The cellular infrastructure that enables wireless communication is updated approximately every 10 years. Currently, 5G is gradually replacing 4G worldwide. The main difference between 4G and 5G is speed. 5G is expected to be much faster than 4G, while having lower latency and greater bandwidth.

In most conversations about 5G, speed is often the specification that sets it apart from 4G. And that makes sense. Because each generation of cells is much faster than before. 4G can now reach speeds of up to 100Mbps, but actual performance is typically below 35Mbps. 5G can be 100 times faster than 4G, with a theoretical maximum speed of around 20Gbps and current real speeds of 50Mbps to 3Gbps.

But it’s a little more complicated than that. There are three main flavors of 5G, and each one has its own speed. The so-called low-band 5G is somewhat faster than 4G with performance around 50-250 Mbps. The fastest version of 5G, called high-band 5G, is the version that reaches 3 Gbps.


Latency and coverage of 5G network

The delay of 4G networks is currently around 50ms, but 5G networks are expected to reduce it to an impressive 1ms. Latency reduction is important for many applications that allow connected devices to rely on the cloud for computing. For example, self-driving cars that use 5G to allow cloud-based AI to make real-time navigation decisions.

Even 10 years after 4G, there are remote and rural areas around the world where 4G coverage is insufficient. As 5G is still in its infancy, its coverage is essentially non-existent except in a few major cities. 5G takes years to reach levels of coverage similar to 4G, with different implementations (5G highband, midband, and lowband), each with its own speed and bandwidth.

5G modem support for Raspberry Pi

With latest premiere of Raspberry Pi Compute Module 4 some companies introduced new IoT devices, that utilize the processor module and allow usage of high-end cellular modems, such as 5G. TECHBASE developed their top product, ModBerry 500 CM4, to be a perfect IoT solution and expansion platform for latest wireless communication modules and such technologies as M.2 NVMe SSD support.

ModBerry 500 CM4 can be ordered here: