5G vs 4G: What the key differences are
5G seeks to not only improve upon 4G network capabilities but also reach and surpass 4G's objectives
The 4G era saw the rise of smartphones, and the use of mobile and remote workforces
Here is how the two network connections are different
An official announcement states that the Prime Minister will introduce 5G in a few cities before gradually extending it over the entire nation over the following few years.
5G vs 4G: Key differences
Comparing fourth-generation wireless to fifth-generation wireless, 5G seeks to not only improve upon 4G network capabilities but also reach and surpass 4G's objectives for general speeds, latency, and density.
Numerous networking trends were developed during the 4G era, including the expansion of the Internet of Things, the rise of smartphones, and the use of mobile and remote workforces. The 2010s saw a significant advancement in these trends, necessitating the support of faster speeds and higher cell densities. Here comes 5G, which many commentators believe will solve the problems that 4G caused.
However, before businesses adopt 5G, they must comprehend the variations between 4G and 5G network designs and assess how each architecture can impact daily operations. This article delves deeply into those variations and explores the implications for organisations around the world of these significant distinctions.
LTE, 4G and 5G - What are they?
4G - The fourth generation of mobile network technology, or 4G, is the forerunner to 5G. The most recent and cutting-edge version of cellular technology to become widely used was 4G in the 2010s. Improved VoIP capabilities, more bandwidth, and increased cell density were just a few of the 4G promises.
LTE - During the time that 4G ruled, Long-Term Evolution was created as a 4G standard. The foundation for 5G networks is laid by LTE, which is the de facto international standard for cellular broadband. Different traffic types are supported by 4G and LTE, something that past generations had trouble with and which 5G must now be better.
5G - The most recent iteration of cellular network technology is fifth-generation wireless. Early, modest deployments started in the late 2010s, but 5G won't be widely available until the middle of the 2020s. Faster network speeds and real-time communication abilities are two of 5G's marketed advantages.
Also read: How fast is 5G: Explained
How 5G works
Network slicing, orthogonal frequency-division multiplexing (OFDM), and huge multiple input, multiple output are just a few of the new features and capabilities that come with 5G.
In addition to replacing LTE, 5G also brings a new standard dubbed 5G New Radio (NR). The finest aspects of LTE will be built upon by 5G NR, which will also bring new advantages like improved connection and greater energy savings for connected devices.
In addition, 5G can use the millimetre wave (mmWave) high-frequency spectrum, which has wavelengths between 30 GHz and 300 GHz as opposed to 4G LTE's less than 6 GHz. The mmWave spectrum makes new small cell base stations necessary for 5G to operate and function.
The following are some of the main distinctions between 4G and 5G network architecture:
- potential download speeds
- base stations
- OFDM encoding
- cell density
Latency - The most significant distinction between 4G and 5G is latency. While 4G latency ranges from 60 to 98 milliseconds, 5G promises low latency of less than 5 milliseconds. Additionally, improvements in other fields, such faster download rates, follow lower latency.
Potential download speeds - While 4G brought a variety of VoIP capabilities, 5G expands and improves on previous claims of fast potential download rates. The highest download speed for 5G is intended to be 10 times faster than that of 4G, which reached 1 Gbps.
Base stations - The most typical base station needed to transmit signals is another important distinction between 4G and 5G. Similar to its predecessors, 4G uses cell towers to carry signals. Carriers will roll out high-band 5G in small cells approximately the size of pizza boxes over numerous places, but 5G utilises small cell technology because of its greater speeds and mmWave frequency bands. Cell towers will continue to be utilised by 5G for their lower frequency spectrums.
Because of the mmWave frequency, carriers are forced to set up small cells in numerous locations. Although mmWave operates at a higher frequency than cellular technology has up to this point, its transmissions are weaker and cover less ground. To guarantee that customers and businesses receive the signals, small cell sites must be installed often in 5G-capable locations.
OFDM encoding - To reduce interference and increase bandwidth, various wireless signals are divided into independent channels using OFDM. Because OFDM encrypts data on various frequencies, this can speed up downloads on 4G and 5G networks because they would no longer be sharing a signal channel. While 5G will use 100 MHz to 800 MHz channels, 4G uses 20 MHz channels.
Cell density - Small cell technology enables 5G to increase network capacity and cell density. Although 4G made similar claims, 5G will ideally fulfill the gaps left by 4G since the latter never fully achieved its lofty general speed goals. Increased mobile device and connection capacity will result from 5G networks having the potential to accommodate more users and connected devices.
Despite the proclaimed improvements of 5G, its promises won't materialise right away. Carriers will need time to fix any issues and inconsistencies that 5G can bring along.