Cellular 5G data has been lauded as a game-changer in the tech world because it empowers mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets to connect to the internet conveniently using cellular signals. This ability means that you can go online anywhere as long as you can pick up the 5G cellular signals with your phone. But, as convenient as 5G may be, the USA is so large that not all areas can easily pick up 5G cell signals, especially in rural areas. That said, which remote regions of the USA have access to 5G cellular data?
5G is available in many areas in the United States except for in rural or remote areas cut off by forest or dessert that you can find in many states such as Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Washington, and Oregon. These places are most likely to be uninhabited and are far away from any nearby settlement or residential area.
The good news is that cellular signal is available in many locations in the United States by 3G, 4G, LTE, and either 5G Sub-1Ghz Spectrum, 5G Sub-6 spectrum, or 5G mmWave. Even if you live in a very remote town in the U.S., your online classes, meetings, favorite movies, and shows will be online because a cellular signal of some kind is most likely available in your location.
What is 5G?
5G is a cellular broadband network made up of multiple spectrums and radio waves to reach your smartphone or cellular accessible device for various distances and speeds. There is a consensus among the big three United States communication technology companies, Verizon, T-Moble, and AT&T, to get more customers and utilize the 5G Sub-1Ghz Spectrum, 5G Sub-6 Spectrum, and the 5G mmWave Spectrum in their services.
Mobile internet connection has gone a long way from what it used to be. The growth of cellular data has made it possible to reach amazing speeds with our mobile devices. This advancement is thanks to how cellular data speeds continue to improve as the demands of modern society only grow in terms of how fast people want their internet connection to be.
Due to the increasing use of mobile cellular data, especially now when people are always on the go, it is now important for cellular carriers to continue to cater to the needs of their subscribers by offering faster internet speeds with amazing coverages. While we were already impressed by the rates of the 4G LTE networks, 5G takes that to an entirely different level.
5G is the 5th Generation
|5G Connectivity Ranges of Frequencies|
|Bandwidth||Gigahertz||Spectrum Name||Use in the U.S.|
|Low Band||1 GHz and Below||Sub-1Ghz Spectrum||800 MHz, 700 MHz, 900 MHz|
|Mid Band||1 to 6 GHz||Sub-6 Spectrum||2.5 GHz|
|High Band||24 to 71 GHz||mmWave Spectrum||*24 GHz to 90 GHz|
5G is the 5th generation in the mobile network world and has become the global standard in mobile cellular data today, and it takes over 4G in that regard. 5G networks are the newest kind of connection as it allows everyone to connect to almost any type of device and machine capable of connecting with 5G networks.
This type of network comes with high data speeds that can reach multiple Gbps (Gigabytes per second) at peak levels. Moreover, 5G is considered more reliable and stable because it has a bigger network capacity and increased availability. 5G networks are expensive to install and rely on fiber-optic cable to connect cell sites, and they have low latency compared to the other bandwidths. So, 5G is now the benchmark because it is very fast and comes with better coverage once the network infrastructure is installed.
The installation of fiber for 5G applications may change and be eliminated in areas in the future with the progression of the 5G technology and its design. That said, new smartphones being introduced that can connect simultaneously to both 600 MHz and 2.5 GHz 5G bands should also open up usage parameters immensely.
5G is simply better overall because it performs at a better rate and comes with a more efficient data connection that you won’t see in 4G LTE networks. This breakthrough is why 5G can empower urbanized sectors and connect people who live in remote and rural areas in the United States.
5G Spectrum Explained
- 5G Low-bands – Sub-1 GHz Spectrum is utilized for widespread coverage. Increased low-band capacity is required to create a greater balance between urban and rural broadband access. Low band’s greater capacity works indoors, outdoors, in urban and rural areas.
- 5G Mid-bands Sub-6 typically offer a mixture of coverages and capacity these lower-frequency radio waves can travel long distances and penetrate walls and obstacles. Sub-6 refers to 5G that operates at a frequency below 6GHz. Most commercial 5G networks utilize this spectrum within the 3.3-3.8 GHz range. Sub-6 also utilizes other bands, including 1500 MHz, 1800 MHz, 2.1 GHz, 2.3 GHz, and 2.6 GHz.
- 5G High-bands Millimeter Wave or mmWave supports the ultra-high broadband speeds for 5G. mmWave connections deliver unprecedented download speeds but have their downside as well. The high-frequency 5G signals can’t travel long distances and have the highest speeds within 1,500 feet of an antenna, and they also do not penetrate obstacles very well. Building walls, windows, or trees can block mmWave signal. 5G networks utilize the spectrum currently within the 24/26/28/40/66-71 GHz, but as mentioned above, this can change.
