5G vs 4G: what is the difference?

The fifth-generation networking is almost here. The technology is expected to revolutionize mobile networking with its faster speeds and bring an end to congestion. This will create new economic opportunities all across the globe.   

The fourth-generation networking made waves in the 2000s and made internet speeds 500 times faster than 3G. The development of 4G was a massive feat for smartphone users and now, it gets even more exciting with 5G. Just last year, several mobile operators rolled out trials of the first iteration of 5G globally and many pilot zones were activated. US-based operator Verizon has already activated 5G commercially and other companies are jumping on the bandwagon globally. Check out Cox Internet for blazing fast internet speeds for all your home devices!

So, how is 5G different from 4G? How does it work? What are the outcomes of this technology and when should we expect its availability? We’ll try to clear every confusion you have regarding 5G in the read ahead.

How does 5G operate?

5G is a new digital system for transforming data units through waves. The system has a network of cell sites that divide territories into various sectors and sends data with the help of radio waves. The new Radio interface uses much higher radio frequencies (28 GHz compared to 700 MHz – 2500 MHz for 4G). The main benefit of using this greater radiofrequency is that data is transferred exponentially over the air resulting in reduced congestion and lower latency (Delay before the transfer of data beings after the instruction). Every cell site must be linked to a network backbone through a wired or wireless connection to make everything possible.

This technology enables more devices to be connected within the same geographic area. Roughly, 5G supports around 1 million devices per square kilometer. As a result, you can stream your favorite movies and TV series without any interruption just to give an example.

How is 5G different from 4G?

When 4G took the center stage, we were able to stream high-definition and had access to fast internet even during commute. However, excessive video streaming had congested the network and 4G was reaching a limit of how much data it can transfer across blocks of spectrum. Here’s how 5G changed everything:

5G is faster!

This is a no brainer. Of course, it has to be faster. How much faster though, that’s the question? If you’re using 4G on your smartphone right now, 5G will be 10 times faster to give you an estimate. Download any speed testing app and whatever result you get, multiply it with 10. That’s the speed you’ll get with 5G. Amazing isn’t it?

You get lower latency

In simple words, latency is the time taken by the signal to reach the receiver after being sent from your device. The reduction in latency means that you’ll be able to use your mobile internet as a replacement for your home modem and router.

Additionally, the download speed will be faster and you stream 4k without any buffering.  Latency for 4G is 20-25 milliseconds, but with 5G, it will get below 10 milliseconds to 1 millisecond.

Better gaming experience

Faster internet will surely offer you a better gaming experience. There will be a reduction in lag and your favorite games including PUBG and COD: Mobile will run as smoothly as ever.

Augmented Reality like never before!

This will be the biggest change 5G will bring in modern technology. With greater and consistent speeds coupled with lower latency, the virtual and augmented reality experience is going to cosmic. You will be able to experience technology like never before in augmented reality scenarios that will be entertaining and educating at the same instance.

Will leave a larger impact on businesses and economies

Although the introduction of 4G was a great breakthrough in the history of humanity, it can’t match the magnitude 5G is going to achieve in years to come. It is anticipated that 5G will work as a catalyst between the humans and machines opening new avenues for businesses and economic opportunities.

A fast and reliable network like 5G will free the machines from cables and wireless connections will make operations more autonomous. This will increase productivity and reduce costs.

Secondly, 5G could transform learning in schools by enabling the augmented reality experiences in the classrooms. This will change the way how we learn by bringing textbook concepts into real life and making things easier to contemplate. Self-driving cars will be safer with 5G as the communication between vehicles and infrastructure will become instantaneous.

Availability of 5G

5G is almost here but the stars of your location, the mobile carrier you subscribe to and the smartphone you have must perfectly align. Carriers like AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile have 5G in more than 18 cities. The businesses can get access to a better version of 5G based on their requirements and residential customers can readily enjoy 5G on devices.

5G supported devices

Currently, there are a handful of smartphones that can support 5G. Phones such as Galaxy S10 5G, Note 10 Plus 5G, OnePlus 7T Pro & 7 Pro, Moto Z3 & Z4, and LG’s V50 ThinQ have 5G enabled.

Samsung’s Galaxy S10 5G is available at a price of $1,299 on Verizon, T-Mobile, and Sprint. AT&T also carries some phones but those are exclusively for developers and business customers. The Moto Z3 & Z4 require snapping on a bulky accessory to get 5G so it’s not a viable option.

Apple is playing smart and with the recent release of the iPhone 11, 5G wasn’t included. The company wants to wait another year to jump in the bandwagon. Huawei has 5G but it is not available in the US. This is just the beginning and we are expecting more 5G phones in 2020. Especially with the unveiling of a new mobile processing platform, Snapdragon 865, designed to work with 5G.

Final Verdict

This is just the start. The goal is to have even higher speeds and connection strength, at far lower latency. Things get interesting when standard bodies are aiming at 20 Gbps speeds and 1ms latency! If this doesn’t excite you, nothing else will…

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