The first day of the 5G signal available in BH was marked by a difference in the perception of service quality among residents of some neighborhoods in the capital. Some reported not knowing that the signal would start working this Friday (29/7), others were unable to access it on their devices and some noticed the difference in navigation speed.
Student Laura Calixto, 12, lives in the Vila da Serra neighborhood in Nova Lima, but was shopping at Belvedere, Regio Centro-Sul, with her mother. Her cell phone still wasn’t picking up the 5G signal, in a gallery on Avenida Luiz Paulo Franco, but she says she’s already tried the technology. “I always go to Rio elj pega. I have already realized that it is actually faster. I always watch videos and they seem to run at a better quality. The fastest internet.”
The young woman who consumes content on Instagram and on this social network did not notice much difference. “I noticed more on Youtube and when I watch series on my cell phone. With 4G depending on the quality of the video, it takes a while to load, with 5G it loads straight.” The student is eager for technology to reach the neighborhood where she lives.
Signal in good working order
Another student, Nicole Dias, 17, a resident of Belvedere, began to take advantage of the new technology. According to her, the signal is working well, although sometimes she can’t see much difference for 4G. “It makes a small difference, not an absurd thing, but it works nice. Sometimes I find that faster to load pages on the internet, Instagram works better, Tik Tok also loads much faster.”
Nicole says she expects technology to evolve more over time and people won’t even know how they used to live with the 3G signal, for example. “We are increasingly dependent on technology. When we thought ten years ago, many people did not have a cell phone, it was another reality. When I think I couldn’t text my mom or talk to a friend who lives abroad. You don’t realize these things until you look back.” She believes that with 5G the same will happen.
Another point raised by the student is the lack of access to the signal by the majority of the population. “It makes our lives a lot easier, but many people may not have access, which causes a division. an expensive technology and not everyone will be able to afford it.”
In the Floresta neighborhood, East Region, many residents reported a report from the State of Minas that cell phones are not picking up the 5G signal. Among them, businessman Bruno Zucherati, 33 years old. He did not know that the technology would be available from today in the capital.
Bruno comments that he tried to use the internet on his cell phone in the morning and realized that the signal was weak. Although he hasn’t tried the technology yet, the businessman says he’s curious. “I think downloading content, videos, sending and receiving information will be faster.”
Take time to feel the difference
The trader, Chambela Brs, 41 years old, resident of the Funcionrios neighborhood, in the Centro-Sul region, was another person who did not know that the 5G signal would be available from today. She also says that she is not very tech-savvy, but three months ago she bought a new cell phone with compatibility for the 5G signal.
“I bought it just thinking about being up to date. Both the TV and the telephone line already have 5G clearance. Today I still haven’t noticed a change, but I’ll notice.” The merchant account does not access many video content via smartphone, only banking and Whatsapp applications.
Her sister, Isabela Brs, also a trader, 78 years old, said that she tried the new technology, but didn’t notice that much of a difference. “For me it’s still normal. I believe it will take a while for the general population to feel a difference. We are not very technological people, we do not have that urgency. Downloading the video, watching, finalizing the purchase over the internet, ok.”
Isabela says she believes that operators will take some time to fully implement the technology. “My sister’s cell phone was picking up the signal and now it’s gone. It has an instability and not an urgency of the population in general.”
She also reported that during the morning, not even the 4G signal was working perfectly on her device. “Usually, when the connection is bad, Instagram videos crash. And today it happened, this morning.”
Isabela also highlights that, like other services, 5G will only work properly if there is inspection and collection by consumers. “I think it will improve, but when there is a peak of people using it, the quality decreases.” She recalls that telephone operators are champions of complaints and, even so, they continue to provide a service that she classifies as very bad.
“We know that in other parts of the world, the internet doesn’t even pay and works much better. If there is no inspection, collection and respect between the company and the consumer, I think there will be a lot of smoke and little fire.”
The merchant also fears that 3G and 4G signals will lose quality to force consumers to adhere to 5G technology. “We won’t even have the possibility to choose”, she concludes.
Only 5% of devices with pure 5G
Anatel states that information on the compatibility of the cell phone with the network of each operator must be sought from the operator itself, including whether or not to change the SIM card.
According to professor lvaro Machado Dias, futurist and professor at UNIFESP, in addition to being a partner at WeMind Innovation Office, the implementation of 5G does not all happen in the same way. “There is a difference between using the central part of the computational management structure of 4G (more specifically, the famous 4.5G) for 5G and having a structure dedicated to the latter. We call the two models, respectively, non-stand alone (NSA) and stand alone (SA).”
He explains that SA is distinguished by higher speeds and lower latencies. “It also stands out for the fact that it preserves the signal better when many people are accessing a network simultaneously, that is, greater signal density. However, going from conceptual to practical, things become more complex as the SA with lower spectral range will be worse than the NSA with higher range (50 vs. 100MHZ, for example); that is, starting with the NSA does not represent a bad or harmful strategy.”
Dias also points out that not all cell phones are ready to access SA networks. “Apple’s mighty iPhone 13s, for example, will need an update not yet available to do so – in addition to chip swapping.”
Democratization of access to 5G
The main bottleneck for access to 5G networks is hardware, according to the UNIFESP professor. “Devices capable of doing so tend to be newer and more expensive than those that only reach 4G. In this sense, the first stage of implementation should not be characterized by ample enjoyment of the advantages provided by the great mass of consumers.”
“Unfortunately, there’s not much to do without making things worse. The prospect is that, over time, 5G modems will become dominant and the new standard will be established with the same penetration – or even greater – than that of 4G today”, he concludes.