Getting to 5G: Comparing 4G and 5G System Requirements

Courtesy of Qorvo

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5G isn’t just an incremental improvement over 4G — it’s the next major evolution of mobile communication technology with performance improvements of several orders of magnitude over today’s networks. 5G does not replace 4G, it simply enables a huge diversity of tasks that 4G cannot perform. 4G will continue to advance in parallel with 5G, as the network to support more routine tasks. 5G will enable services yet to be imagined, in a world where national economies are driven by sophisticated communications networks.

Let’s explore what 5G technology is, compare some of the characteristics of 4G and 5G, and look at the path to 5G deployment.

What 5G Technology Is

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  • Enhanced Mobile Broadband (eMBB) requiring hundreds of megahertz (MHz) of channel bandwidth using new frequencies for mobile wireless — from 2.5 gigahertz (GHz) for 4G LTE Pro and 3.5GHz for 5G, to tens of gigahertz and beyond into the millimeter wave (mmWave) spectrum
  • Ultra efficient for streaming data, taking full advantage of carrier aggregation (CA) and massive multiple input/multiple output (MIMO)
  • Fixed wireless, giving more choices to get 20 gigabit per second (Gbps) connections to your home and business
  • Wireless infrastructure, using beam steering and high-power gallium nitride (GaN), ideally suited to adaptive-array steerable antennas
  • Low latency for real-time connections enabling autonomous vehicles and augmented reality/virtual reality (AR/VR)
  • Internet of Things (IoT) connecting more than a trillion devices to the Internet in the next ten years with extremely low data rates, battery life greater than ten years, and the longest possible communication range

Comparing 4G and 5G

The figure below provides a comparison of the performance characteristics and technical specifications of 4G and 5G technology.

Comparing 4G and 5G