As the world welcomes the introduction of 5G, many have begun to wonder about the longevity of 4G. Watchfire sign owners who use a 4G modem and the Watchfire wireless data plan to communicate with their sign may be concerned that they will soon have to upgrade to a 5G modem, but they can relax. 4G is going to be around for a while.
Here are some reasons why 4G service will continue:
1. 4G is a technology still being actively developed. 4G devices continue to be produced and will be for years to come. At this time, 5G modems are not designed for use in the sign industry. Most 5G devices are focused on applications that require HD (or greater video capabilities) with faster browsing or download speeds.
2. 4G and 5G are complementary technologies. Both speeds have their own individual strengths and weaknesses. The 5G network is not meant to replace, but rather work with the 4G network. Having access to both technologies will enable users to take advantage of good speeds wherever they are located.
3. Location. Location. Location. 4G may have slower speeds than 5G, but its reach can be up to ten miles, and its coverage in suburban and rural areas far surpasses the 5G network. 5G is based on high frequency and low distance of millimeter wave frequencies. The range of 5G is only 1,000-3,000 feet and may rapidly lose strength through walls and other obstructions.
4. Infrastructure development. 5G will require the extension of existing cellphone towers and the addition of new ones. Many communities are debating these changes over concerns that towers may diminish the overall look of the landscape and affect an area’s development.
Industry experts suggest that 4G will be available well past 2030. Due to the limitations of the 5G network, these two technologies work best in conjunction with one another. Verizon has disclosed that they have no plans to eliminate 4G in the same manner that they did with 3G.
All indicators support the staying power of 4G and should give sign owners confidence that sign communication via 4G modem and data service will not be impacted anytime soon.