In a perfect world, each generation improves upon the best qualities of its predecessors and thrives in ways previous generations couldn’t. In a way, new generations respond to the issues created by older generations.
This is particularly relevant for generations of mobile networking and cellular technology. In the case of 4G vs. 5G, 5G aims to not only surpass 4G network capabilities, but also meet and exceed 4G’s goals for general speeds, latency and density.
The 4G era saw the innovation of various networking trends, such as IoT growth, greater numbers of smartphones, and remote and mobile workforces. These trends advanced throughout the 2010s, which created a need to support faster speeds and greater cell density. Pundits hope the latest generation, 5G, addresses the issues 4G introduced.
As organizations consider 5G, they must understand the differences between 4G and 5G network architectures and determine how both architectures could affect business operations. This feature dives deep into those differences and discusses what these key differentiators mean for organizations globally.
The differences Between LTE, 4G and 5G
4G is the fourth generation of mobile network technology and 5G’s predecessor. In the 2010s, 4G reigned as the latest, most innovative generation of cellular technology and reached ubiquity within the decade. Some of 4G’s promises included enhanced cell density, improved VoIP capabilities and greater bandwidth.
LTE developed as a 4G standard during 4G’s reign. LTE is the golden, global standard for wireless broadband and sets the foundation for 5G networks. Both 4G and LTE support various traffic types, something previous generations struggled to do and which 5G must now improve upon.
5G is the latest generation of cellular network technology. Small, early deployments began in the late 2010s, but carriers are still developing their 5G infrastructure. Benefits of 5G include faster network speeds and real-time communication capabilities.
Each wireless network generation has reflected a significant increase in speed, and the benefits of 5G the fifth generation of cellular network technology will push far beyond 4G LTE.
Predicted speeds of up to 10 Gbps represent up to a 100x increase compared to 4G. In practical terms, 4G vs. 5G speed enhancements will mean exciting possibilities for consumers. Transferring a high-resolution movie at peak download speeds will go from taking seven minutes to just six seconds. That time savings could mean being able to grab that new hit film before the flight attendant asks you to put your phone in airplane mode.
After carriers roll out full 5G features, consumers and businesses may begin to consider 5G networks a strong alternative for fast broadband connections. some of the benefits of 5G over 4G network includes;
1. Low Latency
Latency measures how long a signal takes to go from its source to its receiver, and then back again. One of the goals for each wireless generation has been to reduce latency. New 5G networks will have even lower latency than 4G LTE, with the round-trip transmission of data taking less than five milliseconds.1
5G latency will be faster than human visual processing, making it possible to control devices remotely in near-real time. Human reaction speed will become the limiting factor for remote applications that use 5G and IoT and many new applications will involve machine-to-machine communication that isn’t limited by how quickly humans can respond.
While agriculture, manufacturing, and logistics will all benefit from lower latency, gamers also eagerly anticipate the 5G rollout. The combination of high speed and minimal lag is perfect for virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) applications, which are likely to explode in popularity as connectivity improvements create a more seamless, immersive experience.
2. Enhanced Capacity
Speed is exciting, but one of the questions on the minds of analysts and industry leaders is this: How will 5G help businesses scale their technology initiatives?
5G will deliver up to 1,000x more capacity than 4G, creating fertile ground for IoT development. 5G and IoT are a perfect match, set to redefine how wireless networks and the internet as a whole are used. With capacity for hundreds or thousands of devices seamlessly communicating, new applications and use cases for cities, factories, farms, schools, and homes will flourish.
Imagine 5G use cases involving thousands of sensors on hundreds of different machines automating supply chain management processes, ensuring just-in-time delivery of materials while using predictive maintenance to minimize work stoppages.
Smart homes and cities will also take a giant leap forward in the future of 5G. Using more connected devices than ever, AI will be taken to places it has never been before with edge computing. From houses that give personalized energy saving suggestions that maximize environmental impact to traffic lights that change their patterns based on traffic flow, 5G applications relying on added network capacity will impact nearly everyone.
3. Increased Bandwidth
The combination of increased speed and network capacity on 5G networks will create the potential for larger amounts of data to be transmitted than was possible with 4G LTE networks.
5G networks are architected differently from traditional 4G networks, allowing greater optimization of network traffic and smooth handling of usage spikes. Crowded stadiums and other venues have struggled to provide seamless connectivity to large audiences, but 5G could make it possible for sports fans to live stream their experience from any seat in the arena.
For businesses, the impact of increased bandwidth will echo across many departments and divisions in the form of big data. Today, companies receive far more information from customers, suppliers, and teams than they can process and analyze for insights. With 5G connectivity and big data analytics, these businesses can turn large volumes of data into actionable knowledge.
4. Availability and Coverage
While consumers and businesses are eager to experience the benefits of 5G for themselves, availability of 5G coverage is still limited. Today, all major US cellular carriers are deploying 5G networks in major cities as they prepare for wider rollouts.
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