The inception of the 5G network has piqued the interest of people around the world like never before. Yes, marketing campaigns initiated by premium mobile operators have to be accredited for building up the hype around this fifth-generation mobile technology. However, the establishment of 5G and consequent networks such as 5G Standalone, 5G Ultrawide, and 5G Ultra Capacity possesses the potential to elevate our overall communication experience.
Assuring improved internet speed and unparalleled connectivity, the 5G spectrum has unlocked new use cases that can benefit corporate agencies, public sector authorities, and the general public at large. According to GSA’s 2022 report, 493 operators spanned across 150 territories have invested in 5G architecture.
The insurmountable rise of 5G is laid out for us to witness. However, several challenges hinder the mass rollout of this technology:
- Managing additional infrastructural costs.
- The availability of 5G compatible mobile devices.
- The use of high band radio frequencies offers limited coverage.
- Acknowledging global sanctions that prevent mobile operators from collaborating with specific companies due to rising security concerns.
Identifying effective solutions to these challenges requires more time. Nevertheless, there is no denying that the 5G network will shape the future of the telecommunications industry. Let us now explore the domain of 5G Ultra Wideband and critically debunk some of its foremost fundamentals.
- About 5G Ultra Wideband
- 5G vs 5G UW – A Side-By-Side Comparison
- Is the 5G Ultra Wideband Network Worth it?
- Applications of 5G Ultra Wideband
- How will 5G UW Benefit Different Industries?
- Future of 5G Ultra Wideband
- Final Overview – Biggest 5G UWB Providers
About 5G Ultra Wideband
5G Ultra Wideband or 5G UW is the mobile operator, Verizon’s independent 5G-enhanced network that offers the fastest internet speed paired with maximum capacity. The icon “5G UW or 5G UWB” is updated on the smartphone signal bar when a Verizon subscriber effectively accesses the 5G ultra wideband network.
To understand the framework of this architecture, individuals must gain a complete understanding of the 5G spectrum. The 5G spectrum essentially refers to different types of radio frequencies that assist in data transmission originating from a user device to the final cell stations.
The diverse radio frequencies are classified into three distinct groups, namely low, mid, and high bands. The spectrum incorporates sub-6 GHz range frequencies along with the millimetre-wave (mmWave) frequency spanning 24.25 GHz and above.
The 4G and LTE networks rely on low band frequencies as the primary objective of this mobile service is to offer slower internet access to subscribers spanned across larger distances. The 5G network is an amalgamation of low and mid band frequencies.
On the flip side, enhanced networks such as 5G UW utilise high band frequencies that offer blistering faster internet speed and improved user capacity. However, the 5G UW service has a coverage limit of approximately one mile.
Therefore, Verizon subscribers can only access the 5G UW network in selected areas such as airports, stadiums, and important corporate localities present in the United States of America. Individuals who fail to connect with the 5G UW network are automatically navigated to Verizon’s conventional low band 5G Nationwide network.
Related Article: 5G and Beyond: All You Need to Know About 5G UC
The Need for 5G Ultrawide
The development of the 5G ultra wideband network is the start of a more proficient communication sphere that prioritises real-time information. The network offers ultra-low latency which unlocks new use cases for the world at large.
Aspects such as network slicing, time-critical communication, and the integration of IoT technology will receive a significant boost. Safety standards in the automobile, healthcare, logistics, and manufacturing sectors will be updated with the introduction of robotics.
Consequently, the entertainment industry will also be reformed as users will be able to consume content through Augmented and Virtual Reality systems. Having complete access to real-time data will also assist corporate agencies in reforming training methodologies where virtual environments can be created to simulate real-life events.
5G vs 5G UW – A Side-By-Side Comparison
Various factors help us to acknowledge the difference between the 5G and 5G UW networks. They are:
A. The Overall Data Speed
Fundamentally, 5G UW is a faster network when compared with the conventional 5G network. 5G UW can scale internet speed up to 10 Gbps. On the other hand, 5G can only achieve 2 Gbps.
For Instance, users will be able to download a two-hour-long 4K movie in around ten seconds while being connected to the 5H UW network. The same movie will need around two minutes on a standard 5G network.
B. The Latency Levels
Latency can be defined as the aggregate time taken by a mobile network to acknowledge and execute a user command. While 5G does offer low latency, the 5G UW networks fare better with ultra-low latency levels estimated to be less than 30 milliseconds.
