Comparison Between 4G and 5G: 5G networks should be open and virtualized to use the same infrastructure for individual services with different performance requirements. Virtualization of functions effectively separates software and hardware implementations.
This allows each part to be independently scaled and optimally distributed in terms of available bandwidth capacity and latency requirements. The distributed architecture enabled by the separation of control plane and user plane allows operators to place functions and services to serve the end-user best.
4G is reaching its limits at the current rate of usage growth, at the very time when new technologies will place enormous new demands on networks.
The success of new technologies such as Internet of Things (IoT) devices, web-based artificial intelligence (AI) applications, and autonomous vehicles and machines depends on the availability of a robust, high-performance 5G network and its higher speeds, lower latency, and greater capacity.
How 5G home internet Works
5G is a new digital system for converting bytes – data units – air. It uses a new 5G radio interface and other new technologies that use much higher radio frequencies (28 GHz compared to 700-2500 MHz for 4G) to transmit exponentially more data over the air to achieve higher speeds, less congestion, and lower latency, which is the delay before data transmission begins after a command.
This new interface, which uses a millimeter-wave spectrum, will allow more devices to use it within the same geographic area; 4G can support about 4,000 devices per square kilometer, while 5G will support about a million devices.
This means more Netflix streaming, voice calls, and YouTube can be transmitted without interruption over limited airspace.
5G also uses a new digital technology called Massive MIMO (Multiple Input Multiple Output), which uses multiple targeted beams to beam and track users around a cellular site, improving coverage, speed and capacity.
Current network technologies work like floodlights, which illuminate an area, but much light/signal is lost. The rollout of 5G includes the installation of Massive MIMO and 5G New Radio in all mobile network base stations in addition to the existing 4G infrastructure.
Speed Comparison Between 4G and 5G
Speed is one of the most anticipated next-generation network.5G is expected to be nearly 100 times faster than 4G. With such speeds, you could download a two-hour movie in less than 10 seconds, a task that takes about seven minutes with 4G (no more panicking when you try to download your in-flight program on the tarmac before the plane takes off).
Fast speeds have apparent applications for consumers, including movie streaming and app downloads, but they will be important in many other areas.
Experts in the manufacturing industry talk about installing video cameras throughout the factory and collecting and analyzing large amounts of footage in a short time to monitor product quality in real-time.
These speeds are possible because most 5G networks are built on high-frequency airwaves, also known as high-band spectrum. The higher frequencies can transmit much more data much faster than 4G.
But signals transmitted on high-band spectra can’t travel very far and have difficulty penetrating walls, windows, lampposts, and other hard surfaces. That’s not very practical if we want the tiny computers we carry everywhere to work still when we come out of the subway station, walk down the street, and go to the office.
Mobile operators building 5G high-band networks install tons of small cells (about the size of pizza boxes) on light poles, walls, or towers to compensate for these challenges, often relatively close together.
This is why most network operators are building 5G in every single city – for the network to work, the city needs to be full of these small cells.
It’s also likely that many buildings will get their own 5G cell sites to ensure the network works inside.5G has lower latency than 4G. This means that 5G phones are much more responsive for video calls and gaming, minimizing delays and grainy video quality.
Latency Comparison Between 4G and 5G
Latency (also called ping rate) is the short delay that occurs when you send a signal from a device to a network server and vice versa.
Some latency is inevitable with all Internet connections because of the physical distance between your device and the server that provides the Internet connection.
But the lower the latency, the better – especially if you need the Internet for things that require a near-instant connection. 4G’s lower latency makes activities like chatting with someone on a video feed or playing a fast-paced online game much smoother and more manageable.
Mobile technology experts hope that 5G could one day achieve latency times as low as 1 ms. That would be an incredible milestone, enabling 5G to support complex systems like factories and automated cars. But this dream of 1 ms is still a long way off.
That’s good for innovations like remote real-time gaming, where people in different parts of the world play a game over wireless devices connected to the Internet, and everyone is on the same page at the same time.
It will also be essential for other technologies such as self-driving cars, which need to send signals about their environment over the Internet to a computer in the cloud to analyze the situation and send alerts back to the car, telling it how to respond. To ensure the safety of self-driving vehicles (and their occupants), this communication must be instantaneous.
Capacity Comparison Between 4G and 5G
We all know that frustrating moment when you’re in a relatively small area with a lot of people – at a concert, in a sports stadium, or at the airport during the vacation season – and you see the “spinning wheel of death” while trying to open a web page or play an Instagram video.
Too many devices trying to use the network in one place can cause congestion. The network infrastructure can’t handle many devices, resulting in slower data speeds and longer delays for downloads.
5G is expected to solve this problem – and then some. The next-generation network is expected to have a significantly higher capacity than 4G. That doesn’t just mean better connectivity for all phones, making it easier to brag on social media about being at the big game. It will also be possible to connect many more devices to the network.
Experts liken the 5G network to a new and improved highway with more lanes for more cars to travel on. This upgrade element could create greater bandwidth for the age of the “Internet of Things,” filled with connected toothbrushes, kitchen appliances, streetlights, and more.
Availability Comparison Between 4G and 5G
Most wireless carriers have spent years building out 4G infrastructure, but they have just begun building out 5G networks.
So 4G is available pretty much everywhere – except in remote areas and rural communities with limited cellular access – while 5G’s reach is limited to major cities and towns for now. Even where 5G is available, you’ll need a 5G phone to access the network, and your phone will switch back to 4G if 5G isn’t available.
An October 2021 Open signal report noted that customers with 5G phones were on a 5G network only a fraction of the time they used their phones throughout the day.