5G is the next generation of mobile network, succeeding 4G. Promising faster speeds, instant streaming and lower buffering speeds than its predecessor, we take a closer look at the major differences between the two and how they compare.

5G vs 4G: Speed

Perhaps the biggest and most notable difference between 4G and 5G is speed. 5G promises to deliver the best ever mobile speeds, that will produce a quicker, better and more reliable performance.

While 4G has a maximum download speed of 300 Mbps, 5G is expected to achieve download speeds of 10 Gbps. This means that with 5G, you’ll be able to stream media, interact with apps and play games faster than on a 4G network, with reduced buffering and lagging.


Not only will you be able to stream media in higher resolutions with 5G, but you’ll also be able to download content, movies and TV shows faster than with a 4G connection. For example, if you download a full-length film on 4G to your mobile phone this will take around 2-3 minutes, on average. Upgrade to 5G and this will be done in just 4-40 seconds – reducing the download time by 10% on average.

5G vs 4G: Latency

Latency is the time it takes for a network to respond to a request, and 5G will also deliver improved latency than its 4G predecessor. Currently, 4G has a latency of 50 milliseconds, while 5G’s latency stands at 1 millisecond - that's 50 times better than 4G.


This will make 5G phones super-speedy, with minimal buffering. 5G phones will therefore be far superior for streaming media and gaming especially – as you won’t need to wait for your phone to respond to your commands.

5G vs 4G: Capacity

Another benefit of 5G is its increased capacity. As it stands, all mobile networks use radio waves to transfer data, but 5G will use higher frequencies than 4G to do this. In fact, 5G will use extremely high frequencies between 30 and 300GHz, while 4G uses frequencies below 6GHz.

What does this mean? Well, higher frequencies mean larger bandwidths, and larger bandwidths mean more capacity to use data – like using apps or streaming and downloading media - with less existing cellular data clutter than 4G.


What’s more, the higher frequencies of 5G can be used next to other wireless signals without causing any interference. This means that 5G will really work well in high-traffic, highly-crowded areas, as it isn’t affected by the signals around it. All in all, 5G makes data is more accessible to you, faster than ever before.

5G vs 4G: Availability

So, when is 5Gavailable, and can you access the network on the same devices currently used to connect to 4G?

5G will be rolled out by the four big mobile networks across the UK from Summer 2019 onwards, with Vodafone being the first network to announce the use of 5G for July 3rd. EE and O2 are set to launch their 5G offering in the summer, with O2 planning to release its 5G network sometime in the Autumn.

Initially, 5G will roll out across major UK cities, with Birmingham, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Manchester, London, Belfast and Liverpool being the main areas to benefit from 5G first. Of course, 4G is already widely available in the UK, even in rural areas.


Currently, there are a limited number of smartphones in the UK that are 5G-ready, but there are a handful of great ones available - like the Samsung Galaxy S10 5G - with many more 5G phones set to launch throughout 2019/20.

The benefits of 5G over 4G are clear, so if you’re looking to get your hands on a 5G-ready handset, check out the great deals at Mobiles.co.uk here.