. – Several years ago, we climbed onto roofs with special equipment and measured the radiation level at base stations. The conclusion is this: of course, you shouldn’t hug them, but at a distance of 5-10 meters from the antennas transmitting the cellular signal, the radiation turns out to be even less than that of a switched on microwave oven. ”

Denis Lebedev, Fontanka.ru