4G and 5G: What are the Differences?

4G and 5G: What are the Differences? With Mobile Compare
Wednesday, June 26, 2024

4G and 5G refer to the fourth and fifth generation of mobile cellular technology. As mobile operators prepare to close down 3G services in New Zealand, and focus on its successors, it’s a good idea to have an understanding of the key differences between 4G and 5G. Knowing the difference can help you when you compare mobile plans, and compare the options that will be suitable for your lifestyle and unique data needs. 

3G Shutdown in NZ 2025

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So, what are the key differences between 4G and 5G? 


4G networks offer low latency, surpassing that of 3G services. This makes 4G better suited for apps that need data to be transmitted as close to real time as possible. So it is a great choice for those who love online gaming or professionals on the go who tune into lots of video calls. Latency for 4G can be as 200 milliseconds on average. 

5G networks come with an ultra-low latency – as low as 1 millisecond. Did you know that 5G is paving the way for remote surgeries? That’s right! For professionals, creatives and gamers who need real-time communication and responses, 5G is a great choice. 


4G networks deliver high speeds which allow for smoother video streaming – a great choice again for gamers and video calling on the go. Download speeds can reach 1 Gbps.

5G networks offer ultra-fast download and upload speeds – up which can be between 10 to 20 Gbps. These speeds can streamline all kinds of tasks on the go such as video calling, watching your favourite show, scrolling social media, and gaming. 


Bandwidth is the amount of traffic a mobile network can handle at any given time. 4G networks have a much higher bandwidth than its predecessor, 3G, allowing for users to be connected at the same time without anyone experiencing a slow down in speed. 

5G networks have an even larger bandwidth than 4G, making it possible to stream high definition movies even at a busy airport or cafe. 

Is 4G or 5G Right for You?

If you have moderate data usage, and need your network for video calls, streaming, and downloading and uploading files, 4G is a great option for you. 4G is a great choice for you if you want reliable connection with widespread coverage and to be connected to a network that is designed to be prepared for future technology. 

5G is a great choice for those who have a high demand for data. If you want real-time communication, to enable 4K streaming, to be able to use smart devices and transfer large files, 5G is a great choice.

Don’t forget to compare mobile plans!

Jump on Mobile Compare to compare the different mobile plans available to you. You can filter endless data, unlimited calls, and to either pay monthly or prepay. Our user-friendly platform also allows you to see which plans offer 4G and 5G. 

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