Cellphones are now used for more than just sending messages and do phone calls. Most of the daily routine work can be done now through mobile phones such as catching taxis, paying bills, video chatting, emailing, and controlling smart devices.
All of these smart features require an internet connection. Telecom operators provide the internet infrastructure by defining various generations of mobile internet such as 1G, 2G, 3G, 4G, 4G LTE, and now 5G.
The first generation (1G) of the mobile network was introduced back in the 1980s, which had only Voice and analogue services. Then 2G was commercialised, which brought the feature of MMS and sending pictures. Then the era of 3G was announced, which introduced the video calling and then in 1998 the mobile internet was started. Then the 4G and 5G era was introduced with some more changes.
Difference Between 4G and 5G
Although the mobile internet was started back in 1998, with the increase in mobile internet usage for various purposes, the need for faster internet services was essential. To fulfil the needs for faster internet, the 4G internet was launched in late 2009.
The average download speed of 4G reached between 8 Mbps to 10 Mbps. The speed can reach to an approximate 35 Mbps to 40 Mbps. The upload speed is calculated for about 4 Mbps to 6 Mbps, which can reach up to 15 Mbps.
In some cases, customers face slow speed, without having signal issues, mostly in crowded places which is due to the low capacity of the 4G network. In case, there are more consumers connected at the same time with the same access point; then the access point becomes unable to provide services to every connected user.
One of the important things in networking is latency, which is the time that takes by two devices to communicate with each other, which is also the case in communication with servers. Although latency is measured in milliseconds, these milliseconds matter in complex data, such as video calls, online gaming, and web browsing. The average latency of 4G networks is calculated for about 53.1 milliseconds.
4G networks work on frequencies with band spectrums lower than 6 GHz, as low frequencies band spectrums tend to use for transmitting services to cover a larger coverage area. These frequencies band spectrums are also good in penetrating walls and other obstacles. But the main problem is the data speed capacity, as lower frequencies band spectrums are unable to provide high speed.
4G proved to be good for quite some time. But with the introduction of advanced technologies, such as AI, autonomous technology, IoT, blockchain networks, and smart homes and cities, service providers are forced to increase the internet speed for consumers with such additional advanced features. The 5G was first adopted by South Korea in 2019.
The average download speed of 5G is expected to be in the approximate range of 50 Mbps to 2 Gbps. The download speed experienced by the 5G enabled smart user is about 111.8 Mbps, which shows that 5G is much faster than 4G.
The capacity of 5G is relatively higher than that of 4G, which means it can support more users at a time than 4G networks. Supports for more users in 5G is due to the technology known as MIMO (multiple-input multiple-output) and beamforming.
The latency in 4G networks is quite high, though it is reduced in 5G. The expected latency in 5G communication is relatively equal to zero. It shows that 5G is quite important for complex data such as video calling and online games. The low latency will help fast communication between autonomous vehicles, and make it more secure.
5G networks work on high frequencies band spectrums, which is calculated to be in the range of 30 GHz and 300 GHz. These high frequencies band spectrums can provide larger capacity and faster internet. However, they are not suitable for larger coverage area and penetration through walls and obstacles.
Most 5G service provider will use small cell sites to provide fast internet speed. These small sites will be installed on walls or light poles but within range of each other. Some of the service providers, such as T-Mobile, facilitate its customers with 5G coverage, but these 5G services are provided through low-frequency band spectrums, which have average 20% increase in download speed as compared to 4G.
There are hurdles for the complete deployment of 5G around the world, as there are countries which have no 4G services in some areas, and it will take time. But the full commercialisation of 5G networks will bring more advance features and fast internet.