This is the primary reason why 5G UW has gained a lot of popularity among gamers as it influences real-time communication, in turn, significantly enhancing gaming experience. Moreover, the aspect of working from remote locations and the experience of connecting virtually from video conferences are also elevated.
C. The Costs Involved
Availing 5G UW services proves to be more expensive as it heavily relies on advanced technology. The equipment needed to harness the power of 5G ultra wideband infuses cutting-edge technology which by no means is cheaply available in the market.
5G UW relies on a larger number of mobile towers constructed within shorter distances from each other. Thus, making the standard 5G network more affordable to implement and access.
D. The Availability of Compatible Devices
Verizon users must note that not all smartphones are compatible with the 5G UW network. Mobile devices that possess the ability to support mmWave spectrum can effectively connect with the 5G ultra wideband network.
Most smartphones available in the market are only compatible with sub-6 GHz radio frequencies and cannot support the much faster mmWave frequencies. For instance, Apple collaborated with Verizon to design an independent variant of iPhone 13 that can support high band frequencies allowing users to access the 5G UW network.
E. Other Factors
5G UW possesses the ability to support multi-input and multi-input [MIMO] antennas. This feature significantly boosts the capacity of the network. Therefore, 5G UW can offer services to a larger number of users when compared to the standard 5G network. Moreover, 5G ultra wideband incorporates advanced security features, making the network more secure and resistant to hacking.
Also Read: 5GE vs 5G – Which One is Better?
Is the 5G Ultra Wideband Network Worth it?
The telecommunications industry has progressed considerably since the initial launch of the 1G network in the 1980s. Over the years, network generations have dictated the way people around the world communicate. This trend was further enhanced with the development of the 5G network.
With unparalleled speed and lower latency levels, the 5G network unlocked new standards of information sharing and communication. However, as we proceed forward, 5G will not be enough as new use cases demand a more efficient and faster network. This is precisely where the 5G UW and subsequent networks come into play.
The 5G Ultra Wideband network offers additional convenience with enhanced features. It will shape the future of the telecommunications industry. Thus, relying on the 5G UW network is certainly worth it.
Benefits of 5G Ultra Wideband
The 5G UW is an immediate upgrade from the conventional 4G and 5G networks. Here are some of the foremost benefits of the 5G UW network:
A. Faster and Safer Network
As already specified, 5G UW offers enhanced internet speed which amplifies user experience significantly. Downloading large files can be completed within mere seconds. Moreover, aspects such as lagging, buffering, and high ping rates are entirely compromised due to its ultra-low latency level.
Moreover, the network employs a comprehensive security system which makes it safer than public Wi-Fis. Users can activate hotspot amenities and connect with multiple devices due to augmented capacity without worrying about hacking or snooping.
B. Optimum Performance
The performance of the 5G UW network is consistent throughout. Blistering fast internet speed and low latency levels are not affected by an increase in the number of users. The network offers a perfect solution for multitaskers who prefer to consume a wide range of online content while being on the go.
C. Brilliant Viewer Experience
Using the 5G UW network is not just limited to mobile devices. Individuals can incorporate the network services in their residential apartments and office spaces with complete convenience. A large number of users can stay connected without worrying about complicated cable arrangements.
Stream high-quality online videos and connect with your peers through video conferences with absolute ease through the assistance of 5G UW. The network offers additional benefits to gamers due to its ability to share real-time information.
Challenges of 5G Ultra Wideband
The overall efficiency level of the 5G UW network cannot be questioned. However, mobile operators have to acknowledge the following challenges to effectively construct a seamless 5G-enhanced network:
A. Infrastructural and Rollout Costs
Mobile operators require a concentrated network comprising small cells and complex infrastructures to establish 5G UW connectivity. The network incorporates the use of multiple cell towers that need to be constructed within close distances to effectively harness mmWave frequencies.
Implementing 5G and 5G UW technologies demands considerable investment for 5G. Allocating sufficient funds from various governing authorities and successfully executing the architecture cannot be accomplished within a short period.
B. Political Disputes
The availability of the required equipment proves to be an issue due to multiple global political concerns. For instance, the Chinese tech giant Huawei excels at supplying 5G kits to various mobile operators around the world.
However, with growing security concerns, the overall supply chain of Huawei is compromised as the United States of America imposed a direct sanction on the tech company. Huawei’s ban from accessing the US market has also influenced other EU nations to blacklist the company from its present 5G segment.
