Hello, good morning, our time, from Shunyi on Thursday 25th March. Just 9 shopping months left till Christmas~ Time to start shopping for your new 5G handset.
We have been able to get 5G connectivity on some of our devices here via our Netgear Nighthawk router for a while now. Not that I am recommending the router, it is just mediocre. Better ones are available and their customer support reeks. However, to day we are going to look at 5G in China generally.
Today’s format will be a quick overview of 5G performance in China from our limited experience and then some links to third party articles that may be interesting or useful. We have several devices based here, a mix of desktops of varying age, relatively modern laptops and- mostly- 4G phones. Then there are the devices that team members bring in from time to time.
Here in Shunyi at least, which is just a stones throw from Beijing Capital Airport, North East Beijing, we have had a gigabyte connection for some time. However, this only applies to the desktop machines connected directly to the LAN. Not mobile devices using WiFi. They are limited by their Wifi card.
Overall, the desktop machines drawing 1000mb/s are faster than the those on the Wifi – in some instances. For example;e uploading / downloading. But generally there is not much difference. It varies from machine to machine, depending on specs. For example, our biggest desktop is a few milliseconds faster, but that is more down to faster CPU and larger RAM.
The big headaches comes with video. Frames are dropped or the screening is broken whilst the machine waits for buffering. Frustrating whether watching or trying to edit / create a video. Probably most of us have experienced that from time to time. Here, the effect was more pronounced on the 4G mobile phones. Video work was a pain.
As we mentioned in the first para, we have been able to connect to the routers 5G Wifi for around 6 months. Ironically, the big desktop, – non WIFI – does not benefit, but those built around mobile tech and our notebook do. The 4g smart phones are of course, left out in the cold.
In so far as the laptops are concerned, the real, if only, difference is smoother, more fluid video. That in itself is worthwhile, especially if you spend a lot of time working with or watching vids.
Again, 5G handsets have been available in China for at least 6 months. But at a premium price point. However, in the last few months that point has dropped significantly and 5 G devices are now more readily available and affordable. This of course, has hastened the 5G uptake in China. As one of our members works mostly on smart phone with her video creation, we thought we would invest in a 5G phone and see how it performed.
China 5G LTe V/s VOLTe
China Unicom uses the LTe system rather than the VOLTe.
What’s the difference?
Well, the VO stand for Voice Over.
Meaning that when you make a phone call it is via the LTe network.
In the LTe system however, it is not. Just the same as in the previous 2, 3 and 4 G calls. So you are more likely to experience better video than phone calls.
Looking at it another way.
Probably in your mobile phone plan you have 2 options.
One for data, one for air time? Think of the data now being faster in 5G LTE but not the airtime.
If you want faster, clearer air time then VOLTe is the way. But it is carrier dependant. Even if your phone is VOLTe compliant, you may not see much difference if your carrier uses LTe.
Calls you make via WEeChat, Whatsapp etall are similar to VOLTe as they go through the WeChat etc app. Is it any better? Maybe. Depends on too many circumstances. And, at least here in China, as most personal or important business calls are placed via WeChat it is irrelevant. The only non WeChat calls are from tele sales people. And who cares what that quality is!
Our experience with our new 5G phone?
There was no discernible difference between 4g and 5g phone calls, but video was definitively smoother, clear and faster. A big gain was in data transfer when it comes to E-wallet payments or QR code scanning. Given that life in China is not very much hi tech driven where almost anything one does requires a mobile connection and data transfer, 5G is going to make people’s lives just that little bit less frustrating.
The new 5G phone generally performed faster, but that would be down to newer tech and 3 times more ROM than the 4G model. Those who have ITOT appliances in their homes can expect to see advantages and 5G generally will make AI driven applications faster and smoother thanks to the faster data transfer capabilities of 5G. The other big winners fo 5G tech will be businesses benefiting form faster data transfer. Ultimately of course, that will trickle down to benefiting consumers. We expect that 5G will reach maturity level and saturation in China much faster than any previous generation.
For a short, detail wrap of China and the 5G mobile infrastructure this article from Caixin: China outspends rest of the world on 5g infrastructure by 2 to 1
Or this trio from China daily: China invests 260 billion yuan in 5G rollout