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5G vs 4G: Understanding the difference for you

Mobile network data has changed the way we use our phones over the last two decades. Phones are now much more affordable, and some of the available phones under 10000, combined with super-reasonable rates for mobile network data, are all you need.

The advent of 5G technology has sparked a discussion about the advantages of 5G over 4G. Even though millions of internet users around the world are using 5G already, apart from faster speeds and lower latency, there is a lot to know about 5G, especially the difference between 5G and 4G technology.

Here are some critical facts about 5G in relation to 4G that we need to know.

How does 5G work?

5G is a new digital system for transferring bytes of data over the air. 5G uses higher radio frequencies such as 28 GHz to transfer exponentially more data over the air for faster speeds, less latency, and congestion.

5G is a new interface that uses a millimeter-wave spectrum and enables the use of more devices within one geographic area.

Another distinguishing feature of 5G is the Massive MIMO technology.

Massive MIMO (multiple input multiple outputs) is a digital technology that uses numerous targeted beams to spotlight and follow users around a cell site. This feature improves the coverage, speed, and capacity of the network.

More: How to improve internet speed at home or workplace

How is 5G different from 4G?

As internet usage increases, the need for better connectivity and higher bandwidth is also continuously rising.

Although 4G made it possible for us to stream videos in high quality and online calling on the go, it has now reached its technical limit in terms of the amount of data that it can transfer across blocks of spectrum. 5G promises to resolve this congestion.

The biggest differentiator between 5G and 4G is the advent of the Internet of Things or IoT.

5G networking promises to revolutionize data-driven industries, smart cities, and infrastructure management with higher speeds, less latency, more connected devices, less interference, and better efficiency.

5G bandwidth, latency and spectrum

5G offers a spectrum of 1000 MHz compared to the 4G spectrum of 100 MHz, this increase of network capacity allows for faster transfer of data than ever before.

The larger spectrum of 5G has also helped reduce the latency as compared to 4G. Latency for 4G is 20 to 30 milliseconds, but for 5G, the latency is well below 10 milliseconds. Lower latency allows data transfer in real-time.

So, how fast is 5G?

So far from what we know, 5G promises device speeds up to 10 times faster than 4G with a standard data transfer of fewer than 20 milliseconds.

With such high speeds, it will be possible to use 5G Wi-Fi routers with reliable speed and network coverage instead of wired broadband.

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Is 5G secure?

5G will allow users with a dedicated network to split the network and customize speed, capacity, coverage, encryption, and security as per their needs.

This feature of network slicing was earlier unavailable in broadband and 4G. It provides better protection as the spectrum is not shared and cannot be interfered with.

Should I buy a 5G phone?

Developed nations have already had roll-outs of 5G in urban and densely populated areas. In other countries with mass markets such as India, the roll-out is expected to come in 2022. Network trials are underway.

In this regard, if you wish to invest in a phone that is 5G enabled, it’s advisable to wait until the 5G launch. But this also depends on your internet usage, budget, and geographical location.


There are various advantages of 5G over 4G. In the end, it would be accurate to say that 5G will definitely result in a better internet usage experience.

As far as buying a 5G enabled phone is concerned, it is advisable to wait. Currently, most 5G enabled phones are expensive. After the 5G roll-out, you can be sure to find many budget-friendly phones with 5G features.

More: How to prevent your phone from overheating while playing games

If you have any thoughts in regards to 5G, feel free to leave them in the comments section below.


  • Shiv Nanda is a financial analyst who currently lives in Bangalore (refusing to acknowledge the name change) and works with MoneyTap, India's first app-based credit line. Shiv is a true finance geek, and his friends love that. They always rely on him for advice on their investment choices, budgeting skills, personal financial matters, and when they want to get a loan. He has made it his life's mission to help and educate people on various financial topics, so email him your questions at [email protected]

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