The BBC held its first 5G broadcast and instantly ran out of data

Humza

TechSpot Staff
Staff member

5G networks are slowly but surely coming. With the technology promising to deliver unprecedented bandwidth, those who get to experience it often share benchmark videos and screenshots of gauges running into hundreds of megabits and gigabit speeds.

The UK's BBC media corporation decided to demonstrate the capability of EE's 5G cellular network in London's district of Covent Garden, reports Gizmodo. The experience of technology correspondent Rory Cellan-Jones addressed two major issues concerned with the roll out of this technology to the public. One is the network's patchy coverage and availability that can greatly affect the broadband's speed, and second is how quickly it can go through a data plan, which it did for the media outlet as shared by the reporter himself.

The BBC Breakfast segment was delayed for sometime, not because of the 5G network but the SIM card that was used for the livestream had capped its data limit. This goes to show what consumers can expect from 5G data plans as their networks and devices make the move to this technology.

4K streaming is likely to become the norm for more people as data traffic shifts to a super highway of speed, but keeping a check on general usage and particularly media consumption would need to be more strict. Cell phone data bills are certainly going to get expensive once carriers start rolling out 5G data plans for the masses.

Image credit: Reuters

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ChuckyDhaBeast

TS Enthusiast
As long 5G will not be associated with unlimited and unthrottled data it will be a big mess
I don't know how they will end up doing this.
Sure having unlimited data on mmwave frequency is a necessity, but what about all those times when you drop down to a lower frequency. It's going to happen on a regular basis. Unlimited data on something like 3.5ghz will probably clog up that frequency fast. Having different Caps by frequency could solve the problem, but also end up being too confusing for the average consumer.
 

Evernessince

TS Evangelist
As long 5G will not be associated with unlimited and unthrottled data it will be a big mess
I don't know how they will end up doing this.
Sure having unlimited data on mmwave frequency is a necessity, but what about all those times when you drop down to a lower frequency. It's going to happen on a regular basis. Unlimited data on something like 3.5ghz will probably clog up that frequency fast. Having different Caps by frequency could solve the problem, but also end up being too confusing for the average consumer.
Or ya know, speed caps per frequency. These towers already have QoS built in.
 

DukeJukem

TS Booster
I don't see how a faster download speed eats through your bandwidth faster if you're doing the exact same things you were doing on 4g. was his sim card not powerful enough to handle the speeds or did he not have an unlimited data plan and ran out of data that way? if thats the case then its entirely user error. regardless this makes no sense to me. dial up doesnt use more data to stream x video as opposed to 4g streaming the same exact video. so whats going on here?
 

treetops

TS Evangelist
I don't see how a faster download speed eats through your bandwidth faster if you're doing the exact same things you were doing on 4g. was his sim card not powerful enough to handle the speeds or did he not have an unlimited data plan and ran out of data that way? if thats the case then its entirely user error. regardless this makes no sense to me. dial up doesnt use more data to stream x video as opposed to 4g streaming the same exact video. so whats going on here?
Depending on your screens resolution and internets bandwidth youtube, netflix and idk who else automatically adjusts the resolution. 5 down mbps for 1080p, 25 down for 4k per video. But I bet this guy was just trying to test it out downloading all kinds of stuff.
 

p51d007

TS Evangelist
I remember when LTE came around, everyone jumping on the bandwagon...nope, I'll stay where I'm at, let the newbies pay for the speed. Couple years, once the build out is done, and they start hyping 6G or something, the 5G pricing will be like it is for 4GLTE.
I have a 25GB plan on straight talk, and even with spotify running as much as I do, I barely go over 10GB a month.
 

VikingOy

TS Rookie
Internet data capacity is NOT a limited natural resource! It doesn't cost service providers or operators a penny more to supply the n'th data package than the very first data package. The only reason they still hold on to these so called data plans, is because non had the brains to come of with a better scheme on how to rip customer off. Maybe 5G will get them thinking again, or else - pushing for 5G may turn out to be a double edged sward for the industry.
 
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CMH

TechSpot Chancellor
Internet data capacity is NOT a limited natural resource! It doesn't cost service providers or operators a penny more to supply the n'th data package than the very first data package. The only reason they still hold on to these so called data plans, is because non had the brains to come of with a better scheme on how to rip customer off. Maybe 5G will get them thinking again, or else - pushing for 5G may turn out to be a double edged sward for the industry.
Actually it is a limited resource, in the fact that there's only so much capacity at any one time.

