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QUESTION

What’s the difference between 2G, 3G, 4G, 5G and WiFi – and what’s the added value of 5G?

Unlike the others, 5G unlocks high speed, low latency, high device density and wide coverage over licensed bandwidths – all at once.

2G, also known as General Packet Radio Service (GPRS), is a mobile data standard that was launched in 2000 and unlocked digital mobile telephony, SMS, and the first data services at relatively low speeds (several 10s of kbps).

3G, or Universal Mobile Telecommunications System (UMTS), makes data rates of 1Mbps possible and was developed to align with increasing smartphone use.

4G, known as Long-Term Evolution (LTE), increased data speeds by a factor up to 10 versus 3G, enabling comfortable video streaming.

5G is based on new radio and core network infrastructure, boosting speeds to 1Gbps for VR applications, offering low latency and handling a high density of connected objects. It is a robust alternative to fixed lines/cable and was developed by and for industrial players to extend wireless cable into industrial settings, with the goal of solving unique challenges and unlocking emerging applications.

WiFi offers high speeds/throughput but with limited coverage, over a publicly-shared spectrum, unlike mobile networks which use licensed, and thus protected frequency bands.

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