C. Coverage Area Limitations
A major drawback to the 5G UW network is that it possesses coverage limitations that only extend to a one-mile radius. Faster high band frequencies offer shorter wavelengths which is the key contributor to the network’s reduced coverage range. Improving the 5G UW coverage area necessitates the deployment of extensive infrastructure.
D. Signal Penetration Issues
External physical barriers such as trees, buildings, and walls adversely affect high radio frequency signal strength. The signal penetration concern hinders mobile operators from offering 5G UW services in densely populated areas.
Moreover, the telecommunications industry is yet to recognise the complete potential of the 5G UW network. The availability of mobile devices that can support mmWave frequencies is also limited. Therefore, a production boost of 5G UW-compatible devices must also be addressed.
E. Spectrum and Security Regulations
Mobile operators must find relevant solutions to the immediate challenge of allocating and managing limited spectrum availability. Moreover, the rising number of 5G UW users will also heighten the need for flexible security measures.
Tackling cyber threats should be the top priority of mobile operators. Additionally, the mass 5G UW rollout will contribute to higher energy consumption issues. Carrier networks must have an efficient energy management solution in place to address such environmental challenges.
Applications of 5G Ultra Wideband
The inception of 5G ultra wideband unlocks new use cases that will benefit the general public significantly in the long run. Here are some premier applications of the 5G UW network:
An encrypted ID is shared with every user who connects with the 5G UW network. The base network’s public key is used to encrypt the SUCI [Subscription Concealed Identifier]. The presence of a private algorithm allows the base mobile operator to acknowledge the ID as the concerned device’s identity which can be only accessed by the service provider.
The inclusion of this process restricts the connected devices from being tracked, in turn, protecting user identity throughout. Devices that have already established connections are allocated distinct tokens which act as a proxy in favour of the final user for the SUCI. The limited lifespan of the tokens ensures to further maintain user privacy. This is precisely why the 5G UW network is considered to be a safer network.
B. Immunity Against Cyber Attacks
5G and other subsequent enhanced networks employ network functioning virtualisation [NFV] technologies and software-defined networking [SDN]. It enhances software network management by incorporating shorter update cycles.
The incorporation of this measure ensures that mobile operators can fastrack rollout with additional features. The concept of managing network traffic also becomes easier and more responsive. These developments allow the services to be replaced, isolated, and restarted during cyber attacks.
C. Supporting New Uses Cases
5G and 5G UW networks do not entirely rely on dedicated hardware. Hence, the network assists service providers to customise security requirements according to the new use cases. For instance, the aspect of remote patient monitoring can be afforded additional service levels.
Whereas, lesser delicate activities like weather monitoring can continue to function with standard security measures. Update security standards according to the activity scale can be authenticated with the 5G UW network.
D. Additional Protection While Roaming
Individuals travelling outside their home country must rely on international roaming amenities to effectively access the internet, share text messages, and initiate phone calls. While activating roaming, the foreign network conducts user validation and may refuse access if a roaming agreement is not in place.
However, the foreign network must share relevant user information with the home network to complete the verification process. The inclusion of this measure ensures that 5G UW services are offered to verified users, in turn, enhancing roaming services and maintaining user privacy throughout.
How will 5G UW Benefit Different Industries?
The 5G UW rollout has helped us to acknowledge new use cases that are driven by technologies such as Artificial Intelligence [AI], Internet of Things [IoT], and Machine Learning. Various industries along with the public sector authorities can effectively use this ultra-fast network to their advantage. Here is how the 5G UW network will boost the industrial sphere:
A. The Healthcare Sector
The accelerated data speed and low latency levels of the 5G ultra wideband will allow healthcare service providers to further improve their overall operations. The inclusion of AI and big data analytics will enhance larger media diagnostic images.
Moreover, the application of augmented reality will assist surgeons in availing real-time information, in turn, encouraging the use of robotics during surgical procedures. The overall precision of completing intricate surgeries will surpass the present standards. This architecture will also be incorporated to train budding surgeons.
Delivering healthcare assistance from remote locations will become more efficient. By the utilisation of IoT-infused devices, relief and support can be offered to the masses during emergencies. Additionally, a new wave of upgraded digital devices will be introduced which will allow individuals to track and monitor their health in real-time.
B. The Manufacturing Sector
With the availability of a seamless network, accessing enriched data through machine vision and upgraded computers will now be possible. This development will further enhance operational efficiency and assist manufacturers in productively monitoring the overall performance of the organisation concerned.
