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Qualcomm simulated real-world 5G LTE, and it’s fast

Theoretical 5G LTE speeds are interesting, but what will it be like for real-world users? Qualcomm did some tests. Results? Really, really fast.

Published onFebruary 26, 2018

  • At MWC 2018, Qualcomm showed off some 5G simulations performed in San Francisco and Frankfurt.
  • Taking into account various real-world factors, the simulated speeds still were incredibly fast.
  • It will be a few years before we see these speeds., but when we do, we’ll wonder how we ever got by on 4G.

Lots of numbers get thrown around when talking about how the 5G LTE mobile devices of the future will be. Here at Android Authority, we discussed how the 5G specification sets a minimum 100 Mbps download speed, but that’s a theoretical speed. When you take into account network congestion, tower placement, and spectrum allocation, among other things, speed can vary quite a bit.

Qualcomm performed two 5G tests, in Frankfurt and San Francisco, taking a lot of these factors into account. The company presented its results at Mobile World Congress 2018. Hopefully, these tests will give us a better, more realistic idea of how fast 5G will be during real-world use.

Spoiler alert: it’s really, really fast.

Even when simulating factors such as geography, different user demands on the network, and even different types of devices, the speeds on a 5G LTE network are still faster than 4G by a factor of twenty in some cases.

AT&T rolling out 5G? Who cares?

In Frankfurt, the test was based on 100 MHz of 3.5 GHz spectrum, which is a more basic network than here in the United States. The median for basic browsing went from 56 Mbps on 4G to 490 Mbps on 5G, a jump of 875 percent. Median download speeds exploded 1,250 percent from 8 Mbps to 100 Mbps. Zoom.

San Francisco’s simulation was even more insane. The test was on a model mmWave network operating in 800 MHz of 28 GHz spectrum. The median browsing speed on 4G was 71 Mbps, but on 5G jumped to 1.4 Gbps, an increase of a whopping 1,972 percent! Downloads on 4G came in at around 10 Mbps but ran 1,860 percent faster at 186 Mbps on 5G LTE.

Qualcomm also tested video quality during its tests. The median user in both simulations saw 8K, 120 FPS, 10-bit color streaming on 5G LTE. Wow.

It will be a while before these networks are ready and available around the world, and before there will be devices able to connect to those networks. But even if real world 5G speeds are half as slow as these projected speeds from Qualcomm, you’ll still see some ultra-fast mobile data in the next few years.

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