5G may disappoint consumers because it has no other advantage than the speed

Less than four years after the issuance of 4G licenses, the construction of 5G networks has been on the line. According to media reports, China’s three major operators will invest 180 billion US dollars and plans to build the world’s largest 5G network within 7 years. At the moment, consumers’ perception of 5G networks is speed.

At the moment, consumers’ perception of 5G networks is faster. From 3G to 4G, consumers are enjoying the convenience of technological change. At the same time, consumers are also expecting the popularity of 5G networks, the tariffs can be lower, and the signal coverage is more complete. In terms of all aspects of information, in addition to the speed, 5G networks may make users more disappointed.

Signal coverage is a bruise

As the fifth-generation mobile communication network, 5G’s most eye-catching advantage is faster. It is reported that the highest theoretical transmission speed of 5G networks can reach tens of Gbps per second, which is hundreds of times faster than the existing 4G network transmission speed. In the future, download the entire ultra-high-quality movie using the 5G network, and download it within 1 second. In the case that 100Mb broadband is not yet popular, the faster 5G network is worth looking forward to. However, 5G networks still have shortcomings in signal coverage. Since 5G network technology mainly uses ultra-high frequency spectrum, it can provide higher data transmission rate, but the electromagnetic wave transmission distance of this frequency band is very short and is easily blocked by obstacles. To make the signal coverage of 5G networks better, operators need to build millions of small base stations and deploy them to every telegraph pole, every building, every house, or even every room.

Attentive consumers will find that while mobile Internet speeds are growing at a high speed, the number of mobile base stations has also increased. In the 2G era, the number of base stations of operators is quite small. After the 2G signal coverage is mature, it is basically a township that requires only 1-2 base stations to achieve seamless coverage. After entering the 3G era, the number of base stations of operators has soared, and there are signal blind spots in five base stations in a township. After the popularity of 4G networks, we will find that several villages need a base station. At present, 4G network licenses have been issued for more than three years, and there are still 4G network coverage problems in many areas. It cannot be predicted that the signal coverage of 5G networks is more difficult than that of 4G networks. In accordance with the plan of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, a large-scale trial network was launched in 2018. In 2020, the 5G network officially launched commercial services. Even so, after 5G network commercial signal coverage will still be a serious injury, the city with high buildings, the 5G signal will be even worse.

The increase in traffic tariffs

Forgot to turn off 4G, wake up and your house will be gone. This segment, which was once circulated on the Internet, reflects the fact that 4G network fees are high. Under the policy of speeding up the fee reduction by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, the mobile Internet traffic tariff has been lowered, but it is not close to the people. To this end, many consumers pin their hopes of falling tariffs on 5G.

From the perspective of network technology evolution from 3G to 4G, the overall tariff is still rising. After all, the three major operators have invested huge amounts of money in the construction of 3G networks and 4G networks. According to the data, China Mobile, China Unicom and China Telecom’s three major operators invested an estimated 117 billion US dollars in 4G network in 2013-2020. This is also the root cause of the increase in tariffs. After all, operators are not public welfare organizations and need to be profitable. The huge investment of the three major operators, the change in the tariff level is that the entry threshold has become higher. In China Unicom, the entry barrier for the 3G era is the 66 yuan package, and the entry threshold for the 4G era is 76 yuan. Similarly, the entry barriers for China Telecom and China Mobile have also increased.

According to the investment scale of the three major operators in the construction of 5G networks, once the 5G network is commercialized, the tariff will inevitably be higher than the 4G tariff. In the same seven years, the three major operators invested 117 billion dollars in 4G networks, and the investment in 5G networks was 180 billion dollars, and the investment increased by 48%. Imagine that the investment of the three major operators on the 5G network is higher, and how the tariff may be reduced. After all, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology also has a KPI assessment of profit indicators. In addition, the shorter transition time of the network technology standard is also an important reason for the higher 5G tariff. In 1994, Fujian Province opened the first domestic GSM digital mobile phone; in December 2008, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology issued 3G licenses to the three major operators, and the 4G licenses were issued in December 2013. It took 14 years to upgrade from a 2G network to a 3G network, and the 3G network was upgraded to a 4G network in just 5 years. In such a short period of time, network technology is frequently upgraded, and operators are bound to bear a greater burden. In order to recover costs faster and raise tariffs, it is not difficult to understand.

5G mobile phone life is facing challenges

In recent years, many consumers have squandered their smartphones. In the era of 2G, people use Nokia phones to easily standby for a week, even if the telephone business is busy every day, every 2 or 3 days can be tolerated. After entering the 5G era, a worse battery life experience than 4G phones will disappoint consumers. In fact, as early as in the 3G era, the life of smartphones has already plagued consumers. Compared with 2G mobile phones, 4G mobile phones with larger battery capacity have a different standby time. In many mobile applications, data traffic is the most power-hungry application, not one. Some insiders said that the faster the mobile phone is connected to the Internet, the more power it consumes. If this theory is established, then using a 5G mobile phone to access the Internet may be a charge for half a day.

In the case of Apple’s mobile phone, we can discover the changes in mobile phone life under different network technology standards. The iPhone 4 with the earliest entry into the domestic market has a capacity of 1470 mAh and can last for one day without heavy use. The latest generation of iPhone 7 Plus battery capacity is 2910 mAh, using 4G data to access the Internet is also a barely supportive day. It is not difficult to find that in the case where the battery capacity is almost doubled, the standby time does not change much, which is enough to show that the faster the Internet speed, the more power the mobile phone consumes. In the case that battery technology has already encountered bottlenecks, the 5G network is really fast, but the problem is that the battery life will be shorter. Although Huawei and Gionee have launched mobile phones with longer battery life, mobile phone life in the 5G era is still a hard indicator affecting the consumer experience.


In short, the 5G network currently gives the average consumer the perception that the Internet is faster. Like other technologies, 5G technology has also encountered innovation bottlenecks in the development process. Therefore, in addition to fast Internet access, 5G networks with poor signal coverage and higher tariffs are really worthy of consumers’ expectations.