5GHz and 5G – Resolving Namesake Crisis

5GHz vs 5G
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The world has never been closer than it is today. The speed of thought, the connectivity of the world, and the ability to learn and create anywhere have been the hallmarks of the digital age.

The 5G network will be the vanguard of this connectivity renaissance, providing faster speeds, lower latency, and ultra-reliable delivery of the web and other data.

However, the term 5G is often used interchangeably with the 5 GHz WiFi band, even though they are two different technologies with different purposes and targets.

They are both wireless technologies that enable the Internet to become faster and more responsive to customers’ needs. However, the similarities in the terminology often leads to confusion.

Get a quick rundown on the key differences and similarities between the two with this read.

What is 5G?

5G is the next generation of cellular technology that enables faster Internet connectivity within a shorter range and is the framework for the future of connectivity.

5G is expected to be a game changer, as it will permit consumers to experience faster speeds, lower latency, and greater capacity. It will also allow innovative services, such as self-driving vehicles, remote healthcare, and immersive virtual and augmented reality. 5G will be the first generation of mobile technology to support speeds faster than those currently available through 4G LTE.

What is 5GHz?

WiFi frequencies fall into two main categories called 2.4GHz and 5GHz. The majority of WiFi systems operate within the 2.4GHz range. The increased demand for faster connectivity to accommodate more wireless devices with faster connection speeds has prompted the introduction of the 5GHz range.

5GHz WiFi frequency offers improved for more users to connect to a wireless network with less interference and improved performance. It is the newer, more modern range and is better suited to support the increasing demand for data transfer. Routers are labeled as “dual-band (2.4 GHz + 5 GHz)” or “Tri-band (2.4 GHz + 5GHz + 5GHz)” to signify that these routers operate in 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz frequency ranges in parallel.

With 5 GHz, there are more non-overlapping channels, making it much less congested. It is a good choice for the places where network congestion exists.

5G and 5GHz

5GHz vs 5G: What MORE makes 5G different from 5 GHz?

5G is the latest generation of cellular networks, and as such, it’s able to transfer much more data than its predecessors.

On the other hand, 5 GHz is an unlicensed frequency band used by WiFi devices. The most obvious difference between these two is that 5G deals with data, while 5 GHz deals with access to data.

Moreover, 5G can’t use the 5 GHz frequency band, and these two aren’t compatible with each other.

Similarities between 5 GHz and 5G

Yes, there are!

Both technologies use higher frequency spectrums to transfer data, for which higher frequency waves are required. These higher frequency waves may travel faster, but face turbulence moving through solid objects. This makes both technologies share the “faster-but-closer” rule.

They both possess an exceedingly short range. Although 5G has an advantage here, it can make use of lower frequency 600 MHz bands offering seamless blanket coverage.

Takeaway Points

  • 5G is completely different from 5GHz
  • Both can operate on the 5 GHz frequency but are not compatible.
  • Both have an exceedingly short range but are super-fast.
  • Both have trouble penetrating walls.
  • 95% of cellular 5G frequencies are up to 100x worse at penetrating walls, glass, and buildings.
  • 5G utilizes 600 MHz frequency, offering a “coverage everywhere” service.

In a Nutshell

5G and 5GHz are not similar!

Although they both let data be transferred wirelessly, 5GHz only provides an access point, whereas 5G is the network itself similar to cable or fiber-optic networks.

5G uses high frequency spectrums to transfer data, for which higher frequency waves are required. These higher frequency waves may travel faster, but face turbulence moving through solid objects.

“The WiFi world is constantly evolving, and new technologies are emerging that promise to improve connectivity and user experience. From faster speeds to security updates, there’s a lot to learn about the WiFi technologies that are changing the game.”

Ashish Jain, Head Presales

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Despite sharing similar names, the difference between 5G WiFi & 5G cellular lies in their technology and application. 5G WiFi is a frequency band within WiFi networks, technically called 5GHz (gigahertz). It provides faster speeds but struggles with wall penetration and offers a more limited range. On the other hand, 5G in cellular technology refers to the 5th generation of cellular technology. The 5G cellular network is designed for faster individual speeds and increased connectivity per tower with the aim of supporting a larger number of connected devices with enhanced performance.

The 5GHz WiFi spectrum isn't related to 5G cellular signals and cannot establish connections with them, either. 5GHz signals operate on separate spectrums and have nothing to do with the 5G mobile network standard.

The speeds of 5G technology differ widely based on frequency bands. Low-band 5G frequencies can achieve speeds from 50 to 250Mbps, while high-band 5G can theoretically reach up to 20 Gbps (a substantial leap from typical wired fiber optic speeds). On the other hand, 5GHz WiFi signals can theoretically attain speeds of around 1.3 Gbps.

Regarding 5G WiFi vs regular, it's important to note that each frequency band offers distinct advantages. The 2.4GHz band is ideal for better range, whereas the 5GHz band excels in delivering high performance or speed. Additionally, it has the potential to navigate through network congestion and interference while maximizing network performance.