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5G Bands Explained: How They Work & Why They Matter

What Are the 5G Bands?

5G is divided into three frequency bands (low, mid, and high). Each band has different capabilities: the low band (less than 1GHz) has greater coverage but lower speeds, the mid band (1GHz–6GHz) offers a balance of both, and the high band (24GHz–40GHz) offers higher speeds but a smaller coverage radius.

5G can use more frequencies across all three bands to achieve the best possible performance and even use multiple frequencies at the same time. This makes 5G bands more flexible than previous cellular generations and improves both coverage and reliability.

In a Nutshell, What Is 5G?

5G is the latest evolution of cellular wireless connectivity and offers improved capacity, coverage, and lower latency. 5G offers many improvements compared to 4G but relies on the similar fundamentals to communicate with end user devices.

What makes 5G so different is the new levels of performance it offers. Similar to how 4G helped usher in the smartphone era, 5G will power new technologies across the enterprise, within smart cities, for autonomous vehicles, and ubiquitous Internet of Things (IoT) installations.

Under the hood, 5G offers significant improvements:

  • Wired like reliability
  • Ultra-low latency <20ms
  • Gbps data rate

Closing the performance gap between 4G and 5G will allow 5G powered technology in the future to take shape and create new opportunities for both businesses and consumers.

Behind the scenes, 5G frequency bands help users receive the best possible performance given the distance between the source and the device.

Why Are 5G Bands Important?

Businesses can strategically use different 5G bands in their own private 5G networks to penetrate through certain obstacles and provide the best possible service given the environment.

For example, 5G networks can use low-band frequencies for long-distance communication and then switch to the high band once that signal is closer to its source destination.

Many building materials can reflect or block high-frequency signals, posing a challenge in cellular networks. 5G can combat this by transmitting across the high-, mid-, and low-band ranges while using multiple small cells for rebroadcasting.

5G bands help eliminate dead zones by broadcasting signals in the best possible frequencies given the environment and distance from the source signal. Let’s take a look at some of the technical aspects and use cases for each 5G band.

Low Band

Low-band 5G transmits around the 600 to 700MHz range providing blanket coverage across a large area. The low band provides the most coverage but offers slower speeds around 50 Mbps. The low band is used commercially to provide nationwide coverage and privately to help businesses communicate with rural job sites.

For example, low-band 5G is used in the energy industry to communicate with remote oil fields, mining operations, and wind farms. Farms of the future that use smart sensors to monitor their crops often rely on the low band when monitoring sensors from long distances.

Mid Band

Mid-band 5G typically transmits around 1.7GHz to 2.5GHz, offering a solid balance between coverage and speed. The mid band is commonly used for 5G connectivity, as it is designed to cover large areas across suburbs and cities. Speeds in the mid band can range from 100 to 900 Mbps. Even at the lower end of these speeds, the mid band is often faster or just as fast as your home internet.

The mid band can be used in many applications due to its balance of speed and coverage. Many business parks, college campuses, and smart cities rely on the mid band to provide continuous service to IoT devices, cameras, and end users.

High Band

High-band 5G (mmWave) operates at 24GHz and beyond offering the fastest speeds across short distances. Densely populated cities and businesses use the high band to give the best 5G performance to a targeted area. In many cases, high-band 5G provides 1 Gbps speeds but can reach speeds as high as 10 Gbps in a controlled environment. To add some perspective, at 1 Gbps you could download a full-length high-definition movie in under a minute.

For businesses this combination of a high data rate and ultra-low latency allows companies to transmit large amounts of information reliability in near real time. IoT sensors use the high band to relay environmental and safety insights in real time.

How Do I Access Different 5G Bands?

In short, you don’t need to do anything to access the different bands of 5G. For end users, the 5G network automatically switches between bands during transmission. Many 5G devices have more than one antenna to support multiple bands.

What 5G Bands Will Do For Business

The flexibility and reliability 5G bands offer help businesses provide better service to their customers and scale faster. As enterprise networks grow in size, private 5G - taking advantage of private spectrum options such as CBRS in the United States - can support new devices and applications within organizations.

Businesses can take advantage of 5G bands by building their own mobile network. Unlike commercial options, this gives companies full control over their coverage, data, and budget. Thanks to new advancements in 5G, designing your own mobile network is as simple as setting up your enterprise network.

The Celona Solution

At Celona, we provide industry’s only 5G LAN solution, which includes everything you need to plan, design, and manage a successful private mobile network. Taking advantage of private spectrum options, Celona can design your network to enable new digital initiatives and support mission critical use cases across your business.

Celona partners with enterprise organizations to provide private LTE and 5G services as a seamless turnkey solution. A Celona 5G LAN utilizes cloud networking principles designed for enterprise environments and AI-powered automation to make implementing private mobile networks an out-of-box experience. Onboarding can be done alongside existing wireless and IT infrastructure, without interrupting business operations.

Plug-and-play cellular access points can be quickly deployed throughout the campus, while proactive monitoring ensures network service-level agreements such as throughput and latency requirements are consistently being met.

If you’re looking to build cellular wireless connectivity for your new digital initiatives, we can help. Check out our network planner to estimate the size of your Celona network , and test-drive the Celona solution via product demonstrations and a free trial.

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