Blog Post

Why 5G isn’t going to fix your mobile signal problems

5G London

Table of Contents

What are the issues affecting 5G?

While 5G is a significant advancement in mobile network technology, it may not be the ultimate solution to all mobile signal-related problems. While 5G promises faster speeds and lower latency, its coverage is not as extensive as older technologies like 4G or 3G. So, what are the main issues affecting 5G?


Signal penetration

Due to the higher frequency bands used in 5G, signals don’t travel as far and struggle to penetrate obstacles like buildings, including walls, ceilings and windows. As a result, in certain areas, especially rural or remote regions, there might still be weak or no 5G coverage.

Surely Green/Smart Buildings are being built with 5G in mind?

The 5th generation mobile network is the new global wireless standard after 1G, 2G, 3G, and 4G networks. 5G enables a new kind of network designed to connect virtually everyone, including machines, objects, and devices. So, why doesn’t 5G solve the problem of poor connectivity within buildings, being a more advanced technology? 

Unfortunately, 5G has become the construction industry’s burden, as although it provides low latency/high-speed service, enabling super-fast data transmission, it cannot penetrate these building materials. As 70% of mobile devices are used inside a building, this creates a severe issue for the building industry and its tenants.

Network rollout

Deploying a nationwide 5G network is a complex and expensive process. While many cities and urban areas may have 5G coverage, it might take years before it reaches all parts of a country or even the world. During this transition period, users in some locations might not see immediate benefits.

Device compatibility 

To experience the benefits of 5G, you need a 5G-enabled device. As the technology is still relatively new, not all smartphones or other mobile devices are 5G-compatible. Users with older devices might not see any improvement in their mobile signal until they upgrade to a compatible device.

Interference and congestion

As 5G becomes more widespread, the increased number of connected devices could lead to network congestion. In densely populated areas with a high concentration of users, network speeds might suffer due to the sheer volume of connected devices.

Backward compatibility 

Mobile networks are designed to support backward compatibility so that older devices can still connect to the network. In the case of hardware, backward compatibility means that a newer device or component can work with older devices or systems, typically by using older interfaces or protocols. This ensures that new hardware can be integrated into existing setups without requiring a complete overhaul of the entire system.

As 5G networks are built alongside existing 4G and 3G infrastructure, there may be limitations in how much the new technology can improve the overall signal experience.

Signal interference 

The higher frequency bands used in 5G are more susceptible to interference from environmental factors like weather conditions and physical obstructions. This interference can affect signal strength and stability.

So, while 5G brings many advancements and benefits to mobile communications, it’s not a magic solution that can immediately fix all mobile signal issues. It will take time for 5G networks to mature, expand their coverage, and for 5G-enabled devices to become more prevalent. During this transitional period, users might still face mobile signal challenges in some situations.

How do you solve the problem of poor mobile signals in office buildings?

Improving poor mobile signal in office buildings can be a challenging task, but there are several solutions that can help address the issue. Here are some strategies to consider:

Signal boosters/repeaters

Signal boosters or repeaters are devices that capture the existing weak signal outside the building, amplify it, and then broadcast the stronger signal within the office. They can be installed strategically to cover different areas of the building, helping to improve signal strength indoors.

Simpli-Fi’s inbuilding coverage systems are based on the Nextivity CEL-FI cellular coverage solutions, which are license-exempt and fully compliant with Ofcom’s legislation regarding usage.

Our service includes a mobile signal survey to assess the existing mobile coverage in the building, identifying any areas with weak or no signal. We then use this information to develop a targeted improvement plan.

If you would like more information on how Simpli-Fi can conduct a mobile signal survey for your building, get in touch with the team.

Read about how our POC can demonstrate the effectiveness of a CEL FI mobile signal-boosting solution.

WiFi calling 

Many modern smartphones support WiFi calling, which allows calls and texts to be made over a WiFi network instead of the cellular network. Encouraging employees to use WiFi calling when inside the building can help mitigate signal issues. You could also consider Managed WiFi or WiFi as a service, a business solution that enables an organisation to outsource the tasks involved in designing, procuring, installing, maintaining, monitoring and upgrading a WiFi network to a third-party vendor like Simpli-Fi.

It’s essential to consider the specific needs and characteristics of the office building when choosing a solution. Depending on the size, layout, and existing infrastructure, a combination of these strategies may be required to achieve the best results. Professional consultation with experts in mobile signal optimisation can also be beneficial in finding the most suitable solution for a particular office building.

Wireless network configuration

Ensure that the office WiFi network is well-configured and not causing interference with the cellular signals.

Simpli-Fi’s Managed WiFi Networks service leverages market-leading wireless and cloud-based technology. We work with you to design, install, support and maintain your wireless network to keep your business securely connected. We will provide a Business Network Healthcheck, which will include the following:

  •  An initial consultation to learn about your company and its networking requirements. 
  • A thorough investigation of your site’s infrastructure to determine whether crucial elements such as network design, power and cabling are fit for purpose.
  • A full wireless and network survey will review the design, hardware specification, system security, coverage and capacity.
  • Recommendations for improvements to your network that will provide the ultimate sitewide coverage and ensure that it is scalable and has the capacity to support your future business requirements.

Book your Business Network Healthcheck

If you would like to learn how Simpli-Fi can help your business improve your connectivity, from wireless solutions to mobile signal solutions, then contact our team of experts to arrange an initial consultation.

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As founder of Simpli-Fi, Gary's knowledge of cutting-edge networks and technology solutions is second to none. Gary has worked on countless projects over the years, from straightforward connectivity projects to complex, large-scale networking projects across multiple buildings.

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We have designed and installed thousands of WiFi networks and related solutions, so it’s hard to decide which ones to shout about. With that in mind, here are a few clients that have enjoyed working with us.