5G vs 4G Cost, Speed And Viability In India

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5G vs 4G Cost, Speed And Viability In India

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If a smartphone is the body, the network is it’s heart. And network connectivity is an extremely important part of our day to day lives. From quickly browsing Facebook or other social media websites, to checking facts, the weather, time in a different country to just about anything requires internet connectivity. Thus network providers have put immense importance in bringing faster internet to the consumers. The arrival of 4G was called a revolution back when it came out as the consumers understood how improved it was and what it’s benefits were compared to 3G. Now that talks about 5G have started and with countries like US and UK set to roll out 5G in 2019, let’s discuss what it would mean for a huge and still growing market like India. 

What Is 5G?

5G is a faster, more efficient way of using the internet. In 5G, data transmitted over wireless broadband connections could travel at rates as high as 20 Gbps with a latency of and well as offer latency of 1 ms or lower for uses that require real-time feedback. This means, it will have a better surfing speed, in layman’s terms. 

What Are It’s Benefits Over 4G?

The speeds of these networks depend on the frequency bands that they use. The 4G network supports frequency band speeds upto 6GHz, whereas the radio bands for 5G will be able to handle anywhere between 30GHz and 300GHz. This is a significant improvement which will make your internet surfing experience much faster. The 5G network is also interference free even if you are standing next to other wireless signals which was an issue with 4G networks since they sent radio signals in different directions. Owing to the way 5G uses wavelengths, it will also reportedly be able to service a lot more people which is reported to be approximately 1,000 devices per meter. This means even in crowded cities, using 5G will be blazing fast. 

How Does It Affect An Average Customer?

So how does all of these relate to customers? Should they shift to 5G? If so, then why? All a customer wants from a network are lower costs, better connectivity without hindrances and faster internet. 5G seems to satisfy all these conditions except for the cost which we will discuss later on in the article. So, when 5G rolls out, and you are satisfied with the cost per month for your plan, then go ahead and port to 5G because it is better than 4G in every other way. 

How Much Will It Cost?

The cost of 5G internet, like 4G will vary from country to country and will change from carrier to carrier. In India, we can estimate the price to be close to what 4G is because companies like Reliance and Vodafone will want the majority of customers to shift. India being a very price sensitive market, the prices of 5G can be expected to be very competitive. And the Network providers will recover their costs if 5G implementation only if a lot of people use it. 

When Will It Arrive In India?

India had caught on the the 4G trend suddenly and abruptly. Usually new networks arrive in the US and UK first. India has always been late in receiving these new technologies. Since changing networks have a lot of variables including steps taken by the government, bidding, setting up the infrastructure and others India adopts to these trends much later. The new network in India is expected to be available in India by 2022, according to TRAI which will be 3 years after many of the first world countries. Telecom minister Manoj Sinha has recently stated that India cannot afford to miss the 5G bus. This is little assurance however, of India adopting 5G before 2022. Given that today 400 million people in India have good quality internet access, the new network will definitely be a great business opportunity for the network providers. 

Also read: Our First Taste Of 5G Might Not Even Be 5G

Will Your Device Support 5G?

Most high end smartphones in 2019 will ship 5G enabled. Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 855 is one of the few chipsets that support 5G at the moment. While there will be other cheaper chipsets in future but your current 4G device in all probability will not support 5G. Even if you bought the most expensive iPhone this year you will need to buy another device next year or whenever 5G arrives. So your Oneplus, Samsung or Huawei flagship that you have at the moment will not be 5G compatible. 


It is yet to be seen when 5G is rolled out in India but early last year Airtel and Huawei successfully conducted India’s first 5G network trial under a test setup at the former’s network experience centre in Manesar, Gurgaon. Being one of the biggest as well as one of the fastest growing telecommunication markets in the world, we sure hope India doesn’t fall behind the 5G bandwagon. 

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Souradeep Roy
Newbie at iGyaan. The Camera Guy !