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What Is The Difference Between 3G, 4G, And 5G, And Which One Do You Need?

The issue of 5G networks has become a major talking point as many countries around the world start to make arrangements to implement what is considered the next stage in cellular connectivity. However, beyond the politics and technical jargon is a significant number of people who don't understand how and why this information is relevant to them.

3G and 4G devices are still common in the current market place, and they meet most people's connectivity needs. What is the difference between these technologies and will choosing one over the other make a huge difference?

The Fundamental Difference Between 3G, 4G and 5G

Once you get past the technical aspects of all three types of networks, the main difference between them to the end user is speed and capacity. Starting from 1G, the original cell phone network, each subsequent improvement has increased the speed of data transfer and the capacity of data that can be transferred at any given moment.

Therefore, 3G was faster than 2G but slower than 4G. 3G allowed better internet connectivity but 4G allowed more devices to be connected to the internet and the speed of data transfer was also higher. This means that 5G is expected to improve in these two areas.

The Next Step; 5G

As of now, 5G networks are yet to be rolled out in the US and other countries except on a trial basis. However, it has been acknowledged that 5G may offer speeds that are 100 times faster than 4G. The number of devices that will be able to connect to the network will also be higher. This is important thanks to the increase in the number of people being connected to the internet and the introduction of smart home devices.

3G, 4G, or 5G for You?

5G may seem like the obvious choice if you're deciding between the three networks. After all, it will provide higher speeds and you'll still be able to fall back on the other two technologies if the network has an issue.

However, 5G compatible devices are likely to cost more and the rollout is predicted to be infrastructure intensive. Cell carriers are likely to pass on these costs to the end user which means that using 5G may initially be expensive. Therefore, if you need a cell network that you can rely on when your internet service provider is out of range, you have to weigh your need for higher speeds versus the cost implications.