Difference between 4G vs 5G


What is G?

Contrary to many people's beliefs the "G" refers to the generation of wireless cellular technology. Each generation is not only defined by transmission speed but also advancements and improvements that make it incompatible with the generation before. In the past decade or so we have mostly been using the 4G LTE standard mobile internet now we are transitioning into the 5th generation hence 5G.

Difference between 4G vs 5G.

What makes 5G so ground-breaking compared to 4G? 
The main thing that we should pay attention to is the frequency bands that 5G supports.

  • With 4G LTE we could only go up to 2.5GHz while 5G covers a wide spectrum from sub 1Ghz(<) up to 95GHz.
  • This unprecedented flexibility that 5G allows opens up to seemingly endless new application and hugely surpasses the limitations with 4G that we have today.
  • 5G frequencies can potentially overlap with 4G but they are not compatible with each other.
  • 5G covers a wide spectrum of frequency bands and based on the frequency bands used it can be classified into three types.
    1. LOW BAND
    2. MID BAND
    3. HIGH BAND

Low-Band 5G:

Low-band 5G covers sub 1GHz frequency spectrum which has long been used for cellular connectivity including the 4G LTE that we have today. This type of 5G has widest coverage versus higher bands and is especially useful in rural and suburban areas. It also has the slowest speeds which range from 100Mbps to 300Mbps and that is similar to the higher end of 4G LTE today.

Mid-Band 5G:

Mid-band 5G covers the spectrum between 1Ghz and 10Ghz. This type of 5G sits in the middle in terms of range and speed. This fine balance will mean that it will undoubtedly carry the majority of 5G traffic. Suburban and rural areas will be seeing a mix between low-band and mid-band 5G well urban areas should be enjoying mostly mid band and high band 5G in selected areas.

High-Band 5G:

Which covers the frequency bands between 20GHz to 95GHz. Most of the crazy 5G speed demonstrations that you have been looking at is done with high-band 5G and because it is not currently used for consumer applications there is a lot of unused, untapped but premium real estate in frequency spectrums which allows for insane fast speed. The vary nature of high frequencies render this type of 5G unable to penetrate through solid objects and travel long distances. This means that high-band 5G has the lowest range but can achieve the highest speeds.

Due to these limitations high-band will usually be supported by Mid-band and it is favourable in densely populated areas where range is not really an issue.

With the wide spectrum available on high band 5G every single person should be able to enjoy uninterruptedly fast internet even in jam packed stadium or crowded area.

Well 5G is not just for Netflix at 8K resolutions. It is way bigger than that for most of us besides a huge upgrade in mobile broadbands. We should also be able to enjoy futuristic technology that are stuff of science fiction. 

5G will be the conduit for the internet of things or IOT which are  smart devices that are interconnected making real time data exchanges. 

Machines would be able to communicate with one another to coordinate and perform remarkably complex tasks. 

We will be seeing domestic robots, self driving cars in smart cities, revolutionary developments in industries medical, agriculture and so much more.



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