The introduction of robotics in the manufacturing segment will help corporations develop a higher safety standard. High-risk manufacturing assignments can be effectively fulfilled with robotics without jeopardising the lives of working professionals. Extracting real-time data and initiating instant commands within the ultra-low latency network will help manufacturing companies save valuable time.
Businesses will be able to deliver premium quality products while maintaining minimum wastage. Manufacturing agencies may also explore the concept of “Dark Factories” which assists engineers and programmers to manage operations smoothly from remote locations.
C. The Retail Sector
The retail sector will be able to elevate customer experience to the next level by using the 5G UW network. The front and back ends of the retail segment will benefit tremendously from the enhanced 5G network.
For instance, physical stores can incorporate the “Digital Mirror” technology where customers do not have to change outfits to make the final selection. The 5G UW network is capable of managing the high data volume requirements of the new retail-based use cases. Such developments will allow brands to augment goodwill and boost customer retention levels.
With regards to the back-end segment, the inclusion of smart shelves will aid retailers to monitor inventory efficiently. Calculating inventory weight and sending purchase orders automatically will now be possible.
Moreover, the inclusion of RFID tags on independent products will eradicate checkout lanes altogether. The growth of the e-commerce sector demands 5G UW inclusion. The network simplifies warehouse management and streamlines the entire supply chain. Likewise, e-commerce platforms will be able to work with improved algorithms, in turn, raising the standards of the customer purchasing process.
D. The Finance Sector
There are multiple loopholes present in the finance segment leading the general audience to believe that personal banking is a complicated process. However, the 5G UW network bridges these gaps as communication between financial institutions and the final customer is streamlined.
With the development of independent banking and investment applications, people around the world can manage their finances more efficiently. The integration of online payment also improves user experience in the long run. Moreover, financial institutions can improve their security system by adding robust biometric identification techniques.
The aspect of tracking hackers will become faster with the employment of geolocation infrastructure. Additionally, working professionals within this sector will be able to operate from remote locations through 5G UW connectivity. Communicating and sharing real-time information through video conferences will allow general customers to seek direct assistance from banking experts.
Future of 5G Ultra Wideband
5G UW and consequent 5G networks will have a significant impact on various industries. Improvement in the quality of video streaming and faster data transfer will assist public authorities in managing traffic in busy cities efficiently. Security cameras will be able to capture high-quality images by using the 5G UW network.
Sharing location details and using updated algorithms for navigation will elevate travelling experiences. Instead of availing traffic updates on maps or radios, independent vehicles will be able to interact with each other to identify instant solutions.
Moreover, users will be able to access internet amenities throughout without compromising on speed and connectivity with the involvement of the 5G UW network. The network will also boost the production of multiple IoT-enhanced devices and drones that can be deployed during emergencies.
The use of robotics will further boost convenience and safety aspects in every industry, mitigating risks and generating favourable results in the long run. However, the implementation of a seamless 5G UW and advanced network will require a considerable amount of time. Constructing relevant infrastructure that effectively supports 5G UW features also requires additional funding.
Final Overview – Biggest 5G UWB Providers
5G UW is Verizon’s version of offering an enhanced 5G network paired with faster internet speed and ultra-low latency levels. As the technology matures, it is expected that the 5G UW network will be able to manage and scale 100 times larger volumes of data when compared to the traditional 4G network.
At present, Verizon is the only and consequently the biggest 5G UWB service provider in the world. Subsequent services in the form of T-Mobile’s 5G UC and AT&T’s 5G Plus are also available in the market.
However, premium carrier operators around the world have realised the true potential of a 5G-enhanced network. Users can expect new developments within this field which will effectively transform the entire telecommunication industry.
Verizon subscribers must check the network tower icon present on the top-right or left of their mobile device to verify 5G ultra wideband connectivity. Your mobile tower should flash the “5G UW” icon while being connected to the network.
The 5G UW network works with a network reach limitation as it uses high band mmWave frequencies. The overall reach of the 5G ultra wideband network is expected to be between 0.3-1 mile without the presence of any external obstructions.
Yes! Every smartphone user has the option to choose the network which they feel compatible with. Users need to navigate to their primary phone settings menu and update the network preference to 5G or 4G [LTE], as per individual convenience.
Apple’s iPhone 11 to 15 [all models], Google’s Pixel 6 to 8, Samsung’s Galaxy S21 to S24, and Xiaomi’s MIX4 are compatible with the 5G UWB network.