Understanding The Difference Between LTE vs 5G

When it comes to your home internet, you shouldn’t have to sacrifice fast and secure connectivity in exchange for affordability. Today, modern homes need a flexible internet plan that has the bandwidth and speed to handle all we do on the internet, whether at home or away. From paying bills and shopping on mobile devices to staying connected to friends and family or planning every detail of your next vacation, a cellular connection that is fast and reliable has become a necessity for staying connected to all that matters to you and your family.

Here, we explain the difference between LTE vs 5G to help you decide which is best for your mobile devices while at home or away.

What Is LTE?

Today, most cellular signal providers still offer Fourth-Generation or 4G LTE cellular signal (or radio signal) services. LTE or Long Term Evolution, is the name given to previous 2G and 3G mobile communications networks when the mobile phone phenomenon first started around 2008. The 4G project, which is the current wireless standard for LTE communications, has provided a significant boost to how we use mobile phone systems because 4G LTE is faster and more reliable than previous LTE signals.

When compared to 3G technology, LTE 4G networks provide increased speed of downloading and uploading and greater bandwidth capacity for mobile devices of up to 100 MHz. When it comes to mobile devices like smartphones, handheld gaming consoles, laptops, tablets, and e-readers, bandwidth is important to handle current software, apps, and platforms that use an enormous amount of information, memory, graphics, etc.

What Is 5G Cellular Technology?

The current state of advanced cellular technology is the Fifth-Generation, or 5G, cell service standard that was deployed in 2018. 5G was developed to give mobile users nearly endless connectivity power with everyone and everything, including industrial machines, office automation equipment, and smart home devices. Even mission-critical applications such as medical equipment or vehicle safety systems rely on 5G networks because of the improved connectivity, seamless data flow, and low-latency features of 5G networks.

Older cellular technology was fraught with network communication delays, meaning that it would take a longer time to transfer data, or users would experience slow response times, for example, when opening large websites or documents. Today, with the low latency and faster speeds offered by the 5G network, all businesses, including manufacturing, financial, automotive, and more, use the almost unlimited power of 5G cellular technology for mobile (or in the field) production.

A Comparison of LTE vs 5G

There are key differences between these current wireless broadband communication standards: LTE vs 5G. Some of the numbers provided here are averaged and may be greater or less depending on your wireless service provider.


Network speed, or bandwidth, is commonly measured in bits per second (bps). Many apps like Pandora, Facebook, or YouTube would be impossible to enjoy if not for the current bandwidth capacities. Your internet service provider (ISP) will supply the bandwidth in megabits per second (Mbps) or gigabits per second (Gbps). 5G networks can deliver speeds of up to 1Gbps, while LTE communication networks are commonly limited to 100Mbps.


Cellular network capacity is the maximum limit of information that can be transferred at any given moment in time. When it comes to running a business, having sufficient network capacity means work goes on uninterrupted (no system crashes). A general rule of thumb dictates that a 5G network can support up to 10,000 devices without overloading the system. LTE networks have a limit of about 1000 running simultaneously.


All cellular signals are limited to a geographical area in which the mobile device can make cellular calls on your carrier’s network. Your cellular signal coverage will depend on how many cell towers are in the area. Most LTE service providers can reach 99% of the US mainland, while 5G is still a very new technology and is still being rolled out. To reduce the chance of a loss of cell signal, most mobile devices will automatically convert to the LTE communication standard when a 5G signal is not available in the area.


The lower the cell signal latency, the faster data is transferred from one point to another. LTE takes longer for data to upload or be delivered to an end-user. 5G networks reduce download times to about four milliseconds when using mobile phone devices and just one millisecond of delay for critical devices, such as the safety features in modern cars or self-driving vehicles.


LTE is subject to dropped phone calls or a lack of connectivity when in an elevator, a tunnel, in open spaces like rural areas, or around land masses like mountains or dense forestry. Unlike LTE, 5G was designed to be pervasive and offer a smoother experience for the user.


5G was also designed with more security measures in place when compared to LTE. 5G is more than just a faster network; it ensures trust between connections and guards against the ease of hacking. This is why 5G is used for sensitive applications like cloud computing and cloud storage, along with IoT-related applications. While cyber threats are always a reality, with 5G, it is unlikely that someone can infiltrate your home automation systems and turn off your smart lights or security systems.

Even though the benefits of 5G communication networks clearly outweigh LTE, LTE is more widely available and is often more affordable. The one instance where an LTE network is definitely the best solution is for older devices that do not support 5G.

To learn more about which communications network is best for your home, business, or mobile devices, contact Unlimited LTE Advanced for a range of LTE, 4G, or 5G cell services for home or business, rural or RV internet connectivity, or internet service for long-distance trucking or boating.

We deliver reliable internet service and provide mobile hotspot access to make sure you stay connected wherever you are. At Unlimited LTE, we can deliver Advanced LTE at 5G speeds, which means you never need to toss out your current devices to get the speed and connectivity of a 5G network.

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