EE Community Team

What’s the difference between 4G and 5G?

It’s not the end for 4G


5G is not a replacement for 4G – not in the same way that 4G replaced 3G anyway.  


4G is still the bedrock of our network. We’ll continue to invest in 4G and we’re building new 4G networks in rural parts of the UK every day.


5G will work hand-in-hand with 4G, providing more speed and capacity, and less lag, in the busiest parts of the biggest cities in the UK. When you connect to 5G on EE, you’re actually connecting to both the 4G and 5G parts of the network at the same time – giving you the combined power of all of that 4G and 5G capacity. 





5G will bring faster speeds and greater capacity


The fastest 4G networks can deliver download speeds as high as 400Mbps (that’s megabits per second). 5G will break the 1Gbps barrier (the ‘Gb’ stands for gigabits, so that’s an incredible 1000Mbps). And you can expect 5G speeds to get even faster over time.


With 5G there’ll be much less waiting around to download entire box-sets and the latest films. Plus, you can expect more reliable streaming of TV shows and sporting events, as well as more reliable, higher quality video calls with friends and family.


That’s because 5G mainly uses higher frequencies than 4G – and these frequencies are faster and can carry more information. 5G will also support more devices – or SmartThings – being used at the same time.


You may have experienced a slow connection before, when too many people are trying to use a network in one place at one time. Wishing friends and family a Happy New Year can be tricky on New Year’s Eve and connecting to a network in busy places like music festival sites, sports stadiums and train stations isn’t always straightforward. But with our 5G network, more people will be able to connect at the same time in busy areas.



Instant connections


Improved latency, where applications and devices using 5G will work almost instantaneously, means there’ll be no noticeable delay when loading webpages and videos, playing high-res games and launching apps. This almost instantaneous connection also opens the door to new and improved augmented reality experiences and gaming, and a better connection to all your smart home devices.


With 5G, the UK’s number one network will get even better.


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by Grand Master
Grand Master

Re: What’s the difference between 4G and 5G?

Excellent article. 


My only worry is the cost as this will need to be passed onto us the consumers.


It also means changing equipment to the latest device, if you want to use 5G, or stick with 4G. 



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by ukperson Established Contributor
Established Contributor

Re: What’s the difference between 4G and 5G?

as the 5g tech is based off LTE, does it support 5g calling or does it just use VoLTE 4g standby connection, as i assume due to the not always constant 5G signal the 4G will be kept on fast change over

EE Community Support Team

Re: What’s the difference between 4G and 5G?

Hi @ukperson,


Your phone will automatically switch to 4G when making or receiving a call.


Thanks for your question. 🙂



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