In short, the G stands for generation, so 5G is the collective term for the fifth generation of mobile network technology. LTE stands for Long-Term Evolution, and it\'s a 4G technology. The newer 5G is not a replacement for 4G, so you\'ll find LTE and 5G technology working together for the foreseeable future.
What Advantages does 5G Offer?
\"The main advantage that 5G offers over 4G LTE is faster speeds - primarily because there will be more spectrum available for 5G and it uses more advanced radio technology,\" Els Baert, director of marketing and communications at NetComm, told Digital Trends. \"It will also deliver much lower latency than 4G, which will enable new applications in the [Internet of Things] space.\"
In simple terms, 5G will allow us to download and upload data much faster than older technologies. The theoretical top speeds for 5G are extremely fast, between 1 and 10Gbps download speeds and 1 millisecond latency, but realistically we might expectminimum average download speeds of 50 Mbps and latency of 10ms, compared to current average 4G speeds around 15Mbps and 50ms. This will depend on network coverage, the number of people connected in your vicinity, and the device you\'re using.
Because 5G is an umbrella term that covers a lot of different technologies, it\'s difficult to separate everything neatly and there\'s some overlap. The higher speeds that really set 5G apart from any of the 4G LTE flavors require mmWave (millimeter wave) high-frequency bands. These high frequencies have very large bandwidths, so they\'re ideal for keeping everyone connected in busy environments like stadiums. Making this work efficiently depends on massive MIMO (multiple-input multiple-output) and beamforming. While 4G base stations might typically have 12 antennas to transmit and receive data, thanks to massive MIMO, 5G base stations might support 100 antennas. The thing about these higher mmWave frequencies though is that they are much easier to block and multiple antennas can lead to greater interference. Beamforming is employed to identify the optimum route to each connected user, which helps to reduce interference and boost the chances of easily-blocked signals reaching their intended recipient.
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