True that it doesn't cost service providers any more to provide it, but if everyone was using it full tilt everyone will be throttled down, and so the only course of action is to limit everyone's usage so you would use other unmetered (or less loosely metered) connections for data that doesn't need to be had via mobile.

Doesn't need much of a brain to figure this one out really.
 
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Cycloid Torus

Stone age computing - click on the rock below..
Oh, gee, 2 G is good enough. A little mapping, a Lyft or two, some brief voice mail, a call or three...no real time semi-surgical implant for me.
 

HyPeroxya

TS Enthusiast
This sounds like it could be the Holy Grail ... providing broadband WITHOUT digging up the roads and without diggng up anyone garden.BUT it has to be unlimited esp at these speeds. OFC as more numptys pile on the dl speeds will start to drop .. might make 4g more competitive tho?
 

Knot Schure

TS Addict
Oh, gee, 2 G is good enough. A little mapping, a Lyft or two, some brief voice mail, a call or three...no real time semi-surgical implant for me.
Internet data capacity is NOT a limited natural resource! It doesn't cost service providers or operators a penny more to supply the n'th data package than the very first data package. The only reason they still hold on to these so called data plans, is because non had the brains to come of with a better scheme on how to rip customer off. Maybe 5G will get them thinking again, or else - pushing for 5G may turn out to be a double edged sward for the industry.
Actually it is a limited resource, in the fact that there's only so much capacity at any one time.

True that it doesn't cost service providers any more to provide it, but if everyone was using it full tilt everyone will be throttled down, and so the only course of action is to limit everyone's usage so you would use other unmetered (or less loosely metered) connections for data that doesn't need to be had via mobile.

Doesn't need much of a brain to figure this one out really.
Actually, it does cost - locally, in the finite resources, which you refer to, and in the backhaul also.

And with the 80/20 network rule now flipped, with 80% of customer traffice LEAVING your network, as opposed to staying within, there are definate costs involved in forwarding data to outside AS'es.
 

Capaill

TS Evangelist
Why would I want 4k on a mobile device? My phone only has a 720p screen. Leave the 5G for the doctors and the autopilot cars. Or people living in rural areas with no cable broadband. Why waste it on Netflix or Youtube on a tiny screen.
 
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CMH

TechSpot Chancellor
Actually, it does cost - locally, in the finite resources, which you refer to, and in the backhaul also.

And with the 80/20 network rule now flipped, with 80% of customer traffice LEAVING your network, as opposed to staying within, there are definate costs involved in forwarding data to outside AS'es.
The guy doesn't even understand that there's a finite bandwidth available and you want to talk about all that? :p
 
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Dosahka

TS Addict
4k on a 5" screen, what a waste!
just imagine on a phone with notch or punch hole even more waste *sarcasm off*

One thing I don't understand why the hell they did not gave him a 5G phone with unlimited data? and then see how much data he used...
 
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jobeard

TS Ambassador
The data plan cost is an equalizer (at least economically) which will after the first billing will FORCE dumb users to evaluate --

gee wee, did I REALLY need all that suff?? What can I back down to so as to remain cost effective? Certainly I don't need to see all know YouTube channels!

Maybe I should spend more time on homework?
 

Toju Mikie

TS Addict
I don't see how a faster download speed eats through your bandwidth faster if you're doing the exact same things you were doing on 4g. was his sim card not powerful enough to handle the speeds or did he not have an unlimited data plan and ran out of data that way? if thats the case then its entirely user error. regardless this makes no sense to me. dial up doesnt use more data to stream x video as opposed to 4g streaming the same exact video. so whats going on here?
Depending on your screens resolution and internets bandwidth youtube, netflix and idk who else automatically adjusts the resolution. 5 down mbps for 1080p, 25 down for 4k per video. But I bet this guy was just trying to test it out downloading all kinds of stuff.
https://support.google.com/youtube/answer/1722171?hl=en

YouTube's recommended 4K bitrate for uploads, recommends a 35-85 Mbps connection, depending on the frame rate of the content, up to 60 fps, and whether or not the video is HDR or SDR. That comes down to a whopping 15.75 GB/hour to 38.25 GB/hour of data! Some devices can be set to automatically stream at the highest possible quality which can get people in trouble if they aren't paying attention in regards to their data usage.
 
When 4G can easily hit 80Mb and beyond I'm content with letting other eager early adopters throw away their cash on 5G tech.

Without trying to sound old why is 5G necessary?

Surely fibre optic level 4G speeds across the country is better to invest in than spotty narrow band 5G?