LTE vs 5G: How They Compare

LTE vs 5GLTE vs 5G. The debate has been around since the early days of 5G development. Both are wireless communication standards with much to offer consumers and businesses. 

What's the difference between 5G vs LTE? Are we still using LTE when 5G is available? 

In this article, we'll answer all those questions and more. We'll discuss: 

  • What LTE is and how it works. 
  • The benefits of 5G over LTE. 
  • Challenges to overcome before 5G can become more widely adopted. 
  • LTE and 5G work together to provide an even better user experience. 

LTE vs 5G: The Differences Explained

Regarding 5G vs LTE, a few key differences set them apart. LTE, or Long Term Evolution, is a standard for wireless broadband communication that has been around since 2009. 5G, or Fifth Generation, is the newest wireless standard currently being rolled out. 

Here's a look at how LTE and 5G compare in speed, population coverage, and capacity.

  • 5G vs LTE Speed: LTE offers speeds of up to 100Mbps, while 5G can deliver speeds of up to 1Gbps.
  • 5G vs LTE Coverage: LTE has widespread coverage, but 5G is still in the early stages of deployment.
  • LTE vs 5G Capacity: LTE can support up to 1000 devices per cell, while 5G can support up to 10,000 devices per cell.

So, what does this all mean for you? If you're looking for fast speeds with the most population coverage, LTE is the way to go. However, if you're looking for the latest and greatest technology with the potential for faster speeds and more capacity, 5G is the way to go.

The Benefits of a 5G Wireless Network 

The benefits of a 5G wireless network include lower latency and faster download speeds. It also provides increased capacities as nationwide population coverage expands. Lastly, it offers network slicing so that you can adjust connectivity for specific needs.

Lower Latency and Faster Download Speeds 

Lower Latency with 5GOne of the most significant advantages of 5G over LTE is that it offers much lower latency and faster download speeds. 5G networks can achieve these speeds because they operate at higher frequency bands than LTE networks. The higher the frequency waves, the more data can be transmitted in a given amount of time. LTE networks operate at frequencies below 6 GHz, while 5G networks can operate at frequencies up to 100 GHz.

As 5G evolves and becomes less dependent on LTE infrastructure — and as additional spectrum becomes available — it is estimated that download rates will be up to 1000 times faster than 4G, potentially topping 10Gbps. This rate will allow you to download a full HD movie in less than a second.

Increased Capacities as Nationwide Coverage Expands 

Increased Capacity with 5GAnother advantage of 5G over LTE is that it will offer increased capacities as nationwide coverage expands. LTE is currently capable of handling around 1 Gbps (gigabits per second), while 5G will be able to support up to 10 Gbps. Therefore 5G will be able to handle more data traffic and provide faster speeds for users.

Network Slicing Which Allows for Adjusting Connectivity for Specific Needs

Network Slicing with 5GThe third advantage of 5G over LTE is network slicing. This technique allows different network parts to be used for various purposes so that each user can have the best possible experience. For example, one part of the network could be used for high-definition video streaming. A second slice could be used for gaming or internet services like browsing. Slicing allows network customization for each user, and it also helps to reduce congestion.

The Current Argument for Continued Use of LTE

LTE is the current network standard for cellular data, and there are a few key reasons why it remains in use despite the advent of 5G.

LTE Cellular Network Has More Outreach Currently 

First and foremost, LTE network capacity is significantly higher than that of 5G networks. Network capacity is significant for two reasons:

  1. It is possible to connect more devices to the network at any time.
  2. It provides a buffer against network congestion.

Currently, 5G networks are not fully available in all major cities across the United States. As a result, for most people, LTE is the only option for cellular connectivity.

LTE Cell Technology Is Currently More Affordable 

Second, LTE cell technology is currently more affordable than 5G. Affordability is essential for individuals and businesses looking to upgrade their network capabilities without breaking the bank. LTE network capacity is also vital when deciding between the two technologies.

As more and more devices become connected, it's crucial to have a network that can handle the increased demand. LTE is currently better equipped to handle large numbers of connected devices than 5G, making it the more affordable option for those who need a reliable network.

What Needs To Happen for 5G to be Adopted 

Practical examples of what needs to happen for 5G to be adopted include: 

  • Mobile technology needs to have 5G capabilities.
  • Lower prices of 5G services. 

Other factors such as mobile network infrastructure improvements, carrier aggregation, and more spectrum allocated to mobile networks will also play a role in 5G adoption.

Prices of 5G Services Need to Be Driven Down

A significant factor that will drive 5G adoption is price. For mobile users, 5G services must be priced competitively with existing LTE cellular services. Otherwise, users have little incentive to switch to new technology. In addition, mobile operators must offer affordable 5G-compatible devices for large-scale technology adoption.

Mobile Technology Needs To Include 5G Capabilities

For mobile technology to keep up with the demands of consumers, it needs to include 5G capabilities. Mobile technology needs to catch up and have support for the new standard.

One of the benefits of 5G is that it allows mobile devices to access internet services at much higher speeds than 4G. This is especially beneficial for activities that require a lot of data, such as streaming videos or downloading large files. Mobile devices must have 5G radio frequencies to reach 5G speeds.

How 5G and LTE Can Work Together for Better Wireless Communication

Today, we're on the cusp of a new era of wireless communication with the advent of 5G. This next-generation technology promises faster speeds, lower latency, and more capacity for our mobile networks. But 5G isn't just a replacement for LTE; it's an evolution of the LTE standard that builds upon its foundation to provide even better performance.

Smart Cities

Smart cities are the first to see the deployment of 5G. This is because the high speeds and low latency of 5G are perfect for applications like connected cars and smart city infrastructure.


Connected Devices

5G will also enable a new class of always-connected devices, like smartwatches and AR/VR headsets. These devices require constant, high-bandwidth connectivity, which LTE can't provide.

LTE as the backup to 5G

LTE will continue to be the workhorse of our mobile networks, providing the coverage and capacity that 5G can't match. And as 5G rolls out, it will rely on LTE for many of its key features. So, while 5G is the future of wireless, LTE is still an essential part of that future.

LTE and 5G will work together in many cases to provide the best possible experience. For example, use 5G to download data at high speeds. Use LTE for general web browsing and email.

5G will also be able to offload traffic onto LTE when there is too much congestion on the 5G network. This will help to ensure that users always have a consistent experience, even as demand for 5G grows.

In Conclusion...

Both LTE and 5G are essential technologies that will shape the future of wireless communication. They have their strengths and weaknesses but are also complementary to each other. 

As 5G rolls out, it will rely on LTE to provide coverage and capacity, while LTE will benefit from the higher speeds and lower latency of 5G. Together, they will provide a better experience for mobile users than they could alone.

Although LTE and 5G are two different technologies, they can work together to create an even better wireless communication experience for consumers. Understanding the difference between 5g and LTE and how they compare is crucial. Then, you can take advantage of the benefits of both technologies.

Our resources at Novotech on 5G should help you better understand this upcoming technology and how it will change the consumer's digital landscape

Are you excited about 5G?

5G technology will revolutionize the wireless industry. If you're looking to stay ahead of the curve, contact Novotech Technologies for your 5G services. We have partnerships with the leading manufacturers of cellular routers, gateways, modems, modules, and antennas. So, we can provide you with everything you need to get up and running with 5G. 

With over 20 years of experience in the IoT industry, Novotech is ready to help you take your business to the next level with next-generation wireless communication technologies.