Ever been frustrated that your 5G phone seems to be super-fast only half the time? Where’s the rub? Frequencies used for 5G carry data faster but are affected by all sorts of things that slow the connection down considerably. Tinted glass or eco-efficient building materials meant to insulate for greater energy efficiency can kill your 5G signal altogether. And 5G has little over 4G unless you are close to, and in direct line to, a 5G tower.
That’s where C-Band comes in, a range of frequencies between the high band of millimeter-wave and low-band making it very suitable for 5G applications due to their wide coverage area and low propagation loss that’s less congested than other frequencies. And it’s already available but just not very prevalent outside of major metro areas and high-capacity venues, like stadiums, airports or Super Bowls.
The future is a technologically competent DAS, or distributed antenna system, using C-band to deliver a 5G experience and convincing enterprise users to leave out the low-bands that are rarely used and deliver the slowest 4G speeds.
Different frequencies behave in different ways according to where they land on the spectrum. Lower frequencies tend to travel farther and can more easily penetrate buildings for in-building coverage. However, lower frequency often means lower speeds. But then your higher frequencies like the mmWave of 5G, while incredibly fast, break up considerably over distance and fail altogether once they encounter solid walls.
C-Band has become known as the “sweet spot” for wireless connection and can provide an ideal balance of range, penetration, and transmission speeds and may be the first taste many users get of the promised 5G speeds we’ve been hearing about for so long.
A DAS creates a network of antennas that are distributed across different locations, allowing for better coverage and stronger signal for C-band distribution, providing coverage in areas where there is no or poor existing cellular coverage.
A DAS with C-Band will be essential for providing the best possible 5G experience. In the near future, C-band will be synonymous with 5G and will be one of the essential elements of wireless networks.
Additionally, fixed broadband providers are increasingly relying on the C-band spectrum to provide wireless access to their networks because of the high bandwidth available, distance C-Band can cover and the speeds available to the end customer. It provides the necessary spectrum resources to enable advanced services and applications.
So, will your phone be faster? The rollout of 5G services on the new C-band spectrum is already transforming the 5G landscape by allowing all three carriers to offer the 5G speeds. Apple supports C-band on all iPhones that have 5G radios including all iPhone 12 and iPhone 13 models.