What is 4G? The Benefits of Fourth-Generation Cellular Networks Technology

Last Updated: August, 2023

IoT Glossary by Freeeway AG

Quick definition: 4G

The fourth generation of cellular networks, or 4G, is the predecessor to 5G and the successor to 3G. In contrast to the previous cellular network generations, 4G offers a better transmission rate, lower latency, and efficient use of the radio spectrum. 4G is still among the most prominent network connections, even if it is in decline due to 5G upgrades.

What does 4G mean?

Cellular network technologies have rolled out in the form of different generational upgrades. Accordingly, 4G refers to the 4th generation of cellular networks. As a successor to 3G, the 4G network offers a drastically superior data rate, coverage range, reduced latency, and supports IoT network needs much more efficiently. 4G also reduces network congestion and allows a maximum number of users to utilize the spectrum.

Is 4G the same as LTE?

Often wireless communication technologies can be confused with one another. However, when it comes to 4G and Wi-Fi, both are entirely different network technologies and do not affect one another in any manner. Both can coexist in a world of IoT, where every device has a unique communication need.

What’s the difference between 4G vs. 5G?

4G vs. 5G is the talk of the town. So how does the 4G network fare against the latest generation of cellular networks? Here are some key differences:

  • Latency:
    • 4G has a latency from 10 to 50 ms, while 5G network offers a much lower latency of around 1 ms.
  • Download speed:
    • 5G is almost 20x faster when it comes to downloading as it offers a downloading speed of 20GBPS against the 1GBPS speed of 4G.
  • Cell density:
    • 4G has a cell density of 200 to 400 users on a cell, while 5G offers 100 times higher cell density.
  • Security:
    • 5G also wins when it comes to the security and regulations of the network. Making it a safer and more effective cellular technology.