5G and 5 GHz Wi-Fi are both used for wireless connectivity, but they do not have anything else in common. Anyone referring to "5G Wi-Fi" actually means "5 GHz Wi-Fi", which is different from the 5G Cellular (Mobile Phone) standard.
5G is Cellular (Mobile Phone) standard and is the successor to 4G and 3G. 5G stands for "fifth generation," as it is the fifth generation of the cellular standard (nothing to do with the radio frequency it uses).
While 5G is an exciting new standard, it has nothing to do with Wi-Fi. 5G is used for cellular connections. Future smartphones may support both 5G and 5 GHz Wi-Fi, but current smartphones only support 4G Cellular Phone Standard and both Wi-Fi Bands, 5 GHz and 2.4 GHz.
Wi-Fi has two frequency bands you can use: 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz. 5 GHz is the newer one.
GHz (Gigahertz) and MHz (Megahertz) are units of measurement for AC (alternating current) or EM (electromagnetic) wave frequencies. 1 Ghz is equal to 1,000,000,000 (one billion) Hz (hertz). 1 MHz (Megahertz) is 1,000,000 (one Million) Hz
5 GHz Wi-Fi is great. It offers more non-overlapping channels, which makes it much less congested. It is excellent in places with a lot of Wi-Fi congestion, such as apartment buildings where every apartment has its own router and Wi-Fi network. 5 GHz Wi-Fi is also faster than 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi.
But, despite those slower speeds and increased congestion, 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi still has its advantages. 2.4 GHz covers a larger area than 5 GHz and is better at going through walls thanks to its longer radio waves. Those shorter 5 GHz radio waves make for a faster connection, but they can not cover as much ground. If you have even a reasonably modern router, it is probably a dual-band router that supports both 5 GHz and 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi at the same time.
We've seen people use the term "5G Wi-Fi" to refer to 5 GHz Wi-Fi, but that's incorrect. They mean "5GHz Wi-Fi." "5G" will refer to the new cellular standard. And, as 5G spreads, people should hopefully start being a little more precise to avoid any confusion.
A phone that works on one network will not necessarily work on another. If you're buying a phone from overseas, or planning a trip overseas, be sure to check if your phone will function on the networks in that country beforehand.
Mobile networks operate on different bandwidth frequencies measured in megahertz bands, such as 850MHz or 2100MHz. This is important, because not all mobile phones support all frequencies. In order to work, your phone's radio needs to match the local network bands for that country.
In Australia the Mobil Phone Networks operate on the following bands:
850 and 900 MHz
2100MHz (B1) – Telstra (a handful of sites), Optus, Vodafone
1800MHz (B3) – Telstra, Optus, Vodafone
850MHz (B5) – Vodafone
2600MHz (B7) – Telstra, Optus
900MHz (B8) – Telstra (a handful of sites, utilises spectrum previously used by 2G)
700MHz (B28) – Telstra, Optus
2300MHz (B40) – Optus
3500MHz (n78) – Telstra
3500MHz (n78) – Optus
More detailed information on Australia can be found on this web site:
Link: Australia Phone Networks
- This page last updated on 4 Jan 2020