5G arrives in Curitiba, Goiânia and Salvador; understand the technology

This Tuesday (16), three Brazilian capitals will receive 5G technology: Curitiba (PR), Goiânia (GO) and Salvador (BA). The three main operators operating nationwide – Claro, TIM and Vivo – will activate their networks today, which will provide greater connection speed (able to download movies in seconds) and low latency (response time between a command made and its execution) .

The three new capitals join São Paulo (SP), Brasília (DF), Belo Horizonte (MG), Porto Alegre (RS) and João Pessoa (PB), adding up to eight cities enabled with the fifth generation of mobile internet.

By the end of September, all major capitals must activate 5G. The deadline was August, but due to equipment delays, Anatel decided to postpone it. The next cities to receive 5G should be Rio de Janeiro (RJ), Palmas (TO), Florianópolis (SC) and Vitória (ES).

Still, the agency’s study group considers further delaying the debut of 5G in cities in the North and Northeast regions due to lack of equipment for lane cleaning.

Why were Curitiba, Goiânia and Salvador only released now?

The implementation in Curitiba, Goiânia and Salvador depended on a green light from Anatel (Agência Nacional de Telecomunicações), which evaluates the progress of each city in the installation of filters in the 3.5 GHz band — the “avenue of heaven” through which it passes the 5G signal.

One of the main criteria for Anatel to release 5G in a location is related to the cleaning of this “road” so that the 5G signal does not interfere with the operation of satellite TVs. It is estimated that 10 million families in Brazil watch television using this signal.

Then, the agency carries out tests to ensure that there will be no problems for this audience — those who have a satellite dish will even be able to receive a free kit to continue to have access to the TV signal.

Understanding 5G

Before explaining the operators’ offers, it is worth understanding the technological differences within 5G.

Basically, there are three types of 5G:

  • 5G DSS: uses 4G infrastructure and frequency bands to offer faster internet (around 100 Mbps). It already exists in several cities since 2020. It is considered a transition technology from 4G to 5G;
  • 5G NSA (Non Standalone): uses the 5G frequency and the “core” of the 4G network. It offers super-fast internet (reaching gigabits per second), but it doesn’t have such low latency; therefore, it is good for fast downloads, but not so good for industrial applications.
  • 5G SA (Standalone) or “Pure 5G”: uses 5G frequency and 5G network core (an infrastructure dedicated only to it). It offers super-fast internet and low latency. Good for fast multimedia file downloads, lag-free online play and industrial applications.

In all Brazilian cities, operators will have hybrid networks. Therefore, they will have 5G NSA and 5G SA (at the frequency of 3.5 GHz). Anatel says that the 5G edict requires that “operators have 5G SA networks, but it does not prevent them from also having 5G NSA”.

According to the agency, “the objective is to fully meet the legacy base portfolio, since many users still do not have terminals [celulares] 5G SA.” Currently, only 5% of Brazilian terminals are compatible with 5G SA, according to the regulator’s estimate.

Claro 5G: Free NSA

Operator customers should not pay extra to have access to 5G, and it will work for both pre and post plans.

According to Claro, consumers will make use of a 5G NSA network. Despite this, the company says it has implemented SA networks, a requirement by Anatel in the 5G auction. Initially, the company will offer this technology for industrial and agricultural applications.

With the advancement of implementation, ordinary users will also be able to separately contract plans with this “pure blood” 5G.

“The main applications, like Netflix, YouTube, Uber, were developed to work on 4G. So the high speed of the 5G NSA is more than enough. When we have applications that use low latency, it makes sense for the consumer to have 5G SA” , said Márcio Carvalho, marketing director at Claro, in an interview with Tilt on the occasion of the debut of 5G in Brasília.

“If we launched 5G SA to consumers, they would pay more for something that doesn’t yet have specific applications,” he added.

Claro has a list of 5G+ compatible phones. There are cell phones like Galaxy S22, Moto G71 5G, all iPhones 12 and iPhones 13, and Nokia G50.

For some devices, such as Moto Edge 20, Moto Edge 30, Galaxy S21 and Galaxy Z Fold 3, the operator recommends replacing them with a new SIM card.

TIM’s 5G: part free and part paid

TIM customers will be able to browse 5G NSA networks for free. The operator will have a different offer for those who want to browse 5G SA networks with compatible cell phones.

To use the SA network, customers of the Tim Black and Tim Black Família plans must have a compatible smartphone and hire a R$20 monthly booster via the Meu TIM app, which will entitle them to an extra 50 GB of data, in addition to browsing unlimited on the Twitch streaming platform. New customers of these plans will not need to pay extra and will have the benefit at no additional cost for 12 months.

In the future, the operator says it will offer other benefits, such as access to the AWG cloud gaming platform, which has titles such as Fortnite, eFootball, Elder Ring and GTA V.

According to the operator, owners of 5G smartphones from Samsung and Motorola do not need to change their chip to use the new technology.

5G on Vivo: Free NSA

Like Claro, the operator will not initially charge for the use of its 5G networks. Anyone who wants to browse Vivo’s 5G SA network must purchase a new chip.

The operator also informed that in its portfolio it has 47 approved compatible devices, both in the 3.5 GHz and 2.3 GHz frequencies.

For more information, Vivo has a website talking about its 5G coverage.

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