Scientific abbreviations can cause confusion, especially when they’re similar or describe things that aren’t visible. For instance, many Americans know “lb.” refers to pounds and may even have a sense of how it feels to lift ten or twenty pounds. But if you ask what 5 GHz is, how the abbreviation is used, or the difference between 5 GHz and 5G, there’s much less familiarity (unless you’re talking to a physics student or network engineer!). While Viasat Internet has nothing to do with fifth-generation or “5G” cellular standards, you might see a 5 GHz Wi-Fi band on your internet router, because they’re two different things.
Viasat internet coverage is provided through high-capacity satellites in orbit thousands of miles above the earth. These large satellites use Ka-band frequencies to transmit data to and from home dishes. Viasat satellites – and any satellites using Ka-band – transmit data using a specific range of frequencies.
In cellular communications, 5G simply stands for fifth generation cellular network standards. It’s an update to previous fourth generation or 4G cellular communications. While 5G refers to fifth generation cellular standards, it’s easy to confuse 5G with 5 GHz.
You may see abbreviations like 2.4 GHz or 5 GHz when adjusting router settings. The abbreviation GHz refers to “gigahertz” – a hertz (Hz) is a unit of frequency. Many routers have dual-band capability to provide Wi-Fi on either frequency. (While 5 GHz Wi-Fi is faster, 2.4 GHz may be preferable if you need to access Wi-Fi through obstacles like walls.)
Are Viasat Internet and 5G cellular standards completely unrelated, then? Not necessarily, when it comes to market competition! Cellular internet is becoming a popular option – where it’s available.
With affordability, high speeds, and no data caps, cellular internet with 5G speed and bandwidth could be a great option. But even the older 4G cellular internet access remains uneven, with cellular internet availability expanding from large metropolitan areas to small cities – but still hardly rural access.
Cellular internet may become more widely available in rural regions at some point, but fifth generation cellular standard updates will be a years-long process. For now, satellite internet remains a solid option for rural customers – whether you choose 2.4 GHz or 5 GHz Wi-Fi on your router.
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