1. frank1492's Avatar
    A friend was having trouble obtaining a mobile signal with her 4g phone in a poor reception area. She then bought a 5g-capable Android phone thinking that would solve the problem. I told her she wasted her money because the advantages of 5g (speed, etc ) have nothing to do with better reception in poor signal areas. Was I right? Please advise. Thank you.
    09-30-2022 10:46 PM
  2. OhAlfie's Avatar
    5G doesnt have same range or ability to penetrate buildings as 4G

    . It's pretty much a speed thing.
    Laura Knotek and J Dubbs like this.
    09-30-2022 11:22 PM
  3. frank1492's Avatar
    So you're saying the 5g capability won't improve her reception in bad areas. That's what I thought. She wasted her money.
    09-30-2022 11:48 PM
  4. L0n3N1nja's Avatar
    So you're saying the 5g capability won't improve her reception in bad areas. That's what I thought. She wasted her money.
    Exactly, 5G towers are about speed and have shorter range and poor building penetration. They don't offer a wider range of coverage than 4G and will do absolutely nothing to improve coverage if she doesn't have a 5G tower near by.
    Laura Knotek and J Dubbs like this.
    09-30-2022 11:52 PM
  5. frank1492's Avatar
    I assumed the 5g and 4g were always on the same tower. If not, let's suppose hypothetically there are 5g and 4g towers spaced alternately 10 mi apart along a given road. With just 4g let's suppose she loses the signal somewhere in between the two 4g towers but suppose there's a 5g tower at that point which she can't access because she only has 4g. With 5g she could pick up that tower, thus not losing the signal at any point along the route. So having 5g capability would have helped, correct? (Assuming the phone switches between 4g and 5g as necessary.)
    10-01-2022 12:47 AM
  6. Laura Knotek's Avatar
    I assumed the 5g and 4g were always on the same tower. If not, let's suppose hypothetically there are 5g and 4g towers spaced alternately 10 mi apart along a given road. With just 4g let's suppose she loses the signal somewhere in between the two 4g towers but suppose there's a 5g tower at that point which she can't access because she only has 4g. With 5g she could pick up that tower, thus not losing the signal at any point along the route. So having 5g capability would have helped, correct? (Assuming the phone switches between 4g and 5g as necessary.)
    You are correct regarding the handoff between 4G and 5G.
    mustang7757, J Dubbs and frank1492 like this.
    10-02-2022 12:31 AM
  7. Mooncatt's Avatar
    There are 3 flavors of 5G. There's the ultrawide band, which is the one everyone promotes as being stupid fast but with a signal that has trouble penetrating a piece of paper. There's a mid-band that has a slightly longer wavelength but speeds somewhere between UWB and 4G LTE. And then there's the low band, which is basically just 4G LTE with a new name. What is in use depends on the carrier and location, but the best reception would be the low band, which is one of the most popular versions. It's supposed to be on par with 4G LTE, but a lot of people do report slower speeds on it. Signal strength should be about the same.

    I assumed the 5g and 4g were always on the same tower.
    I believe this to be correct. The 5G networks are being built on top of the existing 4G LTE networks, not replacing them. 5G is still too new and sparse to even begin thinking about taking any 4G networks offline. Heck, they just recently started taking 3G/CDMA networks offline. So no need to worry about having a 4G phone and suddenly losing connection if entering an area with 5G.

    So were you right in your assumption that she wasted her money on a 5G phone? That depends. All things being equal, 5G doesn't have better signal strengths as 4G. At best, it'll be roughly the same. The one thing we don't know is what the old and new phones are, and it's possible the new phone simply has a better radio and internal antenna design that helps it pull in the signals better than the old one. Or it could have a worse design. Not every phone is created equal in its reception abilities. Plus she likely has a better phone now in other ways that make it worth the price for her even without a better signal (storage, performance, screen, etc).
    B. Diddy, J Dubbs and Golfdriver97 like this.
    10-02-2022 02:30 AM
  8. Golfdriver97's Avatar
    There are 3 flavors of 5G. There's the ultrawide band, which is the one everyone promotes as being stupid fast but with a signal that has trouble penetrating a piece of paper.
    I can attest to poor wavelength penetration. I had to disable 5G on my Pixel just to keep the battery life from tanking. I will admit, when I had a signal, the speed tests were outstanding. But it seemed like if I even thought about going inside, the signal would drop (exaggerating, but in my experience it doesn't seem like that much of a stretch).
    10-02-2022 11:54 AM

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