What’s the Difference between 5G and 5GHz Wi-Fi?

5G? 5G Wi-Fi? Are they the same thing?

This is a fairly common question that we hear from customers, friends, and family. It’s a fair question when such topics are not part of our daily concerns, and your experts are Soundwave are here to help! Read on to learn more about 5G!

Both 5G and 5GHz Wi-Fi are used for wireless connectivity

Using your smartphone on the go, listening to streaming music on your laptop, and chillaxing to music on your Sonos wireless speakers all require a connection. It’s this connection that forms the internet that we all know and love.

But there are different kinds of connectivity. Cell phone networks are one kind of connection, and the networks at home, work, and school are other forms of connectivity. When we talk about 5G, we need to specify what we’re talking about.

What is 5G?

What does 5G mean? In the context of cell phones, 5G refers to the 5th generation of cellular standards. This is basically dealing with the question of “how do we use the radio frequencies to talk to each other?” If you’ve ever used walkie-talkies, you may know that having too many people on the same frequency makes it near impossible to have a conversation. Cell phones face the same problem, so they use standards to control how our smartphones transmit data across the radio frequencies.

The 5G network standards are designed to make data traffic faster, meaning that you spend less time buffering videos on the go and more time catching up on your favorite media.

What is 5G Wi-Fi?

What is 5G for wi-fi? Well, it refers to 5 GHz, which is a measure of frequency. The 5GHz frequency refers to a range of radio frequencies used by electronic devices to communicate.

Like cell phone networks and digital television, Wi-Fi relies on radio frequencies. Since all radio frequencies exist in a spectrum, and cell phones, digital television, and other devices are all using that spectrum, Wi-Fi has a very narrow range of frequencies that it can use. With more people using Wi-Fi, there has been a lot of congestion on local networks at homes, workplaces, and schools.

The 5GHz standard for Wi-Fi devices results in faster data transfer, much like the cellular standards do for cell phones and other mobile devices. Since Wi-Fi has a narrow band of radio frequencies available, the 5GHz Wi-Fi standards create more channels for users to use in transferring data, which relieves congestion and improves the wireless experience.

By the way, if you want to know the difference between 5GHz and 2.4GHz Wi-Fi, check out our article here!

Why do people say “5G Wi-Fi”?

This is the part that can be confusing, and it’s due to our habit of shortening long phrases. 5 GHz Wi-Fi was a thing when cell phone standards were in the 3rd and 4th generations (3G and 4G). Since we didn’t have 5th-generation cellular standards at the time, it was often easier to say “5G Wi-Fi”. Now that we have 5G cell phone standards, it’s a bit confusing to say 5G Wi-Fi (but we’re probably going to keep saying it).

Putting it all together, we have standards for wireless communication on all the networks we use. These standards can be updated to make life better, and when they get updated in cellular devices we refer to this as a “generation”, or “G”. When we talk about Wi-Fi devices, we usually need to know what range of radio frequencies they operate on, and so “GHz” is used. Sometimes people shorten “GHz” to “G”, and that can create confusion.

Making topics like this easier to understand is just one of the ways that your audio and visual experts at Soundwave help you. If you have other burning questions that you want to know more about, send us an email at marketing@soundwaveinc.com and we’ll get the answer to you ASAP!


What’s the Difference Between 5G and 5GHz Wi-Fi? (howtogeek.com)
Radio spectrum – Wikipedia
Cellular network – Wikipedia
Wi-Fi – Wikipedia

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