5G was released only last year and it promises some remarkable internet speeds of up to 20 Gbps. As a result, it has managed to become much more prominent than the prior, 4G LTE-A. So, which one should you choose? In this article, we will compare 5G, fixed-wireless connection and 4G LTE-A so that you can determine which suits you.
What Does 5G Offer?
5G is undoubtedly the faster of three as there’s more spectrum available for 5G, and it uses more advanced radio technology. With speeds of up to 20 Gbps, 5G also provides lower latency. Hence, allowing you to download and upload data much faster than both fixed wireless network and 4G-LTE.
5G offers latency as low as 1 millisecond, but depending on the number of people using your connection, the speed and latency can vary, going as low as 50 Mbps and 10 milliseconds. But, that’s still better than the 10 Mbps speed 4G-LTE has to offer.
5G uses millimeter and micrometer waves that can make things difficult to separate neatly without overlapping. These frequencies have very large bandwidths, making them ideal for keeping everyone connected in busy environments. The efficiency of 5G depends on massive MIMO (multiple-input multiple-output) and beamforming.
5G base stations can support up to 100 antennas, unlike 4G that can only support about 12 antennas. The disadvantage of using these frequencies is that they can easily be blocked, so multiple antennas lead to greater interference.
As for beamforming, that is employed to identify the optimum route to each connected user, helping reduce the interference and boost the chances of easily blocked signals reaching their intended recipient.
Unlike 4G-LTE, 5G relies on lots of small cells much closer together, and these mini 5G base stations can be placed on top of streetlights, or the sides of buildings. With that being said, building such a network is going to be a massive challenge, it’ll be expensive, and will take time.
What Does 4G LTE-A Offer?
Although, 5G has its benefits, providing speeds that were never imaginable, that still doesn’t mean that 4G-LTE-A is out of business. The latest 4G technology is 4G-LTE-A (Long-Term Evolution Advanced) and can grant speeds of up to 1 Gbps, although 5G still provides more than 10 Gbps.
There’s also LTE-Advanced Pro, that’s even faster. Although, you should be wary of the fact that the 5G E (5G Evolution) logos that AT&T is putting on their phones is not actually 5G, rather it’s just 4G technology. If you’re using a smartphone that supports 4G-LTE, LTE-A, and LTE-A Pro, you’ll have to upgrade to be able to use 5G.
4G phones are a lot less expensive than the ones that support 5G, so if you’re someone who’s looking for a budget phone, you might have to go with 4G technology. Although, the speeds of 5G are un-comparable, 4G still offers very high speeds and is still evolving.
What Does Fixed-Wireless Network Offer?
The main advantage that fixed-wireless network offers is its usage caps. Unlike 5G, and 4G LTE-A, 5G offers more than 100 GB caps, or none at all. Fixed-wireless networks offer unlimited bundles, and like 5G, they also offer low latencies, that can go as low as 3 milliseconds, or even lower.
The internet signals reach your home via radio waves transmitted by a base station. If you decide to get a fixed-wireless connection, your provider will install a receiver on your house that will communicate with the nearest wireless base station and provide you with access to the web via a cable carrying the broadband signal from the receiver to the router in your house.
Compared to 4G-LTE-A, a fixed-wireless connection will provide much more reliability as it offers much more at the same speed with lower latency, and if you’re someone who tends to game a lot, then a fixed-wireless connection is a much better option. It’s pretty simple to set up, and it isn’t even super expensive.
Which One Is The Best Option For You?
Out of these three, 5G is still the best option. Although, 4G-LTE-A and fixed-wireless are cheaper than 5G, they’re still nothing compared to the speed and latency that 5G offers. With speeds of more than 10 Gbps, 5G is undoubtedly the best option, provided you have the means to afford it.