What is 5G? Know Difference Between 4G / LTE and 5G

5G is the next telecom technology and is expected to launch by 2020. We take a look what 5G will offer beyond just speed improvements, its impact on the IOT ecosystem and the revolution in the telecom industry.

What is 5G?

To put simply, 5G stands for fifth generation and the next in line in the future generation of wireless networks. 5G will be mainly a catalyst for the IOT (Internet of Things) revolution where billions of objects will be connected exchanging data at an affordable price. In layman’s terms, everything from your freezer to your vehicle will be connected online.


Photo credit: UniqueTime

What is the Difference Between 4G / LTE and 5G?

Many MNO’s have already invested in this technology. The difference between traditional 4G LTE network and 5G is not just only speed but will allow more productivity using less hardware. For, e.g., cloud services will take a major leap and machine learning services like self-driving cars will be possible without much human assistance.

4G is around five times faster than existing 3G services, and according to Hubert Da Costa, Vice President, EMEA at Cradlepoint, 5G networks will be about three times faster than 4G, delivering speed upto 450 Mbps in single-stream, 900 Mbps (dual- stream) and 1.3G bps (three-stream). It will be very different from current wireless networks like 3G, 4G, WiFi, Bluetooth, Zigbee, etc…bringing the speed and efficiency needed to operate the IOT network.

According to the Groupe Speciale Mobile Association (GSMA), 5G networks should meet the following eight criteria’s:

  1. One to 10 Gbps connections to endpoints in the field
  2. One millisecond end-to-end round-trip delay
  3. 1000x bandwidth per unit area
  4. 10 to 100x number of connected devices
  5. 999 percent availability
  6. 100 percent coverage
  7. 90 percent reduction in network energy usage
  8. Up to ten-year battery life for low power IOT devices

The Investors

5G is coming, and Nokia and Ericcson are the ones to create  5G platforms aimed at mobile carriers rather than consumers. Ericsson started testing 5G networks in 2015 but succeeded in creating the first 5G platform earlier last year. Nokia also launched “5G First” last year, a platform aiming to provide end-to-end 5G support for mobile carriers. Chipset maker Qualcomm and Samsung has also made notable developments in the 5G technology making a 5G modem and a 5G router respectively.

Countrywise, London installed a district-wide public Wi-Fi network in October 2017, consisting of 400 small cell transmitters where it plans to run 5G trials. Newport in Wales also set up a technology hub to support robotics, 5G and driverless cars where it received £38 million to make compound semiconductors to support 5G network technology.


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