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Friday, February 3, 2023

Understanding the Difference between 4G and 5G Network Architecture

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Truth be told; the 5G network architecture tends to be more complex behind the scenes than you may probably be thinking. Actually, this complexity is needed to provide better service that can be tailored to the broad range of 5G use cases. If you are contemplating switching from 4G to 5G mobile network, it is vital that you understand what is destined to come your way.

And the best way to go about this is by examining the different between 4G and 5G network architecture. Even though it might eat into your precious time, it is way better than knowing nothing when making the switch. After all, you might find it difficult to tell what you are signing up for.

To help clear some of the doubts you might be having regarding this two, in a 4G LTE network ar5chitecture, the LTE RAN and eNodeB tend to be closer together. In most cases, they are at the base or near the cell tower that is running on specialized hardware. Things tend to be different with the monolithi8c EPC as it is often centralized and further away from the eNodeB. This architecture makes high-speed, low latency end-to-end nearly impossible.

However, this is no longer the case with 5G network architecture since the infrastructure vendors have broke apart the monolithic EPC and implemented each function. This change is aimed at making sure it runs independently from each other on common, off-the-shelf-server hardware. By doing this the 5G core becomes decentralized 5G nodes and very flexible. 

No wonder 5G core functions can now be co-located together with applications in an edge datacenter.  This leads to shorter communication paths while at the same time improving end-to-end speed and latency. What is even more fascinating; the networks can be customized through network slicing.

Therefore, you can have multiple logical ‘slices’ of functionality that are optimized for specific use-cases. Keep in mind they all operate on a single physical core within the 5G network architecture. That explains why many enterprises are making the switch to 5G network. 

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