Difference Between 4G and 5G

Difference Between 4G and 5G

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Vikram Singh
Assistant Manager - Content
Updated on Aug 31, 2023 10:29 IST

Ever wondered how 5G differs from 4G? As we swiftly move from 4G to 5G, it’s more than just a speed boost. Dive in to uncover what’s changing in our pockets and around us in the world of mobile connectivity. Curious? Let’s explore.


In the era of mobile connectivity, the transition from 4G to 5G is expected to do wonders for the industry. The transition is not just limited to speed but also improves latency, coverage, bandwidth, and many more. 

This article will discuss the difference between 4G and 5G, their features, advantages, and disadvantages.

So, without further delay, let’s get started.

Table of Content

What is the Difference Between 4G and 5G?

4G 5G
Full-Form Fouth-Generation Technology Fifth-Generation Technology
Speed Upto 100 Mbps  10 Gbps (20 – 30 times more than 4G)
Latency 50 milliseconds 1 millisecond
Range Longer range due to lower frequencies The shorter range on higher frequencies but compensated with more base stations.
Bandwidth 600 MHz – 2.5GHz 28-39 GHz
Device Connectivity Primarily Smartphones and tablets Devices ranging from smartphones to IoT devices to industrial equipment.
Network Architecture Relies on large cell towers for coverage Uses a combination of  cell towers and small cell networks for consistent networks
Network Efficiency Efficient but faces congestion in densely populated areas. Highly efficient with better traffic handling 
Energy Consumption Higher energy consumption. Designed to be more energy efficient
Backward Compatibility Compatible with 2G and 3G Compatible with 4G and earlier standards
Application HD video streaming, high-speed browsing and mobile apps Autonomous Vehicles, Telemedicine, AR/VR, Smart Cities

What is 4G and How Does it Work?

4G, or Fourth Generation Mobile Telecommunication Technology, is the successor of 3G and provides mobile internet speed and reliability that surpasses its predecessor. The primary goal of 4G was to deliver high-speed broadband to mobile devices, making activities like streaming HD videos, video conferencing, and online gaming smoother and more efficient.

4G networks use a common system, like a shared language, to send and receive data in small chunks. This system ensures your data moves smoothly across different networks without issues. When you use your phone, it talks to nearby tall towers with antennas. These towers then help exchange data between the internet and your phone.

Features of 4G

  • 4G offers faster data download and upload speeds than 3G, with a potential speed of up to 100 Mbps.
  • Reduces time latency, which improves time delay in data transfer, making real-time activities like online gaming and video calls more efficient.
  • It provides better and clearer voice calls with reduced background noise.
  • It uses an all-IP-based system, i.e., Internet Protocol, for all data and voice services.

Advantages and Disadvantages

Advantages Disadvantages
Faster Speed Battery Drain 
Improved Connectivity Infrastructure Cost
Wider Ranges Limited Peak Speed
Enhanced Multi-Media Experience Coverage Gaps
Reduced Latency Device Compatibility

What is 5G and How Does it Work?

5G or Fifth Generation, is the latest evolution in Mobile Telecommunication Technology designed to be faster, more reliable, and more versatile than its predecessor, 4G. The goal of 5G is to provide ultra-fast broadband access for mobile devices, support IoT devices and lays the foundation for a host of new applications, from autonomous vehicles to Augmented and virtual reality experiences.

5G uses a radio interface and other new technologies to transfer exponentially more data over the air for faster speed, reduced congestion, and lower latency.

It consists of two components:

Radio Access Network

It uses features like small cells, which is especially important for the new short-range millimeter wave frequencies. These small cells are grouped in areas where people need them most, ensuring everyone stays connected without interruptions.

The Core Network

This network handles mobile calls, data, and the internet. For 5G, it’s updated to work better with the internet and cloud. It also has servers spread out to respond faster.

Features of 5G

  • It promises 100 times faster speed than 4G.
  • It aims to reduce latency to as low as one millisecond.
  • Design to support many devices simultaneously, making it for IoT applications.
  • It can handle more data and users at once, reducing congestion.
  • Allows operators to create multiple virtual networks with a single 5G network.
  • They are designed to be more energy-efficient, reducing device battery drain and energy consumption.

Advantages and Disadvantages

Advantages Disadvantages
Ultra-Fast Speed High Investment Cost
Ultra-Low Latency Requires more base stations for coverage
Flexible Network Slicing Many existing devices are not compatible
More Energy Efficient Security Concerns
Ideal for AR/VR, autonomous vehicles Limited Global Deployment

Key Differences Between 4G and 5G

  • The speed of 4G is up to 100Mbps, while the speed of 5G is up to 10Gbps.
  • The latency of 4G is 50 ms, whereas the latency of 5G is only 1 ms.
  • 5G supports devices ranging from smartphones to IoT to industrial equipment, whereas 4G primarily supports smartphones and tablets.
  • 5G combines cell towers and small cell networks for consistent networks, whereas 4 G relies on large cell towers for coverage.
  • The application of 4G includes HD video streaming and high-speed browsing. In contrast, the application of 5G includes Autonomous Vehicle, Telemedicine, AR, and VR.


The transition from 4G to 5G was a giant leap in the world of mobile networks. While 4G revolutionized internet browsing on mobile devices, 5G promises a transformative experience, paving the way for technological innovations we have only deemed of.
This article briefly discusses the difference between 4G and 5G networks based on the different parameters.
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About the Author
Vikram Singh
Assistant Manager - Content

Vikram has a Postgraduate degree in Applied Mathematics, with a keen interest in Data Science and Machine Learning. He has experience of 2+ years in content creation in Mathematics, Statistics, Data Science, and Mac... Read Full Bio