Which Remote Areas in The USA Have 5g?
Many areas actually don’t have 5G or any cellular connection, for that matter. The thing you need to understand about mobile internet connections or cellular data is that it is highly dependent on the cellular coverage of a certain cellular carrier. That’s because cellular data rely on cellular signals to be able to connect to the internet. To that end, if a certain area has poor reception and cannot get any cellular signal, then it would also struggle to get a 5G connection or any other type of cellular data connection, for that matter.
But, as the world now trends more towards the digital age where people from all walks of life rely a lot on the internet for their daily needs and transactions, it has become very important for any person to be able to connect to the internet wherever he may live and for him to be able to get a reliably fast internet connection in any town or area.
The problem with the previous generation of mobile internet connections is limited coverage in far-flung rural areas that are not normally regarded as hotspots for internet users. And you would understand why cellular carriers don’t provide good coverage in these areas since most places are so sparsely populated that you might even wonder if there are people who use the internet or rely on it regularly in such places.
The Good News About Future Rural 5G Coverage
The good news about 5G is that, depending on your carrier, it should be able to provide you with good coverage in most areas in the United States regardless of whether or not it does have a lot of people in the next 5 years. 5G has increased range compared to 4G and has made it possible for people living in faraway places to connect to the internet.
To that end, many remote areas in the United States can connect to the internet via 5G network signals once the cellular antenna infrastructure is installed. Almost all states in the U.S. are 5G-ready except for small parts of states such as Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Washington, and Oregon. That’s because these are the places that are most likely to be uninhabited due to how they are probably forest areas or deserts.
The point of the matter here is that 5G technology will be available to many more people in many parts of the U.S. and the world regardless of whether or not the place might be inhabited by plenty of people. The evolution of the 5G technology and working through problems is initiating this change.
How Is 5g Capable Of Reaching Remote Areas?
The 5G Low-bands Sub-1 GHz Spectrum has been important to Cellular Communication. Sub-1 GHz spectrum bands are very important for expanding 5G coverage to rural areas and providing 5G cellular service across different geographies and terrains. The way 5G spectrum allocation works is by auctions of sub-1 GHz spectrum in the United States to Cellular Carriers using already assigned spectrum licenses.
To make it easier for you to understand, you have to look at how TVs work. Even those who live in faraway places can still watch television shows through an antenna because TV antennas use low-band frequencies. These are the same frequencies we are talking about when it comes to the lower end of the radio spectrum, which 5G networks can use. They are not as fast as the hire bands but still give rural areas access.
As such, even though the nearest tower may be hundreds of miles away, 5G networks can still use the low-end signals coming from these towers while also delivering speeds capable of moving faster than 4G networks can. So, this makes it easier for you to understand why, even though a rural area didn’t have 4G signals in the past, it now has 5G.
The higher end of that spectrum with 5G Mid-bands Sub-6 will give people mid-range speeds with more range and Distance. The 5G High-bands mmWave will provide people with a streaming download speed of 1 GB per second, while the lower end should be able to transfer about half of that speed in a few seconds.
The good news about the lower spectrum and midrange of that signal is that, while it doesn’t have the best speeds, it can travel distances that are a lot farther than what the higher end of the radio signal spectrum can. Because of that, it becomes understandable why and how 5G can reach rural areas.
The Next Step in 5G Service to Rural Communities
The next steps will be to utilize the mid and high-band cellular spectrum antennas and get them to the places where they are not currently installed. The initiative will be to install millions of mmWave high-frequency 5G antennas that can’t travel long distances but have the highest speeds within 1,500 feet of an antenna to a small town near you.
Carriers may not care to do this because it will not make economic sense which is understandable, but Net Neutrality may help with this in the future, and it will be the same as a utility, but who knows for sure.
New technologies such as Massive MIMO antennas and stations, scanning, and beamforming which use multiple antenna components to focus energy in one direction by using a narrow beam technique, are literally changing the 5G landscape its application.
We still can’t get good reception on a regular TV antenna in the small town we live in Alaska, and when working in Nome, Alaska, there is only one local tv station, and good luck getting it clearly. But because this affects business, farming, education, and communication networks in the USA, we foresee a bright future for 5G in America’s progression into rural communities.