Most people have heard that 5G is forthcoming, but few are versed on the key advantages over 4G LTE. Here’s a primer.

  1. Speed: Becasue it’ll work at much higher frequencies (many proposals use ranges over 6Ghz) you can move more data per unit of time.
  2. More Call Capacity: there will be less congestion and service degradation in busy areas.
  3. Lower Latency: applications that require low latency will thrive on 5G.
  4. Higher Efficiency: 5G will allow towers to send data directly to devices rather than broadcasting in all direction simultaneously, and many say that you’ll have less total radiation becasue the output can be reduced. Others say it’ll increase because there will be so many more towers that are closer to you.

One concern will be bandwidth caps, since you’ll be able to use so much data so quickly.

Many will likely want to use their 5G connection rather than WiFi or home internet because it’ll be so much faster.

A privacy impact

A tradeoff of using such high frequenices is a lack of signal penetration. Lower frequencies can pass through obstacles like buildings and tress much easier, while super high frequencies can be disrupted by almost anything.

More towers at shorter ranges means tighter location triangulation.

This means you’ll need more towers, mini-towers, and relay locations. Which also means that you’re likely to be very close to multiple transmitters when using your device, which in turn means that authorities—or anyone with access to your phone’s radio location—will have a much tighter understanding of your current location.

This is great for many reasons, but it’s not without implications.

There are also other ways to get even better location data from you, like leaky apps giving GPS location.

People concerned about privacy will notice immediately that this gives police, the phone company, and anyone with access to that data, a more precise location for you at all times.

I think we’re still figuring out how much tigher that location will be, but it looks like it could be improved by a factor of 10 or more.


  1. More detail on location accuracy for 5G Link

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Daniel Miessler

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