5G vs 4G: What’s The Difference?

Comparing Mobile Communication Generations In The Enterprise

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Steven Lerner

As the next generation of mobile communications approaches, enterprises should consider the differences between 5G vs 4G. By now, the deployment of 5G networks has begun. Currently, 5G access is limited to certain cities, but nationwide coverage is likely to occur by the end of 2020.

The impact of 5g will be felt by enterprises across the world, and it represents an incredible change from 4G. Here are seven ways to compare and contrast 5G and 4G.

1. Faster Speeds

5G promises to bring rapidly fast wireless internet speeds. Although the speed of 5G will be based on factors such as device and network, it is across the board faster than 4G. On the surface, 4G was seen as an improvement over the previous standard, 3G. In fact, 4G download speeds can go up to 60Mbps, which is said to be over 20 times faster than 3G. 5G kicks it up a notch, by topping it at about 10Gbps, which is way faster than 4G. Part of the reason that 5G is expected to be so fast is because the capacity for sending data has increased.

2. More Secure

Security is another potential area that could benefit from 5G. Network slicing, which is a type of virtual networking architecture that designates portions of networks for specific uses, can be obtained through 5G. It is largely seen as a critical component of how the 5G experience can greatly improve service. One of the benefits of 5G is that it provides an extra layer of security that a WiFi network cannot usually offer. By having exclusive networks on the spectrum for dedicated functions, there is reduced chance that important corporate data on that network would be compromised.

3. Comparing Network Access 5G vs 4G

Access to 5G is going to be based largely on how fast wireless carriers are able to expand the 5G network. For example, even though 5G may not be fully rolled out nationwide until 2020, the service has already been deployed across several major U.S. cities. However, the service is usually only available in certain areas in the city, and there are still some restrictions. This might seem incredibly inconvenient; however this is to be expected. When the carriers rolled out 4G, it took many years before it was fully deployed. Enterprise mobility leaders should anticipate the same type of deployment.

4. Internet Of Things

It is anticipated that 5G will help enterprises finally realize the promise of the Internet of Things (IoT). The faster speeds and increased efficiencies will allow for IoT devices and wireless sensors to benefit from more data collection and real-time analytics. This will be especially useful for data-driven industries. Smart hospitals, smart cities, and smart factories will be able to take advantage of connecting IoT devices (that are collecting massive amounts of data) into a more efficient network.

5. New Devices

In order to access 5G and take advantage of the faster speeds, new devices are needed. Several manufacturers (including Samsung, LG, and Huawei) have already announced that they are coming out with new mobile devices that support 5G networks. One key difference is that 5G might require a longer battery life on devices. For enterprises that want to benefit from 5G, there needs be a consideration for ensuring that employees have 5G devices in the future. This is especially critical to those field service employees who seek to gain a lot when 5G gets rolled out.

6. Lower Latency

Although the faster speeds are important, the biggest differentiator in the 5G vs 4G debate is with latency. After all, the time it takes data to travel between endpoints will make the most significant difference in the workplace. The average latency for 4G is 50 milliseconds (ms). With 5G, it can drop that down to 1 to 2 ms. This lower latency will be incredibly useful when it comes to streaming video, as well as with machine learning technology. Workers in the field will likely be able to get work done faster.

7. New Capabilities

5G has the potential to revolutionize all industries in ways that 4G couldn’t. AI applications typically require higher bandwidth and lower latency, which can be achieved with 5G. The technology will allow for more remote technologies. A great example of this includes physicians performing remote surgery on patients who are far away.

When comparing 5G vs 4G, it is clear that the next generation will provide a new technological advantage in the workplace.