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5G vs 4G: How Do These Two Network Generations Compare?

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5G vs 4G: What’s the Difference?

The new era of 5G is upon us, and everyone is expecting a tremendous improvement from what we were used to – the 4G platform. Given that we perform many of our tasks online, especially after the Covid-19 pandemic, 5G will undoubtedly change our lives if it hasn’t done that already. Whether you just use the internet for entertainment on streaming platforms and gaming in online casino Canada sites or for work, 5G is a massive leap forward.

Nonetheless, before we dive into all the good things 5G brings to the table, it’s worth noting that we wouldn’t be here without 4G. Every technological progress in the networks is essentially a continuation of its predecessor.

For instance, 4G took over in the early 2000s from 3G, which was the norm back then. So, as the 5G rollout continues across different parts of the world, you must understand that progress is inevitable. Of course, the cycle will continue in the next decade or so, as 5G will be phased out, and all eyes will be on 6G. That being said, there are key differences that make 5G a significant milestone in the age of information technology.

Speed

This is ultimately what the average user thinks of first when comparing the two networks. Therefore, it will only be befitting if we start the comparison from here. 5G is miles faster than 4G. Data already shows that 5G guarantees speeds of around 10 to 100 times faster than what we were used to in 4G. While 4G can clock speeds of up to 100 Mbps, 5G speeds can hit a whopping 1,000 Mbps and higher.

This will, in turn, have a ripple effect when it comes to how we use our devices. Because most internet users attach much importance to speed, routine tasks like downloading a file from the internet become even more frustrating if you have a slow network. Thankfully we don’t have to worry about that with the new dispensation of the 5G network. Tasks like live streaming in high resolutions – up to 8K, will become much easier with faster speeds.

Security

There’s not much to separate 5G from 4G security-wise apart from the network slicing that is readily available in 5G networks. Network slicing creates multiple unique logical and virtualized networks, all built under a common multi-domain infrastructure. In simpler terms, it is where the network is split to cover critical aspects such as coverage, capacity, encryption and security.

It also means that manufacturers and others can have a dedicated network they can fully control to further ensure its safety. Besides, 5G is also more secure due to a powerful encryption technology that scrambles the traffic when your voice moves from your device to the cell tower. This reinforced level of security will present a daunting task for hackers if they want to tap into the network.

Latency

When you experience a delay in communication over a network, that situation is what is usually described as latency. This aspect is also, in a way, connected to speed. With 5G, there is a promise of a relatively low latency of under 5 milliseconds. 4G, on the other side, is estimated to have a higher latency of between 60ms to 98ms, a fact that makes it far much slower than 5G. Thus, with 5G’s lower latency, you will also enjoy a better streaming experience, and when it comes to retrieving files from the internet, you can start your downloads instantly.

Spectrum

The spectrum describes the capacity that a network possesses. The 5G spectrum has a higher capacity and higher frequency than 4G, meaning that it can accommodate more people at any given time. In case you were wondering, one of the main reasons 4G can sometimes be slower is the congestion in the bandwidth of the network. This is because the network weakens when more people are using it, a task that is better handled with 5G.

Challenges Facing 5G Networks

As 5G continues to be deployed across different cities worldwide, the network faces challenges that make its adoption problematic in some cases. Some of the most common obstacles facing the new network include:

  • Due to its high frequency, the 5G network struggles with obstacles such as walls and trees. As a result, more infrastructure like multiple small cells have to be installed.
  • 5G network infrastructure involves using mmWave frequencies that are only capable of covering short distances.
  • Given that most 5G infrastructure is built on legacy tech like 4G LTE networks, security vulnerabilities of the older generation may end up affecting the new 5G network.
  • The additional infrastructure used to strengthen 5G signals increases the digital attack surface of the network as it has more access points and network edges.
  • Rolling out 5G involves introducing a lot of new infrastructures, which tremendously hikes the initial setup costs.

 

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