The Downside of 5G: Overwhelmed Cities, Torn-Up Streets, a Decade Until Completion

Christopher Mims:

This is the paradox of 5G, the collection of technologies behind next-generation wireless networks: They require a gargantuan quantity of wires. This is because 5G requires many more small towers, all of which must be wired to the internet. The consequences of this unavoidable reality are myriad. The 5G build-out, which could take more than a decade, could disrupt our commutes, festoon nearly every city block with antennas, limit what cities can charge for renting spots on their infrastructure to carriers on which to place their antennas, and result in an unequal distribution of access to high-speed wireless, at least at first.

I feel like most people have no idea what '5G' entails. It's not just another 'G', it's building out an entirely new network of towers -- and yes, digging up streets again to lay more fiber -- sure, smaller towers, but ones that need to be much closer together, to blanket a city. It's going to take forever to be ubiquitous. It may never be outside of cities.

Will satellite internet improve faster than 5G rolls out? You'd think there's no way, but Amazon is also playing here for a reason, as well (as is this guy).


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