4G vs 5G

4G vs 5G: The Key Differences, Explained

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The global deployment of 5G networks has been phenomenal, with 5G connections projected to reach a staggering 619 million by the end of 2021. By the end of 2020, the 5G technology adoption rate was thrice that of 4G, which had taken five years to attain the same level of acceptance among subscribers. 

The rapid acceptance of 5G has only done more to fuel the 4G vs 5G discussion. For many people, the difference between the two technologies is still unclear.

By the time you’re through reading this post, we hope that things will be clearer. Read on to learn more. 

What Is 4G?

4G refers to the fourth-generation network of mobile technology. This technology follows the 3G and 2G networks that came before it. Sometimes, 4G is also referred to as 4G LTE.

While 4G architecture isn’t as fast as the more recent 5G network, it’s still a remarkable improvement over legacy 3G networks in terms of speed. At the moment, 4G is the most advanced network technology that the majority of network service providers across the world adopt. 

When 4G first hit the market, it instantly transformed how people used mobile internet. Up to that point, 3G networks had been relatively fast. However, 4G allowed smartphone users to browse the web in addition to streaming HD videos, thereby turning smartphones into modern-age computers.

Thanks to 4G, you can now perform on your smartphone almost any task that you can on your desktop or laptop. 4G ensures that regardless of the amount of data you need, you can still maintain stable speeds.

What Is 5G?

If you keep up with the latest mobile app development trends, you’ve definitely heard about 5G. It’s the 5th generation mobile network that’s creating a huge buzz in the tech world.

5G is the latest global wireless standard after the 4G, 3G, and 2G networks. This technology is designed to connect everything together, from machines to objects to devices.

5G technology delivers more efficiency and greater performance than its predecessors. Its aim is to empower new user experiences and connect new industries. 

4G Vs. 5G: What Are the Main Differences?

Before switching to 5G, it helps to know how the two mobile networks differ from each other. This way, it’s easier to tell whether making the switch is well worth it. Let’s look at what sets the two technologies apart from each other.


Arguably the biggest difference between 4G and 5G has to do with speed. 5G is expected to be faster than 4G by a jaw-dropping 100 times.

With such blazing speeds, you could even download an entire two-hour video in less than 10 seconds. That task would take more than five minutes when using 4G.

Lightning-fast speeds have plenty of consumer applications, including downloading apps and streaming videos. 

But such speeds are also essential in other settings. For instance, with such technology, you can install video cameras throughout your factory and rapidly gather and analyze gigantic amounts of footage. The goal here is to monitor the quality of your products in real-time. 

But what makes such speeds possible? Well, 5G technology utilizes super-high-frequency airwaves, commonly referred to as high-band spectrum. With such high frequencies, it’s easy to transmit a lot more data much faster than is possible on 4G. 


If you’ve ever tried playing a YouTube video or even opening a webpage while at a crowded area such as a sports stadium, you may have noticed how slow the network is. That’s because of the congestion created by too many devices in one area trying to use the available network. 

With 5G, longer lag times and slower data speeds are a thing of the past. This next-generation network has much more capacity than anything that came before it. No matter how many devices are connected to the network, everyone’s phones will have a great connection.


Latency refers to the time taken for devices to communicate with the server sending them information or with each other. A good example is the amount of time between sending an SMS to your friend’s phone and your friend’s phone registering that the message has been received.

Currently, latency is low with 4G networks. It’s the reason it’s measured in milliseconds. But even those milliseconds can add up if you’re sending or receiving massive packets of texts or complex information such as video. One of the major benefits of 5G is that it cuts the latency to zero.

This is great news for such modern innovations as self-driving cars, which need to transmit signals about their environment to the cloud and receive a response on how to respond instantaneously. 


4G has been around for about a decade and is thus present in almost every part of the world. Only the remotest parts of the world experience poor 4G coverage. 

Understandably, 5G is available in just a handful of the world’s major cities. That’s because the technology is only getting started. But given how rapidly 5G is getting deployed, it’s only a matter of time before it reaches the levels of coverage 4G has, and then some. 

4G Vs 5G: Now You Know the Differences 

The 4G vs 5G discussion will continue for the foreseeable future. What’s clear, however, is that 5G far surpasses 4G when it comes to speeds, capacity, and latency. And in just a few short years, this revolutionary mobile network technology will reach and exceed the levels of coverage that 4G now boasts.

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