Skip navigation
5G empowering new use cases

Step in to a world of 5G

Fast, available, secure, reliable and capable

5G explained

Available in English Français Español 日本語

Ten times more powerful than 4G, 5G is creating never-before-seen opportunities for consumers, enterprises and industries. Explore the possibilities unleashed by 5G below.

What is 5G?

5G is the fifth generation of cellular networks. Up to 100 times faster than 4G, 5G is creating never-before-seen opportunities for people and businesses.  

Faster connectivity speeds, ultra-low latency and greater bandwidth is advancing societies, transforming industries and dramatically enhancing day-to-day experiences. Services that we used to see as futuristic, such as e-health, connected vehicles and traffic systems and advanced mobile cloud gaming have arrived.

With 5G technology, we can help create a smarter, safer and more sustainable future.

5G brings new capabilities that create opportunities for people, businesses and society. But what is 5G going to mean for you? Put simply: a lot.

The basics of 5G explained

How do 5G networks work?

How fast is 5G compared to 4G?

What kind of devices can 5G connect?

5G's key features and capabilities

Faster speeds

5G is designed to deliver significantly faster data rates compared to 4G, including achievable peak data download rates up to 20Gbps, with significantly improved upload rates up to 10Gbps.

Wider bandwidths

5G mid- and high-band spectrum introduces new, wider bandwidth capabilities for mobile networks. 5G multi-antenna solutions can also unlock higher capacity on any given bandwidth without the addition of new radio sites.

Efficient coverage

5G carrier aggregation and spectrum sharing make it possible to aggregate and reuse deployed sites and spectrum, enabling wider 5G coverage through existing radio sites.

Lower latency

5G reduces the time it takes for data to travel across the network to your device by a factor of five, lowering latency to a matter of milliseconds and enabling new 5G real-time applications.

Massive connections

5G is designed to manage 1000 times higher data volumes compared to 4G, making it possible to support large IoT deployments in dense traffic hotspots.

Precise positioning

5G improves positioning accuracy by one hundred-fold, delivering new possibilities for fast-moving IoT applications across manufacturing, logistics, and transport – including non-terrestrial networks.

5G vs 4G at a glance

While previous mobile generations were developed primarily to address consumer use cases, from 2G’s voice and messaging services to 3G’s web-browsing and 4G’s higher-speed data and video streaming – 5G is developed to transform not only the lives of consumers, but also entire enterprises, industries, and public infrastructures.

This is possible thanks to 5G’s support for ultra low latency, higher capacity, improved mobility and positioning. With new possibilities to move data processing away from devices and cloud servers closer to the network edge, as well as ensuring guaranteed quality of service through network slicing, 5G makes it possible to serve the exact needs and requirements of each mobile user.

Unlike previous mobile generations, 5G also introduces a new virtualized cloud-based core, enabling new AI-based automation possibilities to network and taking us closer than ever to fully autonomous intent-based networks with minimal human touch.

Comparing the performance of 5G vs 4G

  5G 4G
Peak download speed 20 Gbps 1 Gbps
Peak upload speed 10 Gbps 0.2 Gbps
Latency (shortest delay time) 1 millisecond 10 milliseconds
Availability 99.999% 99.99X%
Mobility 500 km/h 350 km/h
Positioning accuracy 1 meter 45 meters
Device density (per square mile) 2.5 million 250

5G spectrum: the key differences

5G introduces new frequency bands in the mid- and high spectrum range, unlocking entirely new bandwidth capabilities and much faster speeds across mobile networks.

Together with existing 3GPP low-band frequencies, this combination means that 5G can deliver the required coverage, quality and capacity for new services such as enhanced mobile broadband, IoT, industrial automation and mission-critical business cases.

Low-band 5G (below 1GHz)

Low-band 5G spectrum comes from a mix of re-farmed spectrum from early mobile generations (1G, 2G) and previously unused bands. Offering favorable radio wave propagation characteristics, low-band 5G is crucial in building out 5G coverage.

Mid-band 5G (1GHz to 6GHz)

Mid-band 5G spectrum is regarded as 5G’s ‘backbone’, combining a favorable combination of good propagation characteristics (coverage) and wider bandwidths (capacity). This includes existing 3G/4G bands, as well as new spectrum licensed for mobile services.

High-band 5G (24.25GHz to 86GHz)

High-band 5G spectrum is completely new for 5G and enables the launch of high-performance 5G services in dedicated zones. Services that rely on 5G high band require denser deployments of ‘small cell’ solutions to achieve the required high-capacity indoor- and outdoor coverage.

Top picks: gamechanging 5G technologies and use cases

5G will do much more than significantly improve your network connection. It provides new opportunities, enabling us to deliver groundbreaking solutions that reach across society.

5G Fixed Wireless Access

5G’s high-speed, high-capacity coverage makes it an efficient and scalable alternative to traditional fixed broadband services both at home and across workplaces. 5G fixed wireless access (FWA) makes it possible to connect underserved urban and rural areas, eliminate the need for costly deep-fiber fixed access infrastructure, and offer more capacity for remote working and innovative indoor use cases.

5G Internet of Things (IoT)

5G is a platform to connect everything that can be connected, from everday wearables to industrial machinery, and delivery drones to logistical robots. By 2029, we estimate that there will be nearly 40 billion connected IoT devices in the world – each intelligently fusing the real world with the limitless possibilities of cyber worlds. This includes 5G RedCap devices, the driving force behind the next wave of 5G devices – bringing all the benefits of 5G to consumer and enterprise technologies, with less complexity.

