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We have to geek out a little in this article to really explain just why 5G is going to be so superior to 4G, so stay with us!
4G built upon the data and application technology introduced by 3G in the early 2000’s – just think about the launch of the app-powered smartphone that’s now part of our everyday. The promise of 5G’s ultra-fast speed and high reliability with low-latency owes much to the 4G network1.
That’s why the first phase of the 5G network is to essentially enhance the current capabilities of the 4G network – a kind of 4.5G network2.
Right now, 4G LTE (Long Term Evolution) technology is only capable of using lower frequency bands, operating up to 6GHz, whereas the radio bands that 5G will be able to handle will be anywhere between 30GHz and 300GHz1.
It’s a big leap forward and it will change the way we use our mobile devices. Since 5G can operate at such a high frequency, we’ll see huge speed increases and support for massive data transfers. Not only that, but these radio frequencies won’t be crowded with existing devices — 5G is a new technology, meaning it could free up bandwidth.
This is where 5G stands head and shoulders above 4G.
In theory, 5G is likely to reach speeds that are 20 times faster than 4G LTE1. 4G LTE has a peak speed of 1GB per second; 5G could theoretically achieve speeds of 20GB per second. These are of course what you might call ‘peak speeds’, we’ll just have to see when 5G is rolled out what the real-world performance is like.
But where you might get 10Mb per second from your 4G network today, 5G could possibly provide 100MB per second everyday speeds1.
You may be wondering why you should upgrade when 5G devices become available.
Firstly, you’ll be able to do all the things you do today, but so much faster and more reliably. The 4G network in Australia today is crowded. All these devices, competing for bandwidth are slowing the network down.
5G may have the capacity to handle up to a million devices per square kilometre3. You will have less concern with dropped connections or how many devices you have connected to the network, it’s that much more reliable.
Don’t expect any revolutionary changes at first, but you can expect to do everything you’re doing now with more speed, lower latency, and better reliability in terms of the connection.
|2G||9.6/14.4Kbps||TDMA, CDMA||2G enabled phones were use for making calls and transferring data.|
(1XRTT, EVDO, UMST, EDGE)
|3G enabled fast data browsing on a mobile device and paved the way for video conferencing and streaming.|
|3.5G||14.4Mbps||HSPA||Even faster data transfer.|
|Incredibly fast download speeds, paved the way for HD Streaming.|
|5G||10-30Gbps||Developing||Ultra-fast internet, low-latency and improved reliability.|
4G didn’t replace 3G and the same can be said about 5G replacing 4G.
4G will offer essential support to the 5G networks and act as a bridge between the major cities. 4G will also continue to provide coverage in the less populated areas of Australia. As Telstra and Optus have already demonstrated with their first phase plans for their 5g rollout, that 4G and 5G networks will work together.
Nearly every modern phone is 4G-ready, so it won’t cause any issues for the majority of people today. 4G will become the new baseline coverage everywhere, which is great level of minimum service for people living in more remote areas.