The Differences between 4G and 5G
When you pick up a smartphone, you may not even notice the type of network you’re connecting to, unless it’s too slow for your apps to work properly! But with each generation of network, speeds and reliability have improved. From the humble beginnings of 2G in the 1990s to the now-ubiquitous 3G, technology was able to grow in leaps and bounds to enable the connected world we live in now. At the moment, 4G is the gold standard of high speed connectivity. But with 5G on the way, what can we expect to see next? Here are a few of the key differences between 4G and 5G.
The Basics of 4G
The fourth and most recent generation of mobile technology is 4G, which has become widespread in many areas throughout the world. While it’s not the international standard in all areas just yet, most new devices are equipped for both 3G and 4G for travel purposes. It can include WiMAX and LTE, along with other technologies, and boasts rapid download speeds of up to 12 Mbps. The rise of 4G has allowed more interesting and convenient apps to be developed, along with streaming video and music services.
The Basics of 5G
With 4G already offering fast download speeds, what will 5G bring to the table? We haven’t seen the 5G network yet, but there are a number of mobile tech companies and governments hard at work to research and develop it. Perhaps the key component of 5G will be its ability to transmit data at almost instantaneous speeds, while sending and receiving information from cell towers simultaneously. To date, that’s not something that has been achievable. When it arrives, 5G from Nokia Networks or other providers could enable a new era of even smarter devices, making use of this new form of communication. But at the moment we’ll have to wait and see, as the standard has not yet been defined.
Differences in Performance
The most obvious difference between 4G and 5G is the speed at which these networks operate. Theoretically, a 5G network could be able to connect at speeds of 800Gbps at some point, ending any problems we now have with dropped calls and buffering. The high speed of communication would allow devices to communicate with one another seemingly instantaneously. But another important difference to look at is the upgrade in capacity that 5G would have to entail in order to work. With an increased number of connections each day, new networks must be able to cope with billions of users trying to access the internet. 5G will most likely involve the widespread use of small cells in order to cope with increased demand.
A More Flexible Network
What we may see in the future are a range of devices with the ability to jump between 2G, 3G, 4G, and Wi-Fi seamlessly. This way, you could travel from remote areas to major metropolises without having to worry about whether or not your phone will be able to keep up with the changes. To accomplish this type of flexibility, telecommunications companies need to map out a new range of base stations both great and small.
There will be a noticeable difference in 4G and 5G when the latest generation is finally rolled out, but it could still be several years before we are able to experience it. At the moment, there are quite a few logistical issues to overcome, but it seems that more flexibility is the inevitable outcome.