Differences between 3G, 4G and 5G

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Since the emergence of the internet and smartphones, the internet networks for os have been advancing and improving every year. But what changes between them? The main improvement is the highest transmission speed in each new generation of networks. Therefore, in each breakthrough we had, it was possible to increase the range of network usage for sending messages, streaming services, object connectivity, among others.

The 3G network began to be used in mid – 2002 and is the network with the highest coverage in the national territory. Then, in 2018, came the 4G network, with a higher speed, but without coverage throughout the National extent. And in the future, we will have the 5G network. There is still no research showing what 5G coverage will look like, but the main speculation is that it will have much more speed and will be responsible for the application of the Internet of Things (IoT).

To understand what changes in each of the generations, one must understand two concepts that are present in all of them: latency and transmission speed.


The first concept to be explained is latency, which is nothing more than the response time between an action and its reaction. Latency and speed are inversely proportional, that is, the lower the latency, the higher the speed. Latency is very important when using the internet for certain commands, such as in IoT (Internet of things).

The Internet of things is a network of intelligent objects, which receive commands, send data, and perform tasks. For them to work properly and smoothly, it is essential that the time between a command and an action (i.e. latency) is as short as possible. An autonomous car, for example, needs a very low latency so that when detecting an object on the track, it can brake before hitting it.

5G networks will be very important for the Internet of things, as their latency will be much lower than that of 4G networks. As stated earlier, scholars indicate that the response between information sent and its execution (latency) using 5G will be close to that of a human or even faster, assisting in the implementation of autonomous objects such as cars, robots, among other things.

Transmission speed

As discussed in the previous topic, speed and latency are inversely proportional. So, for us to have low latency, the speed must be high. Speed is one of the main changes we can notice when we move from a 3G network to 4G, for example. The 3G network operates at 8mbp/s (Megabits per second) transmission speed, the 4G at 28Mbp / s, and the 5G promises to be up to 10x faster than 4G.

Thus, higher speed means that more data can be transmitted and received. It is the difference in the amount of data that allows generations of networks to perform different tasks. That is, with the current speed, it is possible to download or watch programs through the smartphone, for example, while 3G networks transmit smaller information packets, such as messages. With the expected speed of 5G, many opportunities will be opened, especially in the area of the Internet of Things (IoT).


Each generation of cellular network marked the beginning of a new use of devices connected to the internet. 3G was the first network to be connected to smartphones, the 4G network has brought us the possibility of watching streaming programs and 5G will be the network that will connect things.

Technologies are used in different areas, not only on the smartphone or devices we find at home. The 4G network is already used in factories and production lines to connect the machine to each other. In agribusiness, it is possible to use equipment in the middle of the field with an internet connection. The 5G network will enhance the use of these devices connected to each other and will bring much more data to improve the results.

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