5G vs Fiber

Fiber and 5G are still in early stage of development, especially with 5G which is the newbie in Internet market. 5G (5th generation of wireless networking) has been talk of IT world especially due to its low deployment cost and high bandwidth. 5G has great potential to grow rapidly and will surely be a tough challenge for Fiber optic communication.

In terms of technology, 5G uses radio waves for sending and receiving data while Fiber optic communication uses light to transmit data through fiber optic cables. Whereas 5G can have downlink speed upto scale of 20 Gbps and 10 Gbps uplink, practical speed measured on Fiber cables is 100 Gbps. One major drawback with using 5G technology is that each cell/station can have expanse upto few 100 of meters while Fiber provisioned signal can reach upto 70 Kms.


While 5G installation cost, rollout time and cost to end user is considerably lower than costly Fiber optic, former lags behind in terms of operational cost which is significantly higher (upto 5 times) in comparison to Fiber Optic. Fiber Optic also boast of providing much lesser response time which is not the case with 5G technology.

To summarize, table below illustrates the comparison between 2 high bandwidth technologies ie 5G and Fiber optic –

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