There is no doubt that 2020 is the year when 5g network will be fully launched in the world. In this year, China has built the world’s largest 5g network, built 718000 5g base stations, and promoted the co construction and sharing of 330000 5g base stations. However, with the gradual popularization of 5g network, such a problem often appears on the network in the past year, that is, “do you think your 4G has slowed down after the emergence of 5g?”

In fact, not only in China, South Korea is also making efforts to build 5g network, and many users feel that the 4G network speed is slowing down. This “urban legend” has finally been officially confirmed until 2021. According to the report of CCTV finance and economics, the South Korean Ministry of information and communication recently released the communication quality evaluation report. It shows that in the second half of 2020, the average download speed of 5g network of the three major operators in South Korea increased by about 5.2% compared with the first half of the year, but the average download speed of 4G network decreased by 4% and the upload speed decreased by 9%, which is also the first time that the network speed has decreased since the opening of 4G network in South Korea.

After the advent of 5g, the 4G network speed slowed down, which was considered by many friends to be caused by the “negative optimization” of 4G network by operators in order to promote 5g. However, the personal feelings of each user were not very convincing. Until this time, the South Korean side gave the “real hammer” of the final conclusion with the specific figures in a report.

The 4G network speed in South Korea slows down?

However, it should be noted that as the first country in the world to start large-scale commercial 5g network, Korean operators adopt almost the same strategy as the domestic market, and all choose NSA in networking mode. To be exact, NSA is selected for network construction at the initial stage of 5g deployment, and the “NSA + Sa” architecture is adopted at the later stage, and finally the transition to sa. NSA is a scheme for the overall transition from 4G network to 5g network. 4G base stations on the wireless side coexist with 5g base stations, and the core network adopts the networking architecture of 4G core network. The advantage of this networking mode is that it can make use of the existing 4G base stations.

Since domestic operators and South Korea have adopted similar networking modes, it seems that the situation mentioned in South Korea’s report can also explain your feelings. However, I believe some friends will remember that in August 2019, a spokesman of the Ministry of industry and information technology told the media about the issue of “4G network speed slowing down”. The monitoring data showed that the 4G network speed continued to increase steadily. At first glance, some friends may think that one side of them may be lying, but from the perspective of facts, the statements of the two countries are actually correct.

One side said that the 4G upload / download speed of users has decreased, and the other side said that the 4G network speed has continued to increase steadily. In fact, although both sides said the same thing, they explained it from different perspectives. From the perspective of ordinary users, the Ministry of information and communication of Korea does indeed reduce the network uplink / downlink rate when ordinary users actually use 4G network. From the perspective of operators, the Ministry of industry and information technology shows that compared with the data of the three operators in 2020 and the first quarter of 2019, in terms of 4G download network speed, mobile increased by 25.2%, Unicom increased by 83.6% and telecom increased by 95%.

Since the network speed provided by operators is growing, how can 4G become slower and slower after reaching the user end? A sentence given by the Ministry of employment and information technology since then can be well explained, that is, “the growth of 4G user traffic does not completely match the improvement of network support capacity”. Yes, even in the first year of 5g, the growth of 4G users has maintained a quite rapid trend. From July 2019 to July 2020, the growth rate of average household mobile Internet download traffic measured by the Ministry of industry and information technology is as high as 30.8%, and the statistics of the Chinese Academy of information and communications also show that in the first 10 months of 2020, the cumulative shipment of domestic 5g mobile phones was 124 million, while the 4G mobile phones reached 128 million.

When the 4G network has stopped capacity expansion, the constant number of base stations means that the total bandwidth and channel capacity will become a fixed value. With the increasing number of users, the traffic consumed by each user will naturally become less and less. An easy to understand example is that although the cake is twice as big, the number of people sharing the cake continues to increase, which makes everyone’s share of the cake not twice as big, and even there is an accident waiting in line to pick up the cake.

Therefore, even if operators use carrier aggregation, high-order modulation, multi stream transmission and other technologies to broaden the “lane”, the final network signal of any type of base station or wireless signal tower comes from the fixed network (optical cable) access at the bottom of the base station. Moreover, in the NSA networking mode, there are VIPs (5g users) with higher access priority, which aggravates the burden of the whole network. It is an inevitable result that users feel that the 4G network slows down during the peak period. I don’t believe you can measure the network speed in a free time like midnight. At this time, the 4G network speed will be very different from the peak rate in the morning and evening.

In fact, the emergence of 5g network is to cope with the mismatch between user traffic growth and network support capacity after 4G network performance reaches the peak. Therefore, using 5g network with larger bandwidth and higher speed to replace the existing 4G network is obviously the final solution to this problem.

Editor in charge: Tzh

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