Pros and Cons of 4G and 5G

4G pros

  • Mature networks (widely deployed, widespread coverage, a lot of nice features added over the years)
  • A lot of frequency bands allocated to 4G over the years (more bands/bandwidths => faster speeds, larger network capacity)
  • Well-proven technology, optimised networks, stable performance

4G cons

  • Loaded networks (a lot of user terminals in the field, high usage => low speeds)
  • Frequency migration from 4G to 5G: frequencies are being moved from 4G to 5G and this process will continue => leaving less capacity on 4G over time

5G pros

  • Lower latencies than 4G (in some bands / configurations)
  • More newly allocated frequency bands with wider bandwidths than 4G (more bands/bandwidths => faster speeds, larger network capacity)
  • Can aggregate 4G + 5G => getting benefits of both
  • Unloaded / empty networks (much fewer user terminals in use compared to 4G). So if one found 5G at this point, she will likely get full possible capacity.

5G cons

  • Way shorter range to shore than 4G.
  • Network deployment at early stages, patchy coverage (by far not as widely available as 4G), might be unstable performance for some time after rollout before networks got optimised
  • Some fancy network features (e.g.: MIMO, 256QAM, etc) may not be available immediately during early stages of deployment