Another approach -- the more feasible one -- for creating a national 5G network is to use a combination of high-, medium- and low-band frequencies. MM wave may be used in densely populated areas, while low- and midband nodes may be used in less dense areas. The low-band frequencies can travel longer and through different objects. One low-band 5G node can stay connected to a 5G-enabled device for up to hundreds of square miles. This means that an implementation of all three bands will give blanketed coverage while providing the fastest speeds in the most highly trafficked areas.
5G download speeds can currently reach upwards of 1,000 megabits per second (Mbps) or even up to 2.1 Gbps. To visualize this, a user could start a YouTube video in 1080p quality on a 5G device without it buffering. Downloading an app or an episode of a Netflix show, which may currently take up to a few minutes, can be completed in just a few seconds. Wirelessly streaming video in 4K also becomes much more viable. If on MM wave, these examples would currently need to be within an unobstructed city block away from a 5G node; if not, the download speed would drop back down to 4G.
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Low band can stay locked at 5G over longer distances, and even though the overall speed of low-band 5G may be slower than MM wave, low band should still be faster than what would be considered a good 4G connection. Low-band 5G download speeds may be up to 30 to 250 Mbps. Low-band 5G is more likely to be available for more rural locations. Midband 5G download speeds may reach up to 100 to 900 Mbps, and it is likely to be used in major metro areas.