On days of heavy rainfall, flows would be halved.

Credit: Mika Baumeister / Unsplash

5G is full of promise and users already have access to very high and powerful speeds wherever they are and whenever they need them. In addition, download times are virtually non-existent and the connection is greatly enhanced. Nevertheless, initial tests have shown that this may only be true on days with good weather. Indeed, 5G will surely have to adapt to the weather conditions, as its speeds can be halved in case of heavy rain.




5G flow rates are just beginning to develop across the globe. Nevertheless, this new network already seems to be causing problems. Indeed, 5G is expected to be very disruptive to weather forecasting, but it could also be highly disruptive to the weather itself.

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Recent tests conducted around the world have shown that the 5G struggles to maintain its full capabilities in disrupted weather conditions. This would be particularly the case during heavy rainfall. Reception and range of the network would be greatly reduced. According to specialists, these problems are linked to the very high frequencies used by 5G flows.

The disruption of 5G networks caused by rain would be caused by the use of millimeter waves. While the flows promise to be extraordinary, these waves penetrate the network with great difficulty. “The interaction of the waves with the rain depends essentially on the frequency at which the wave is found. As they pass through rainfall, the drops of water absorb some of the signals. The higher the frequency of the wave, the more attenuated it is. Conversely, the attenuation decreases with frequency. The 4G, much lower in frequency than the 5G (around 2GHz), is hardly attenuated. Satellite TV, around 11 GHz, shows significantly higher attenuation,” explains François Mercier, scientific director for the startup HD Rain.


The tests also showed that during a rainfall, the 5G flow rates could be halved. However, to date, these data are not yet deep enough to draw any real conclusions. François Mercier and his team are relying solely on the theories made possible by the study of the physical properties of water and millimeter waves.

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According to several estimates, a millimetre wave that travels one kilometre in 10 mm/hour rainfall has decreased by 25%, and by 50% over the same distance in 20 mm/hour rainfall. These figures seem to prove that weather conditions have a significant influence on 5G flows. However, it should be remembered that these data should be viewed in retrospect. Indeed, the operators specify that these waves, with an intensity of 26 GHz, will mainly be used in cities with the help of easily accessible antennas. Distances should therefore be kept to just a few hundred metres. Only physical obstacles could further reduce the already weakened flows.

Source : Les numériques

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