5G has been the theme of the Qualcomm Summit in Hawaii where the US-based chip maker released its first 5G-equipped mobile SoC – the Snapdragon 855. In fact, Qualcomm’s first keynote was dedicated to convincing journalists and media that next year is when 5G will be of significant importance. At the summit, Motorola demonstrated a live 5G speed test on its prototype 5G moto mod stuck on a Moto Z3. Media present at the event was allowed to try out the speed test themselves by downloading 1GB files in a Motorola app. Reporters who tested the mod stated that speeds of 470Mbps were achieved. However, The Verge reports that the 5G network was, in fact, running on speeds of 130 – 140Mbps, much lower than the 5Gbps that is the ultimate promise of 5G.
According to the publication’s findings, there were two main factors that would make the Motorola 5G test much less significant that it appeared. Firstly, the 1GB files that were being downloaded at the demo were coming from an on-site server and not the actual internet. This means that this was not a real-world performance experiment. Moreover, the files were also seemingly undergoing compression. That means a file of 1GB could have been shrunk even up to 40 percent before being the data transfer took place. Now, while Motorola officials present on site said that compression is a common phenomenon even in real-world usage and what’s important for the user is the file itself, these cannot be two excuses for a real-world 5G test. That’s because, with compression, it would be impossible to get an idea of the true speed of the network.
Motorola said that the speed test was a temporary setup for a matter of days and it was not aware of compression. The company is now advertising speeds of 300Mbps to 500Mbps and if you want to see those promised 5Gbps levels in real life, you’re going to have to wait a bit more.