What Is The Difference Between 5G and 4G?

5G vs. 4G: Let’s Discuss Their Differences, Similarities, Speed, Their Pros & Cons, FAQs, And Finally, Which Is Better.
5G vs. 4G: Top 7 Differences, Speed, Pros & Cons

5G vs. 4G: both are mobile telecom technologies, with 5G being an advancement over 4G. Compared to 4G, 5G offers better speed and efficiency along with reduced latency and interference. Additionally, 5G is capable of handling a large number of connected devices without any congestion as against 4G that supports lesser devices per square kilometer.

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Looking at 5G vs. 4G definitions for understanding the basics

What is 5G?

5G is the fifth generation or the next generation after 4G in cellular network technology.

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What is 4G?

4G is the fourth generation or the next generation after 3G in cellular network technology.

Throwing some light on the pros and cons of 5G and 4G

Pros of 5G

  • It offers high-speed data transfers.
  • 5G comes with more bandwidth leading to lower tower congestion.
  • It provides excellent online gaming and streaming experience with reduced latency.

Cons of 5G

  • The majority of old devices won’t be able to handle 5G technology, thereby calling for expensive investments.
  • Its broadcast distance is shorter than 4G.
  • 5G networks do not have widespread coverage yet.

Pros of 4G

  • 4G has a more considerable broadcast distance and can, therefore, travel far away areas.
  • It has broader coverage, with many companies having established 4G networks.
  • It is supported by existing devices.

Cons of 4G

  • It has a slower speed compared to 5G.
  • It cannot handle as many devices per square kilometer as 5G can.

What are the similarities between 5G and 4G?

  • Both 4G and 5G are cellular network technologies.
  • They are fast enough to stream online videos and play online games.
  • They are an advancement over 3G mobile telecom technology.

How much faster is 5G over 4G?

5G vs. 4G speed test reveals that 5G tends to be about 100 times faster than 4G with speeds reaching 10 to 20 gigabits per second (Gbps) against 100 megabits per second (Mbps) offered by 4G. For better understanding, 1 Gigabit is made from 1000 Megabits. 

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Comparing 5G vs. 4G LTE speed

4G is an advancement over 4G LTE, but all our 4G devices are backward compatible and connect us to the LTE network if true 4G is not in range. It is, therefore, essential to compare the speeds of 4G LTE and 5G technologies. 4G LTE provides you with a maximum speed of 50 megabits per second (Mbps). Comparatively, 5G is capable of providing a maximum speed of 20 gigabits per second (Gbps). This makes 5G about 400 times faster than 4G LTE.

Will my 4G phone work with 5G?

No, 4G devices are not made to work on 5G technology. These two technologies work in an extremely different manner because of which you’ll have to invest in a new device for experiencing the 5G benefits. However, 5G devices are built to function backward, so your 5G-supported phone connects to a 4G network where a 5G network isn’t available.

On the other hand, the introduction of 5G does not make your 4G device obsolete. You can continue using your current device as 4G technology is not going anywhere.

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Will 5G replace WiFi?

It has been observed that the download speed offered by 5G is faster than WiFi. But it will not replace WiFi anytime soon. 5G is in its developmental stage and will coexist with WiFi until it reaches its full potential.

Should I buy a 5G phone?

Investing in a 5G phone is not a wise choice for an average consumer. If you are planning to operate your business in the limited areas offering 5G networks, you can think of buying a 5G device.

Is 5G faster than cable Internet?

Yes, 5G offers faster data speed than cable internet if enough 5G towers are installed in your area.

Is 5G faster than fiber?

No, 5G isn’t faster than fiber. The latter can provide data speed up to 100 Gbps as against 10-20 Gbps offered by 5G.

Does America have 5G yet? 

Yes, companies, including Verizon, T-Mobile, and AT&T, are offering 5G technology in America. The coverage of the 5G network, however, is limited to select cities.

Who has the fastest 5G network?

Verizon offers the fastest 5G network not only in the US but in the whole world. The 5G Ultra Wideband service is the most rapid 5G in the world, as claimed by an independent analysis conducted by Opensignal.

Will 5G be used for home Internet?

Yes, some people will use 5G for home internet because of the speed and benefits it offers. A 5G home internet service has even been launched by Verizon in select cities. 

Top 7 Differences Between 5G and 4G

5G vs. 4G rangeIt has an extremely short range of about 1,000 feet.It has a longer range of about 10 miles (52,800 feet).
5G and 4G speedIt is extremely faster than 4G.It is relatively slow.
4G vs. 5G technology differenceIt functions over high-frequency airwaves and massive MIMO (Multiple Input Multiple Output) technologies.It is an IP-based technology that uses Internet Protocol for sending signals.
5G vs. 4G wavelengthIt utilizes shorter wavelengths.It utilizes longer wavelengths.
5G vs. 4G radiationIt produces high-frequency Radio Frequency Radiation (RFR).It produces Radio Frequency Radiation (RFR) of relatively lower frequency.
5G vs. 4G towers5G towers have been installed only in select areas in the world.4G towers are widespread across the globe.
5G vs. 4G frequencyIt uses frequencies in or nearing millimeter-wave bands, i.e., between 24 to 52 GigaHertz.It uses frequencies in low microwave bands, i.e., between 600 MegaHertz to 3.5 GigaHertz.

Is 5G better than 4G?

Conclusion: 5G is better than 4G in many aspects, but it is not a replacement for the 4G network at the moment. It works in coordination with 4G technology. Since 5G is still in its developmental stage, one cannot take full advantage of its capabilities yet. It is wiser to rely on 4G until 5G reaches its full potential. 

Comparison Chart

5G vs. 4G: Let’s Discuss Their Differences, Similarities, Speed, Their Pros & Cons, FAQs, And Finally, Which Is Better.

Comparison Video

4G vs 5G Explained – Technically

Alex Stantor
Alex Stantor

Alex Stantor is a Sorbonne University (Paris, France) graduate in Philosophy and Data Analysis. Currently, he is an Author and Researcher at Difference 101, he writes articles/blog posts on topics such as "thinking differently" and "the importance of difference". Alex is a passionate advocate of diversity in the workplace and in companies, and diversity and inclusion in corporate communications. He currently lives in Brooklyn.

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