Immersive technologies

5G’s enhanced performance features make it possible to truly merge physical and digital worlds through new extended reality (XR) technologies. 5G can deliver more realistic, more mobile immersive experiences with lighter devices, new angles and interactions for live, and remote, event spectators, and a pathway to new sensory experiences, like touch, through devices.

Explore other 5G use cases.

Connected vehicle technology is accelerating, powered by 5G. Faster, safer, more accessible and more secure – our technology is driving a driverless future.

Stefano Sorrentino
Principal Researcher, Radio – Ericsson Research

Sheng-Ann Yu
Head of Solution Line Distributed Cloud – Ericsson

IoT in logistics is bringing end-to-end, uninterrupted visibility of goods. We make it easy our advanced technologies and global partnership ecosystem.

Jan Höller
Research Fellow – Ericsson

Eva Fogelström
Director, Security – Ericsson Research

Connected homes are smart home technology are easily enabled with our fixed wireless access solutions. Lower cost per gigabyte and faster time to market. Easy.

Håkan Olofsson
Head of New Concepts Program – Ericsson

Smart stadiums and smart venues are going much larger than live. We’re multiplying network capacity and we’re advancing multi-sensory viewing capabilities.

Peter Marshall
5G Principal Lead for Kings College, London – Ericsson

Immersive experience technology is reaching new heights, elevated by 5G. We’re cutting the cord and opening the door to a world you can see, traverse and feel.

Alvin Jude
Researcher – Ericsson

Diego González Morín
Researcher, Devices Technologies – Ericsson

IoT in sports to industrial IoT: our connectivity and device management solutions make it easy to unleash the power of things. Get ready to transform the world.

Antony Beswick
Senior Product and Portfolio Manager – Ericsson

Bodil Josefsson
IoT Security Offering Lead – Ericsson

Featured 5G applications explained

How can 5G help your car to see around corners?

How can 5G revolutionize the gaming industry?

How can 5G help to feed a growing population?

Explore what's happening today across 5G markets

5G for consumers

Explore how 5G is transforming consumer markets through gamechanging possibilities for live events, fixed wireless access and new immersive experiences.

5G for business

Explore how businesses, enterprises, and entire industries are benefiting from 5G’s real-time data-driven automation and never-seen-before levels of agility.

5G for service providers

Explore which innovative network technologies are needed to deliver 5G’s strong traffic growth and new services while reducing carbon emissions.

Stay up to date with the latest 5G forecasts

5G uptake is growing worldwide and remains strong even in the face of ongoing economic challenges and geopolitical unrest in some markets.

85 percent of the global population are expected to have 5G coverage access by the end of 2029, with global 5G subscriptions forecast to top 5.3 billion in the same year.

Explore more 5G forecasts in the Ericsson Mobility Report.

5 .6bn
5G mobile subscriptions are set to reach nearly 5.6 billion in 2029.
40 %
Speed-based tariffs are now offered by 40 percent of FWA service providers.
< 1 .5 s
Measurements from a leading service provider show that 97 percent of all user activities on 5G mid-band achieved a time-to-content of less than 1.5 seconds.

5G: a generation unlike any other

5G is not an evolution of previous mobile generations, it’s a revolution: designed from scratch to deliver new benchmarks for security and energy efficiency.

More energy efficient

5G is the most energy efficient of all mobile generations, capable of reducing network power consumption and improving device battery lifetime by a factor of ten. The development of high-performance Ericsson Silicon processors has played a key role in improving the weight- and energy efficiency of network hardware also by a factor of ten from 2016 to 2022.

Learn more

More secure

5G is most secure mobile network ever, with security built-in as part of the standardization process to ensure higher reliability and availability. With such a secure baseline, 5G can facilitate the widespread digitization, automation, and connectivity of machines, robots, and transport solutions – marking the beginning of a new network security era.

Learn more

More intelligent

5G marks an era of cloud-native networks, making it possible to deploy AI-based software across all network domains – from the network core to the RAN, and the network edge. Through advanced AI software solutions such as anomaly detection, dynamic resource allocation, quality-of-service optimization, and more, AI is spearheading new ways to enhance the performance, security, and customer and service experience of today’s networks.

Learn more

Learn more about today’s network evolution

5G standalone

5G standalone unleashes 5G at its very best. Learn more about key benefits, business cases, and capabilities including super-fast speeds and higher bitrates.

AI in networks

AI is radically transforming network evolution, unleashing networks that are smarter and more efficient, secure, resilient, and innovative. Learn everything you need to know to get ahead.

Monetizing APIs

Open network APIs are key to unlocking 5G’s enhanced applications and services. Find out just how this can unleash new revenue opportunities for developers, service providers and enterprises.

Open RAN

The evolution to Open RAN is key to meeting ever-increasing demands on networks. Learn more about the role of cloudification, open fronthaul, and open management for network programmability in this critical transformation.

5G Advanced

5G Advanced is the next era of 5G. Learn more about new powerful network features that makes it possible to automate, innovate, and monetize with 5G in entirely new ways.


The journey to 6G is already well underway. Learn more about Ericsson’s research journey towards a more human-friendly, sustainable and efficient 6G-powered world.

5G news

From the Ericsson blog