September 13, 2018

How is 5G is different from 4G? Vodafone UK's Head of Networks Kye Prigg explains the basics

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 Kye Prigg's quick explainer

New Radio

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


Higher Speeds

5G will bring higher speeds. 4G brings 500 Mbps (megabits per second), the potential with 5G is two, three, four times faster than that depending on how you deploy it.



Latency is about how responsive the network is – how quickly do you get an answer when you want to do something, how quickly does the web page load, how quickly does the YouTube video load.


Active Antenna (Massive MIMO)


Active Antenna (Massive MIMO)

5G will employ something called Massive MiMo. If you think about 4G as being a motorway, in terms of the cars going backwards and forwards, what 5G does is it brings multiple motorways together at the same time, so you’re able to transfer a lot more data than you would be able to normally.



The other amazing thing that the technology is able to do is something called “beamforming”. You can think about beamforming as the system creating your own private bubble of signal around you. What the system will do is follow you as you move around, these beams will follow you both vertically and horizontally, so you get a much better signal than you would with 4G.

Vodafone UK’s Head of Mobile Networks Kye Prigg talks about the difference between 4G and 5G. Filmed at the 5G World conference in London

Kye Prigg, Head of Networks, Vodafone UK

"Once the 5G technology is there, the speed is there, what will developers come up with, what kinds of apps will come along that will change the world again? I think that is going to be really exciting to see"