You’ve probably heard the buzzword “5G” in the news and on cell phone commercials, but what does that term really mean and how is it any different than wireless internet (commonly called Wi-Fi)? 5G is the latest mobile networking technology evolution after 4G LTE, and experts anticipate it will change how people access and utilize the internet because it has:
With 4G mobile connectivity, users must choose between the portability of being able to access the internet anywhere on their mobile devices or opt for higher speeds and consistency of a wireless internet at their home, office, and coffee shops. With the advent of this new technology, users can get the same reliability and speeds with 5G on their mobile devices as they would on a wired connection.
However, while 5G may appear to give Wi-Fi a run for its money, the truth is, you may want both technologies to fully take advantage of the future of the Internet. In other words, while 5G will come in handy in many situations, Wi-Fi will still be useful in other circumstances.
“5G networks are said to provide 50 times more speed than its predecessors,” says Jerome Friedman, a business writer at Last minute writing and Draft beyond. “Plus, 5G will have 10 times less latency and 1,000 times more capacity than even 4G, meaning that it will connect more devices and transmit more data than ever before, thus delivering faster connectivity and better user experiences.”
5G does have some limitations though, including:
Wi-Fi has been a staple for users since the internet went high speed and costs dropped to make it affordable to most small businesses and homeowners. It was at this point, manufacturers introduced wireless devices into our daily lives including tablets, printers, and smart devices. We’re used to having access to anything and everything online including our thermostat, light switches, and virtual assistants. The latest iteration of wireless connectivity is Wi-Fi 6 (based on the IEEE 802.11ax standard) and it delivers 4 times the capacity with 75% less latency, offering nearly 3 times the speed of its predecessor, Wi-Fi 5.2.
It is important to note that Wi-Fi 6 devices require a Wi-Fi 6‒compliant access point to get the full speed, latency, and capacity improvements. Plus, Wi-Fi uses an unlicensed spectrum, so that you and your whole neighborhood can each have your own Wi-Fi network without licensing it. However, Wi-Fi performance can also be affected by how many people are using the same internet provider.
Why You May Need Both 5G and Wi-Fi Connections
Wi-Fi and 5G offer complementary functionalities to where they can both achieve gigabit speeds with low latency. Determining whether to use 5G or Wi-Fi 6 depends on what you’re using them for. When it comes to technology, there are many data-hungry devices including desktops and laptops, smartphones, tablets, TVs, etc.
So, while 5G may be powerful enough to connect all the devices in a small office and home, it will be primarily regulated to mobile connections (e.g. smartphones) because Wi-Fi offers a lower cost to deploy, maintain, and scale—especially where users can utilize additional access points to extend the reach of the Wi-Fi connection. However, not all devices will be able to access a Wi-Fi network based on their geography and usage. It may be cost-prohibitive to extend a Wi-Fi network to a remote location, such as a security camera at the perimeter of a large property.
While the two technologies handle network management differently, when used in conjunction with each other, you’ll get better results in accessing the Internet, adding versatility to how you utilize the internet and provide a better ROI (Return On Investment).
Think of using 5G as an add-on for Wi-Fi, or Wi-Fi as an add-on for 5G. For example, if your business requires constant uptime, many technology providers recommend the cost-efficient wireless connection with a 5G backup internet that only activates when the primary internet is out.
“While 5G promises a significant boost in performance, along with better connectivity, Wi-Fi will still be the most efficient way to help you connect all of your devices,” says Lewis Davison, a journalist at Research papers UK and Writinity.
Nowadays, both 5G and Wi-Fi are seen to benefit from one another. As more routers begin to implement Wi-Fi 6 and more cell towers are built to accommodate 5G networks, Internet speeds will grow faster, without users fearing the past constraints of latency, congestion, and slowness.
Only time will tell if one of these amazing technologies will “outdo the other.” For now, both 5G and Wi-Fi are best working together to give users the best Internet experiences possible.
Todd J. Cooper is an editor at Essay writing services and Gum essays. As a professional editor, he specializes in writing, editing, and project management. In his spare time, he likes to blog about different aspects of digital marketing.
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