Differences between the 4G and the 5G Architecture

Hey people, today we are going to learn about the key differences between the 4G architecture and the 5G architecture.

Key differences in the architecture

To begin with, the 5G is not merely an upgrade over 4G. Rather, it is a complete re-build. 

Standards used: 4G uses the LTE standard(Long Term Evolution) and 5G uses the NR standard(New Radio).

Radio Access Network(RAN): 4G uses a hardware-based bulky set up to establish the Radio Access Network. 5G uses a virtualized, software-defined Radio Access Network, thus easier to maintain.

Frequency range: 4G operates in a frequency range of less than 6 GHz. 5G can operate up to a frequency range of 52.6 GHz.

Peak Data Rate: 4G reaches up to a peak data rate of 1 Gbps. 5G can go up to about 10 Gbps.

Latency: 4G produces a latency of around 20 – 50 ms. 5G promises a latency of less than 1 ms.

Base Stations: 4G transmits signals from cell towers. Due to greater speeds and MM wave frequency bands, 5G utilizes small cell technology, therefore carriers will deploy high-band 5G in small cells the size of pizza boxes in different locations. For lower frequency spectrums, 5G will continue to rely on cell towers.

Band Width Sharing: 4G uses manual network slicing, even if automated, the service quality(Quality of Service/QoS) is not maintained. 5G uses smart Machine Learning based Network Slicing to maintain QoS and also provide the required Band Width.

User Density that it can accommodate: For 4G it’s around 2K/square kilometer. 5G accommodates up to 1000K/square kilometer.

These were some of the major generic differences between 4G and 5G. But technically speaking, we should also know about the scientific and mathematical aspects of the high speed of 5G as compared to 4G.

differences between 4G and 5G Architecture

The mathematical aspect of high speeds in 5G

4G uses costly hardware to process your connection to the Internet or establish any kind of connection. While processing, the hardware uses FFT(Fast Fourier Transform) to convert your analog to digital signals. This is a very energy-intensive process, and the hardware required is very complex. With the increase in the number of processes to handle, the hardware has to work harder or it has to be made more complex for efficiency. 

This problem has been overcome by 5G. It replaces this entire hardware with an SDN(Software-Defined Network). It virtualizes the processing part of the connection. As soon as the process becomes part of the software, it can be configured more easily and efficiently. Thus, it offered a higher set of possibilities and offers a higher data rate as compared to 4G.