Fli Fi

5G on my construction site

If you haven’t heard about 5G by now, you must have been hiding away in a cupboard or locked up in a Mobile Mini cabin or something – but just in case, before we get to the point of this post – here is a very short, basic explanation to help you with your construction site WiFi:

5G is the next level in mobile internet connectivity, offering faster speeds so that you can do more, quicker. If you need a more in depth explanation of what it is, please click on this link 5G in depth

Do I need 5G and do I want it?

Well, there are so many dependencies on answering these questions that only you will know if you need it for your construction site WiFi, but we will help you to work that out. Because you are here reading this, we are going to make some presumptions – you are:

  • Working on or responsible for a construction site
  • Need access to the internet for ‘something’ on that site. As a minimum, email and internet browsing.

The first thing to say is that the speeds available to most of us now on 3G or 4G are more than enough for basic use. Those 3G and 4G speeds are what you would see if you did a speedtest on your mobile phone or via your MiFi unit/dongle speed test here.

A range of realistic speeds you might find are between 2Mbps to 15Mbps on 3G, and 2Mbps to 40Mbps on 4G (quite often much better too!). To simply browse the internet all you need is a few kbps bandwidth (1000Kbps = 1Mbps) and basic 3G access could provide you with around 50 x more than this, so when you start to get a feel for the scales, you realise that seeking out the fastest possible speed isn’t always necessary. A decent quality teams or zoom call can be carried out over 1-2 Mbps or less, average 4G access could provide you with at least 10-20 x more than this.

Underlying business arguments for faster internet speeds are usually around avoiding delay and the opportunity cost of that delay.. If you are sitting there waiting for 20 minutes for an important file to download as opposed to 20 seconds, are you going to lose the business or fail to meet your customers requirement?

If all you want to do right now with your internet access is send emails, browse the internet, hold a few zoom or teams call and access social media then there really isn’t much of a case for you (yet) to warrant the likely additional expense of 5G capable hardware.

If you need a large number of users with access to a VPN, share urgent files and have time critical activities taking place then it might be that 5G would give you an advantage.

What gives?

5G is new. It’s new enough for suppliers of internet connectivity to charge a premium for it. The hardware to make it happen is also new and priced at a premium. In addition it needs to be understood that the overall UK 5G network is not fully established yet so for now at least, you just might not be able to get 5G where you need it, despite having all the right kit.

If you want to check 5G coverage, this is a handy map to use: https://www.nperf.com/en/map/5g

General practical advice

If you are looking to sort your own connectivity, it’s always worth asking what the equipment you are getting for your site WiFi is. capable of, whether it is 5G capable or what category of LTE it is. Not all internet connectivity is created equal, but if you know what you are looking for you can make sure you are getting the best you possibly can.

Our previous article on how to get reliable construction site WiFi is also full of tips and advice and will help you to understand what speeds you could be getting.

Find out how to make your site run seamlessly with these construction internet options.

Happy to help

Fli-Fi is a specialist construction WiFi provider, working with construction sites across the UK to optimise speeds. We welcome you to look at some of our construction site case studies. We believe in providing only the best 5G commercial grade routers as well as high category LTE hardware equipment to ensure you have the very best speeds possible for your location and usage type. If you ever need help or guidance, we’d love to chat, please feel free to contact us.

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