Achieving better upload and download speed depends on the bandwidth available to carry the mobile signal. 4G already has the capability to add together different frequency bands—even when they’re located in different parts of the spectrum—to increase the overall bandwidth and achieve higher data speed. Although developing 5G employs some smart technology to make more efficient use of the available spectrum to achieve more speed for the same bandwidth, like 4G, it also leverages more parts of the spectrum that it can aggregate to boost speed even further.
Fast data is just one promise of 5G, though: Ultralow latency and the potential to connect millions of devices, such as industrial sensors, are other key advantages with industry-transforming potential. As we’ll explain below, each band category has its own strengths. And with the potential of 5G, the ability to aggregate these attributes and bandwidth from multiple bands could in time provide whatever combination of speed, capacity, coverage and low latency is required—even, if necessary, all at the same time.
This means that 5G is highly versatile—capable of supporting a variety of use cases with different requirements. For example, while industrial sensors require high capacity, latency is not always important. 5G adds the opportunity to carve up the spectrum so that each connected device gets just the bandwidth it needs, a concept called network slicing.
In a recent Forbes article, we offer a basic rundown of 5G’s three band categories and their characteristics. Below, we’ll dive deeper to explore each band’s features and what this means for businesses and their future 5G goals.