Samsung recently released their 5G Galaxy S10 variant in South-Korea, which seems to already be suffering from connectivity issues.
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Some months ago, Samsung released their latest high-end smartphone, the Samsung Galaxy S10. It was announced at launch that a 5G variant would be released later on in some markets, starting with South Korea, the home country of the manufacturer. The device eventually launched April 5th, with various customers already reporting connectivity issues.
According to the complaints, the device fails to switch from 5G to 4G LTE, forcing users to reboot their device various times to eventually connect to 4G LTE or reconnect to a 5G network, if available in the area.
To try and solve this issue, Samsung released an update for the device, with carriers also making updates to their 5G network, although this did not fix the issue.
Samsung’s approach to 5G is to use two different antennas, one for 5G and one for 4G LTE. Once the 5G network is too weak or unavailable, the device is supposed to automatically switch to 4G LTE, which it currently seems to fail to do. Other manufacturers, such as Qualcomm or Huawei, have decided to take a different approach, with “multimode” modems, allowing for 5G/4G LTE/3G on the same chip, instead of relying on extra hardware.
For now, this is blamed on early stages of deployment of 5G network, citing similarities with the transition between 3G and 4G LTE, although one would think companies learned from this and made sure to iron-out the process before launching 5G devices and 5G subscriptions for consumers, especially taking in account the multiple tests regularly publicized all over the world.
These issues should not affect Europeans anytime soon, taking in account there is not a single European city/country with a “real” “proper” 5G network. Companies such as French telecom Orange claim they’ll deploy their 5G networks by 2019/2020, although there’s not much information available for now.
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