5G Vs 4G Mobile Networks – What’s the Difference?
Mobile Phone & Internet Blog | MATE | 9 August 2022
There’s been much talk about the rollout of the new 5G mobile network and how it will soon eclipse its 4G predecessor. Australia’s telcos, including MATE, have started offering 5G plans and products with a view to expanding the new 5G network across the country. But what are the differences between 5G vs 4G? What does this new generation of mobile technology and mobile networks do that the old ones don’t and how does that affect download speeds? And for that matter, what are 4G and 5G anyway? In this blog, we’re going to answer all that, and more.
What are 5G and 4G mobile networks?
4G and 5G refer to the fourth and fifth generations of mobile network technology. Since the inception of the very first – 1G – mobile network, each successive generation has signified a major development in functionality. In other words, every new generation has meant that our mobile devices enjoy faster speeds, lower latency, greater bandwidth, and just all-around better performance.
The 3G to fourth generation jump, for example, took us from merely being able to readily access the internet on our smartphones, to being able to enjoy far more intensive online activity like HD video streaming thanks to the innovations of the mobile network. When it comes to yours truly, MATE uses parts of Telstra’s 5G, 4G and 3G mobile networks. Our mobile service provides 5G Coverage reaching at least 75% of the Australian population.
Soul Mates 150GB 5G
MATE uses the Telstra Wholesale Mobile Network
download speeds are capped at 250Mbps on 4G and 5G
What’s the difference – 5G vs 4G?
Perhaps the biggest perk of the new 5G network that Aussies are most excited about is its lightning-fast speed. In theory, 5G is said to be able to hit speeds 20x faster than its predecessor. The network capability of MATE’s mobile solution has access to download speeds of 10Mbps up to a speed cap of 250Mbps on 5G. 5G upload speeds will typically be 1 to 40Mbps.
On 4G, typical download speeds are 5 to 180Mbps, and upload speeds are 1 to 40Mbps, in 4G coverage areas. On 3G, typical download speeds are 1.1 to 20Mbps, and typical upload speeds are 300kbps to 3Mbps.
Closely related to internet speed is latency – the amount of time it takes for your mobile device to send information and receive a response. Like when you click ‘Add to Cart’ when shopping online, latency is the measure of how long it takes for an item to be digitally added to your cart. Currently, the 4G network holds a latency response time of around 30 milliseconds. The 5G network has reportedly cut that down to around 5 milliseconds, with predictions it could even go as low as 1 millisecond in the future! This means users will experience a minimal delay when they tap on their mobile phones when you compare 5G vs 4G.
Greater Bandwidth to Connected Devices
Bandwidth is a measure of how much data can be transmitted over a network in a given amount of time. The more bandwidth you have, the more data that can pass through. Understandably, this plays a role in how many devices can be connected to a network before things get messy. You might have experienced the effects of inadequate bandwidth in your household when everyone is trying to use the internet at once – with only so much bandwidth to go around, delayed load times are inevitable. This is essentially what’s happening with the 4G network, with so many connected devices and not enough network capacity, internet speeds are slowing down. 5G looks to solve this issue by broadening its bandwidth via network slicing to accommodate as many as one million devices per square km!
What are the benefits of 5G?
Between the 5G’s faster internet speeds, greater bandwidth and better latency, users can look forward to really taking advantage of their unlimited data. From seamless 4K video calls and being able to download a 2-hour movie in 10 seconds to completely transforming our health and education sectors, 5G is set to offer an exceptional high-performance experience, no matter what your online needs.