5G vs. 4G – What’s the Difference?

woman with VR goggles taking advantage of 5G technology, something you can't do with 4G

The 5G revolution is changing the way we communicate in both our personal and professional lives. As 5G replaces older 4G networks, you’re about to notice huge differences in what you’re able to do with your wireless devices.

In this article, we discuss three of the most important differences you’ll notice between 4G and 5G, as well as where you can go to learn more about the rise of 5G technology.

What’s the Difference Between 4G and 5G?

While there are many differences, here are three of the biggest changes you’ll notice with the switch to 5G:
  • Better Speed: 5G is not only faster than 4G – it’s up to 10x faster! Not only do you experience quicker load times and a smoother browsing experience, but you can also stream 8K video and partake in immersive learning. The speed of 5G drastically changes what you can do from a wireless device.
  • More Capacity: 5G has 100x more capacity than 4G (no, we’re not exaggerating), meaning it can handle 100x more traffic than 4G. 5G can handle up to 1 million devices per square kilometer, allowing billions of devices to be connected at once and stay connected. This jump in capacity is a result of new Massive MIMO and mmWave technologies. To learn more about Massive MIMO and mmWave, check out our courses about these and other 5G-related topics.
  • No More Lag Time: “Lag time” – also known as “latency” – is a thing of the past. Thanks to the speed and capacity of 5G, data and other larger files can now travel almost instantaneously. Those with 5G service experience 10x lower latency than those with 4G! In fact, people with 5G experience latency as low as one millisecond, while also experiencing ultra-high reliability of 99.9999 percent. This makes conducting business – or doing anything for that matter – from a mobile device much more efficient. Eliminating lag time can even help save lives. To illustrate, if someone needs a medical procedure in a remote area, having a connection to a 5G network could allow a medical professional to retain access to vital information and communication links throughout the procedure.

Learn More about 5G Technology

5G is an exciting and important topic, as it is transforming the way we live our lives. If you’re interested in learning more about 5G technology and how it works, please check out our courses on the Qualcomm Wireless Academy website. We have courses for business professionals that offer insight into how you can optimize the latest 5G technology for business, as well as courses for engineers that dive deep into 5G technical components. If you’re looking for a short overview course, we recommend taking our 5G Primer.

About the Qualcomm Wireless Academy

The Qualcomm Wireless Academy is the educational and training branch of Qualcomm Technologies, a world leader in 5G technology and wireless innovation. We provide premium training within several areas of the wireless engineering field, including 5G, LTE Advanced, C-V2X, WiFi, and more. We have courses for business professionals, engineers new to the field, and experienced wireless engineers. We also offer a corporate training program for companies looking to optimize their 5G capabilities.

Students and trainees can take many of our courses online through our eLearning program, which offers dozens of online courses for those who prefer a more flexible learning style. For more information or to sign up for a course either as an individual or a company, please reach out to us at qwa@qti.qualcomm.com.

About the Author – Manish Tripathi

Manish Tripathi is the Vice President of Engineering for the Engineering Services Group (ESG) at Qualcomm Technologies Inc. Since joining Qualcomm in 1998, he has held a variety of technical and management roles and is now the global lead for the Group's extensive portfolio of technology consulting services, which he was instrumental in developing.

Tripathi helps a global ecosystem of operators and technology partners deliver the best mobile experience over public and private wireless networks using cellular and Wi-Fi technologies, with services including technology evaluation, design, deployment, and performance troubleshooting. His technical expertise also extends to satellite communication systems, in-vehicle telematics solutions, and wireless charging of electrical vehicles.

Tripathi holds 46 global patents, as well as a master’s degree in systems architecture & engineering from University of Southern California and a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from University of Delhi.