September 13, 2018

How is 5G different from 4G?

Blazing fast speeds and an ultra-responsive network mean an even better mobile internet experience, whether you're gaming on the go or exploring new worlds in virtual reality

Get to grips with 5G in a flash with this quick explainer

New Radio

4G and 5G are fundamentally quite different in the way that the radios work. 5G is based on “New Radio”, a new industry standard that’s based on 4G.

 

Higher Speeds

5G will offer higher speeds. 4G brings 500 Mbps (megabits per second), the potential with 5G is up to ten times faster than that, depending on how you deploy it.

 

Latency

Latency is about how responsive the network is – how quickly a web page or YouTube video loads, for example.

 

Active Antenna (Massive MIMO)

Massive MiMo mast
Active Antenna (Massive MIMO)

5G will employ a technology we call Active Antenna, also known as Massive MiMo. Using Active Antennae, the network will be able to transfer a lot more data. If you think of 4G as a motorway, with cars going backwards and forwards, then what 5G does is bring multiple motorways together at the same time, making it possible to speed up the flow of data traffic.

 

Beamforming

Beamforming can be thought of as a system that creates your own private bubble of mobile signal around you. As you move around, these beams will follow you both vertically and horizontally, so that you get a much better signal than you would with 4G.