Reliable know-how
High quality standards
Fast shipping
5G 4G 3G in 3D Darstellung

LTE vs. 5G (Part 1): Speeds and frequencies

Every owner of a modern cell phone or smartphone model inevitably encounters the abbreviations 4G, LTE and, more recently, 5G. But what do they mean and how do they differ? 

LTE, 4G and 5G: What do these terms stand for? 
Mobile communications technology uses electromagnetic fields to transmit voice and data. This exchange of information takes place between the end devices and the base stations. Each individual mobile communications standard is assigned predefined frequency ranges consisting of two bands. While data transmission to a transmitter is handled via the lower frequency band, data transmission to the cell phone takes place via the upper band.  
The designations LTE, 4G and 5G are the latest generations of mobile communications standards. Over time, these will replace the tried-and-tested and weaker 2G and 3G standards. 
All three designations refer to the respective generation of a data transmission standard. 4G and 5G are the fourth and fifth generations of mobile communications standards, respectively. Long Term Evolution, or LTE for short, basically belongs to the third generation. In contrast, its extension LTE-Advanced already belongs to the fourth generation. 
While the international specifications and guidelines apply to 4G, LTE does not support all the features of 4G. Nor does it comply with all international specifications.  
The speeds of 4G, LTE-Advanced and 5G 
The maximum speed of 4G is specified as 100 Mbit/s in current mobile phone contracts. Theoretically, LTE-Advanced enables maximum speeds of 1 Gbit/s. 5G is even supposed to create speeds of between 10 and 20 Gbit/s. 
However, practice is often still different, because these speeds must also be available to everyone across the board. In addition, the smartphone and the mobile communications contract must support the desired mobile communications standards or permit their use. 
Which frequencies are used by these common mobile communications standards? 
LTE is the current mobile communications standard that will also play an important role in the future of mobile data transmission. This is because, as things stand, 5G requires at least one LTE carrier in order to function. 
In 2019, a number of additional frequencies such as 3.4 GHz and 3.8 GHz have been added to the existing mobile frequencies in the course of an auction of 5G frequencies. Each individual frequency has a certain spectrum, which also specifies the respective area of application. In contrast to LTE, 5G also requires significantly more base stations and antennas.