Fibre vs 4G vs 5G: What’s the Difference?
Moe from Mondo / 03-11-2020 / Fibre
Looking for the fastest, most reliable home internet package? One of the biggest choices you’ll have to make when deciding on a high-speed internet plan for your home is whether to go with fixed-wireless internet or a wired Fibre connection. This is where the choice between 4G, Fibre and, soon, 5G LTE comes in. To help you decide which is the right one for you, here’s our breakdown of each service offering:
Fibre - the fastest internet service available
Fibre optic internet has quickly become the holy grail of internet connections and those who own this high-speed technological marvel know of its limitless abilities. Fibre is all about the “instant internet” that is all play and no delay - think streaming uninterrupted high-definition movies, smooth online gaming and immediate downloads that don’t fall victim to buffering, freezing or throttling.
The magic of fibre lies in its DNA which is made up of tiny glass or plastic fibre optic cables that transmit coded signals in pulses of light. Incredibly, this allows data to travel close to the speed of light over greater distances, reaching up to 1Gbps. This makes it the fastest internet service available in the world today.
To sign up for fibre, your suburb first needs approval by the local council. Once the heads-up is given, the necessary infrastructure will be put in place and you can then choose your preferred ISP to bring fibre into your home or business. It is important to note that you can only connect to the internet using your Wi-Fi router as fibre will not work using your mobile data or LTE.
4G - offering major improvements
Before we get started on 4G, let's talk about the history that made it all possible. In the 1980s, the first cellular networks were launched in the form of 1G. Although it only offered basic voice services (and many dropped calls) it also laid the foundation for mobile internet technology and wireless network technology. Decades later, following 2G and 3G, emerged the biggest improvement to the internet experience at the time - the fourth generation of mobile technology (4G).
4G exploded onto local markets in 2012 and powered smartphones with better, faster and more reliable internet access than its predecessor, 3G. For many years, it held the place as the pinnacle of mobile performance as it delivered mobile broadband, increased browsing speeds, high-definition mobile TV, cloud computing and so much more. Today, 4G is widely used in SA and many homes and even businesses access this technology through Wi-Fi routers which can handle up to seven connected devices. And although incredible advancements are currently underway in network technology, 4G will remain as relevant as ever due to its reliability and efficiency.
5G - the disruptor has arrived
With 4G being a massive improvement over 3G, the fifth generation of mobile technology (5G) takes its place as a rightful disruptor in the industry. 5G will change the way we live, how we go about our daily activities, and what we achieve as humankind. It truly is a big deal. But since the technology is new, most of the biggest changes are expected to emerge in the future. It is predicted that 5G will open up a world of possibilities such as remote surgical operations, self-driving cars, VR game streaming, holographic calls, smarter cities, and enhanced augmented reality.
For now, we know what 5G can do - it can do everything 4G can but better and faster. It reaches internet speeds that are 10 times faster than 4G, averaging 200Mbps and peaking above 1Gbps. It also reduces latency for enhanced real-time connectivity and offers better bandwidth to handle many more connected devices.
5G is not just for smartphones - it is also a great option for home use and could rival fibre connectivity in the near future. Through devices such as indoor routers, 5G is becoming popular in homes in areas with 5G coverage and has many advantages such as reduced video buffering, uninterrupted HD video streaming and less congestion.
Are you currently looking for a high-speed internet package? Use our quick and easy internet comparison tool to find the best Fibre and LTE deals in your neighbourhood.