It has been long speculated that 5G devices will start shipping in 2019. According to Digitimes Research, 5G terminal devices including smartphones, CPE and WiFi devices, will start mass shipment in 2021. While we await 5G devices, smartphones will be the most dominant 5G equipment. As of 2022, about 18% of smartphones will be 5G enabled.
5G enabled smartphones will be better and faster than the current 4G network but it has its limitations. The 5G network uses millimeter wave transmission thus it is characterized by short wavelengths which means that obstacles will be a major problem to this network. However, to boost the signal reception, 5G smartphones will be equipped with 4-8 antenna arrays. Technically, this makes the production of 5G smartphones rather complex.
The current speed of today’s 4G network is only 70Mbps. If you use a frequency band below 6GHz, the speed can reach 400Mbps-500Mbps. According to Qualcomm, although the maximum downstream speed of millimeter waves can reach 5Gbps, as long as the hand is blocked by the antenna, the signal will be blocked. There is no such problem in the frequency band below 600MHz. This band is used by 5G, but its speed is not as fast as millimeter wave.