5g vs 4g Comparison: Speed, Latency, Frequency

The mobile communication network operators are on the revolutionary path to deploy fifth-generation networking era. Known as 5G, this new-age mobile network technology, looks promising with faster download throughputs and the ability to share data in real-time. As per Ericsson’s prediction, people accessing 5G technology by the end of the year 2024 will be 40% of the total population globally. The differences between 5g vs 4g will be clearly visible to more people.

With 2G technology, we entered the era of mobile text messaging, making phone calls secured and more efficient. The third generation heightened the demand for smartphones whereas the fourth generation i.e. 4GLTE (Long Term Evolution) delivered high mobile network speed, enabling ease in video streaming for the consumers. The next-gen technology i.e. 5G is anticipated to unleash the entire IoT (Internet of Things) ecosystem through a single network with greater reliability, shorter delays and accelerated download speed.

What are the key elements of 5G network technology?

  • Implementation of Small cells: Small cells play a great role in augmenting the capacity of 5G technology due to its enhanced data capacity. Connected with fibre, small cell nodes are transmitted via radio waves to send signals to the mobile networks dispersed into small geographical areas or in the indoor and outdoor vicinity. With lower deployment costs, mobile network operators (MNOs) prefer to strengthen 5G connections with the installation of small cells to curb their overall network costs.
  • Low latency rate lets 5G deliver high speed: Lower the latency rate(total time taken by a data packet when traversing from one node to another), faster is the download speed. In 5G, delay in sending messages is minimized to around 1-10 milliseconds(ms) compared to an average of 40-50milliseconds in 4G technology which makes it much faster than the later one.
  • High-band spectrum – Though 4G LTE technology has frequency bands like 600 MHz, 700 MHz, 1.7/2.1 GHz, etc. in 4G LTE technology, 5G is much more complex. Sub-6 GHz 5G has a frequency spectrum ranging from 450 MHz to 6GHz. Further, it may have a spectrum that spans 5,925 to 7,150 MHz and 64 GHz to 86 GHz. To meet the demands for ultra-high mobile network connectivity, such high bands of the frequency spectrum is critical to maintain 5G QoS (Quality of Service).

Usecases of 5G

Autonomous Vehicles – Reduction in latency will improve V2X communication in vehicles. This will enable vehicles to interact with the other vehicles, traffic signals, etc. and receive information 250 times faster than a human being. Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) are conducting 5G network testing in self-driving cars to test the mobile network speed and optimize it accordingly.

5G-enabled IoT Applications – The wireless technology supports a huge number of IoT connections comprising IoT sensors in applications like drones being used for searching and rescuing, delivery services, border security purposes, and many more. Changes in consumer lifestyles in this new age have led to the demand for wearable devices such as fitness bands, smartwatches, etc. Such wireless gadgets inbuilt with electronic chips, sensors, connectivity are recent innovations of IoT technology with 5G

Deliver Seamless Wireless connections – 5G technology will accelerate the business operations/functions with its Fixed Wireless Access (FWA). This will facilitate businesses with ultra-fast mobile network speed. Moreover, applications with high-bandwidth such as 4k video streaming, 360-degree videos will give immersive experiences to consumers at real-time speed.

5G stands out from other mobile networking technologies

Networking technologies have always been the core of communication. Traversing from 4G to 5G is expected to be one of the most ambitious tech rolloutsof the 21st century. An orchestration of different technologies is what makes 5G above all the other mobile networks. Though 5G is an advanced version of legacy 2G/3G/4G mobile networks, telecom players are in the process of benchmarking i.e. 5G vs 4G to extract crucial benefits like:

  • Accelerating Speed by 10X: When downloading a HD movie with a 4G LTE network, it takes 10 minutes. On the other hand, when the same process is undertaken by 5G it executes it in less than a second due to a shorter delay in sending and receiving of information messages. This proves that data transfer speed in 5G is much higher than 4G, approximately 10-folds of what we use to get in 4G.
  • Top-notch Internet Connectivity: MNOs are constantly conducting 5G speed tests to provide their users high-speed mobile network connection. They are implementing 5G-enabled cell towers that have data capacity greater than 4G LTE networks. With the increase in the number of mobile users and IoT connected devices, 5G eases communication with them at the same time.
  • Improving security challenges in 5G connections: Though the next-generation wireless network promises to offer enhanced data protection when benchmarked with other previous wireless standards; certain weaknesses have been identified. With the deployment of 5G technology, it’s critical for the telecom operators to apply some security protocols for helping businesses secure their 5G networks, mitigating risks and preventing unauthorized access to increase their productivity gains. In order to boost 5G security, telcos are trying to create multiple micro-networks with the segregation of available bandwidth into separate channels, securing them independently and protecting from cyber data breaches.

Entering the future with 5G cellular technology

It will be extremely exciting to see the unprecedented changes that 5G mobile core infrastructure is going to bring in the near future. Telecom leaders like Ericsson, Huawei are working hard and performing several trials to make enhancements in this new-age mobile network technology. With different industry-based specific use cases, 5G wireless hybrid network topology will expand beyond 4G LTE capabilities to deliver top-class connectivity in the upcoming years and bring positive changes in the way we live and work.