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What is the difference between 4G and 5G

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"4G changes our life, 5G changes how society runs." This sentence has become a buzzword in the communications industry. Meanwhile, communication technology is changing with each passing day. In the past, 1G could only answer calls, and 2G could only send text messages. 4G brought intelligence into our lives. Every "G" advancement greatly changed the way we communicate and live. So what can 5G do?


Before listing the changes brought by 5G, let us check the definition of it. 5G refers to the fifth-generation mobile communication technology and the extension of the 4G system. On June 13, 2018, US time, the 3GPP meeting in San Diego laid down the first international 5G standard. Compared with the former, 5G network has three main characteristics, including extremely high speed (eMBB), extremely low latency (URLLC), and extremely large capacity (mMTC).


The three characteristics including high speed, low latency, and large capacity also create three major application scenarios for 5G: mobile Internet enhancement, high-reliability, and low-latency communications, and massive IoT connections. These three applications jointly build the overall application system of 5G.


It may be difficult for everyone to see the obvious difference between 5G and 4G just by their definition. Let's compare 5G and 4G in more detail.



1. Network Connection Speed: 5G vs 4G


Regarding the difference between 4G and 5G, the network connection speed increase is obvious, but many people may not clear about the detiles. So, what new technologies are mainly used in 5G to increase internet speed?


The first is the spectrum bandwidth. If you want "no traffic jam", you must first ensure a wide road, which refers to the bandwidth equivalent to the road width of communication transmission. The best spectrum bandwidth of 5G can reach 400MHz. Compared with 4G, the bandwidth has increased a lot, corresponding to more resources, and the speed is naturally faster than 4G.


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The second technology is multi-antenna technology MIMO, which allows more streams to be transmitted simultaneously between the mobile phone and the base station so that more data can be transmitted at the same time. This means that internet speed has been further improved.


Thanks to the support of multiple technologies, 5G has been able to theoretically achieve a download speed of 20 times of 4G, and it only takes 1s to download a high-definition movie. High internet speed also allows the industry to change. For example, VR/AR, which is a technology hotspot, has a huge demand for bandwidth. 5G provides technical support for the development of VR and other virtualization.



2. Low Latency: 5G vs 4G


Compared with 4G, 5G has greatly optimized and adjusted all levels of the network architecture to achieve ultra-low latency..


4G network application servers are concentrated in the central computer room, far away from the terminal, and need to pass through multiple transmission nodes. In conparison, 5G uses edge computing technology to integrate the access network and Internet services, deploy cloud computing equipment with computing, processing, and storage functions at the edge of the access network, build a mobile convenient cloud, provide an information technology service environment, and reduce the process of data transmission. Therefore, the forwarding and processing time is reduced, and the end-to-end delay is minimised.


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Low latency also makes unmanned driving possible. The delay on the 4G network is about 50ms, while the delay on the 5G network is only 1ms, which is one-fifth that of 4G. This short millisecond gap may be the gap between life and death. When the vehicle is found to deviate from the normal trajectory and may be in danger, the emergency formulation system will brake within 1ms through the low-delay feature, thereby reducing the possibility of accidents. Therefore, 5G makes it possible for autonomous driving to ensure driving safety on the road.



3. High capacity: 5G vs 4G


5G technology introduces small, low-energy-consumption micro base stations, which can be installed and deployed in any location in the city, such as street lights, signal lights, shopping malls, houses, and so on. Each base station can receive signals from other base stations and send data to users in any location. The signal reception is uniform, the carrying capacity is large, and the ubiquitous network is formed, which solves the shortcomings of poor long-distance transmission in high-frequency bands.


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Therefore, 5G can achieve large capacity and easily accommodate a large number of machine connections, while 4G cannot. This is also the most important basis for the application of 5G to industry. Massive machine connections make it possible to connect people to people, people to things, and things to things on a large scale in the factory.


In the field of the Internet of Things, different application scenarios have different network requirements. Some terminal devices require a large amount of real-time data to process feedback quickly, while some terminal devices only need a small amount of data or a few bits of data transmission. It does not require a high transmission speed response, and may even update a small amount of data in a month or two. For example, the usage information of water meters and electricity meters are displayed.


At the same time, the 5G can automatically identify the needs of the device terminal for the network and allocate different network bandwidths. When a small amount of data is transmitted, 5G will allocate and use a narrowband network with less energy consumption to support data transmission, thereby effectively reducing energy consumption, therefore ensuring the usability of low-consumption and long-term operation of terminal equipment. All in all, 5G can help the Internet of Things industry to realize the true interconnection of everything.


It can be said that 4G changes our lives, and 5G change how the society runs. The tentacles of 5G have extended to all walks of life. It can not only offer people new media experiences by providing virtual items such as VR/AR, shaping virtual characters, and enhancing contextual information. It can also bring new media experiences to industries such as the Internet of Vehicles and intelligent manufacturing with a new life.


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Deeply cultivating in the Internet of Things industry and closely following the development of communication technology, InHand Network will keep up with the technological trend led by 5G, comprehensively deploy 5G product lines, and be widely used in many industries. We will use 5G to help empowering enterprises, accelerate their digitization process, and promote enterprise transformation and upgrading.

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