5G vs. 4G: What’s the Difference and Why It Matters

5G Inscription on the back of a smartphone

5G and 4G are both mobile network technologies that allow us to connect to the internet on our smartphones and other devices. While 4G has been the standard for several years, 5G is the newest and fastest network technology available.

The key difference between 5G and 4G is speed. 5G is capable of much faster download and upload speeds than 4G, which means that we can download and stream content much more quickly and efficiently. However, 5G is still in the midst of its rollout, and coverage is currently limited to more populated areas.

Despite this limitation, 5G is set to revolutionise the way we connect to the internet and use our devices. In this article, we will explore the differences between 5G and 4G in more detail, and discuss why this matters for consumers and businesses alike.

An Introduction to 5G Technology

5G technology is the next generation of mobile network technology, offering faster speeds, lower latency, and more reliable connections than its predecessor, 4G. While 4G networks were designed to provide mobile internet access, 5G networks are designed to enable a wide range of new applications and use cases, such as autonomous vehicles, remote surgeries, and smart cities.

5G networks operate on higher frequency bands than 4G networks, which allows them to transmit more data at faster speeds. However, these higher frequency bands have shorter range and are more easily blocked by obstacles such as buildings and trees. To overcome this, 5G networks use a combination of different technologies, including small cells, massive MIMO, and beamforming, to increase coverage and improve signal strength.

The deployment of 5G networks is still in its early stages, with many countries and regions still in the process of rolling out the technology. However, as more devices become 5G-enabled and more applications are developed for the technology, we can expect to see significant changes in the way we live, work, and communicate.

Comparative Analysis: 5G Vs 4G

5G and 4G are two different generations of wireless technology. While both are used to transmit data wirelessly, there are significant differences between the two.


One of the main differences between 5G and 4G is speed. 5G is significantly faster than 4G. With 5G, we can expect download speeds of up to 20 Gbps, while 4G offers download speeds of up to 1 Gbps. This means that with 5G, we can download large files and stream high-quality videos much faster than with 4G.


Another key difference is latency. Latency is the time it takes for data to travel from one device to another. 5G has much lower latency than 4G. With 5G, we can expect latency times of around 1 millisecond, while 4G has latency times of around 30-50 milliseconds. This means that with 5G, we can expect much faster response times when using applications that require real-time data transmission, such as online gaming or video conferencing.


While 5G is faster and has lower latency than 4G, its coverage is currently limited. 5G requires more infrastructure than 4G, which means that it will take time for 5G to become widely available. In contrast, 4G has much wider coverage and is available in many more areas.


5G is faster, has lower latency, and offers better performance than 4G. However, its coverage is currently limited, and it will take time for 5G to become more widely available. As such, 4G is still an important and useful technology that will continue to be used for many years to come.

Speed and Capacity: 5G Vs 4G


When it comes to speed, 5G is the clear winner. 5G networks have the potential to deliver speeds of up to 20 Gbps, which is significantly faster than the maximum speed of 4G networks, which is around 1 Gbps.

The increased speed of 5G networks is due to a number of factors, including the use of higher frequency bands, more advanced antenna technology, and the ability to use wider channels for data transmission.


As well as being faster, 5G networks also have significantly more capacity than 4G networks. This means that they can support more devices and more data-intensive applications without experiencing network congestion.

The increased capacity of 5G networks is due to the use of advanced technologies such as massive MIMO (multiple input, multiple output) and beamforming, which allow for more efficient use of available spectrum.

The increased speed and capacity of 5G networks make them well-suited for a wide range of applications, from streaming high-quality video to supporting the internet of things (IoT) and other emerging technologies.

Latency: 5G Vs 4G

Latency refers to the time it takes for data to travel from the device to the network and back. It is measured in milliseconds (ms). The lower the latency, the faster the network response time.

5G technology is designed to have lower latency compared to 4G. While 4G has an average latency of around 50ms, 5G is expected to have an average latency of around 1ms. This significant reduction in latency will allow for more responsive and immersive experiences, particularly in applications that require real-time interaction, such as gaming and virtual reality.

Plus, lower latency will enable new applications and use cases that were not possible with 4G. For example, 5G will enable remote surgery and autonomous vehicles, where even a small delay can have serious consequences.

The lower latency of 5G compared to 4G is a significant advantage that will enable new use cases and applications that were not possible before.

Coverage: 5G Vs 4G

When it comes to coverage, 5G and 4G are quite different. While 4G is widely available in most areas, 5G coverage is still limited to certain regions. This is because 5G technology requires a different infrastructure than 4G, and it takes time and resources to build out the necessary network.

However, as more and more carriers invest in 5G technology, coverage is expected to expand rapidly. In fact, many carriers have already begun rolling out 5G networks in major cities and urban areas.

Another key difference between 5G and 4G coverage is the range of frequencies used. 5G uses higher frequency bands than 4G, which means it can transmit more data at faster speeds. However, these higher frequencies have a shorter range, which means that 5G coverage is more limited than 4G coverage in terms of distance.

Whilst 4G coverage is currently more widespread than 5G coverage, this is likely to change in the coming years as 5G networks continue to expand.

Applications and Use Cases: 5G Vs 4G

When it comes to applications and use cases, 5G and 4G have some significant differences. Here are some of the areas where 5G is expected to have a major impact:

Internet of Things

5G is expected to play a big role in the growth of the Internet of Things (IoT). With its higher data speeds and lower latency, 5G will make it possible to connect more devices and sensors to the internet, enabling a wide range of new applications and use cases. For example, 5G could be used to power smart homes, factories, and cities, allowing for more efficient and automated systems.

Autonomous Vehicles

Autonomous vehicles are another area where 5G is expected to make a big impact. With its low latency and high data speeds, 5G will enable real-time communication between vehicles and their surroundings, allowing for safer and more efficient transportation. For example, 5G could be used to enable vehicle-to-vehicle communication, allowing cars to share information about their speed, location, and direction of travel, and avoid collisions.

Smart Cities

5G is also expected to play a big role in the development of smart cities. With its high data speeds and low latency, 5G will enable more efficient and automated systems for everything from traffic management to public safety. For example, 5G could be used to power smart traffic lights that can adjust their timing based on real-time traffic data, or to enable real-time monitoring of air quality and other environmental factors.


Plus, 5G is expected to have a big impact on healthcare, particularly in the area of telemedicine. With its high data speeds and low latency, 5G will make it possible to deliver high-quality medical care remotely, enabling doctors to diagnose and treat patients from anywhere in the world. For example, 5G could be used to power remote surgeries, allowing doctors to perform complex procedures from thousands of miles away.

In contrast, 4G is not capable of supporting many of these applications and use cases due to its lower data speeds and higher latency. While 4G has certainly had a major impact on the world, it is clear that 5G will be the technology that drives the next wave of innovation and growth.

At Prestige Telecom Group, we provide a range of business mobile services, and have experience in helping our customers integrate these solutions into their businesses. 

Plus, we offer 5G as standard on all 5G-enabled devices, so contact us today to discover how our team can help you future-proof your business mobile strategy.


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