3G, 5G or LTE? Wireless Technology Explained

Wireless internet is a truly revolutionary technology. While the internet has changed the way that the world works, wireless internet technology has allowed even the most out of reach places and people to gain access to the web and all of its wonders.

Wireless technology comprises of numerous elements and it is available via a number of channels. The different types of wireless technology, though they make life that little bit easier, can also be a little bit confusing. The many varieties all have their own advantages and disadvantages, and each has its place, depending on where it is being used.

Wireless technology in a nutshell

Wireless internet, or Wi-Fi, provides the means to transmit communication and data information between two or more devices. There are no complicated cables, there is no need for pricey network infrastructure, and the strength of the signal that makes Wi-Fi possible remains as strong as a fixed network internet connection would have.

You don’t necessarily need to know exactly what makes Wi-Fi tick, you simply need to know that with a package from your preferred ISP, a Wi-Fi router, and a device that is able to connect via a wireless connection, you can get connected to the web.

Devices are able to connect to the Wi-Fi router when they are within range of the router, and when you have the necessary password to connect to it. Once you have made the connection, you will automatically connect to the network each time you are in range.

Wi-Fi packages are generally priced in much the same way as your other internet connectivity options, which makes them affordable for both home and business use. With Wi-Fi being so incredibly popular these days and so easy to set up, you could order your internet package today and be connected by the following week!

Wi-Fi Networks

Wireless internet isn’t going anywhere soon. In fact, in the coming years it looks set to only grow in popularity and as it does, you are likely to become one of the many people who either move over to Wi-Fi for the first time or who seeks to better their access to the web.

Like all accessibility, Wi-Fi works through a network. This network can be partly wired or it can comprise of a mobile frequency.

Those who depend on the partly wired network will have a line brought into the home or office, and then connected to a Wi-Fi capable router which has aerials which will transmit the signal to wherever it is needed.

The Wi-Fi networks which rely on a mobile signal simply need to be put in place and turned on. Should there be no signal, something which can happen if there is no network tower nearby, then this form of Wi-Fi won’t be effective.

This kind of network is often referred to as a mobile network. Mobile networks are by and large among the most used on the planet. They are provided by mobile phone companies and this enables their users to connect to the web through the use of a data network. This type of network has one or two downsides, the most obvious being the fact that data prices in South Africa are incredibly high.


To best determine the type of Wi-Fi network will be most suitable to your needs, you should have a chat with an internet service provider, who should be able to give you the information needed to make a good decision.

What is the difference between 3G, 5G and LTE?

The use of mobile devices has absolutely taken the world by storm. A smartphone is about as good as a computer and since these devices can be connected to the web via mobile data networks, people can stay connected wherever they go.

While this kind of internet connectivity has opened the world of information and entertainment up for millions across the world, some networks are better than others.

3G Networks

3G stands for 3rd generation and it is a form of wireless mobile telecommunications. It is a fairly versatile network, as it can be used on various devices and it can be used in both the home and the business environment.

3G is, however, a fairly older network, especially when you take into consideration just how fast this technology evolves and changes. While the network is mostly used on smartphone and tablet devices, the frequency can also be transmitted through a dongle, which is a device which can be slotted into a USB port on the device you are using, such as a laptop.

Why use 3G?

  • It is widely available.
  • High bandwidth which makes it quick and easy to access the web.
  • It is always online and ready to use.

5G Network

This 5th generation technology is a massive step up from 3G but, given the events of the last year, it has become a bit controversial. The controversy is actually based on a myth that was spread around the world and resulted in mass hysteria during 2020, linking 5G to the Coronavirus Pandemic. The theory was that 5G could spread the virus and as the hysteria took hold, newly installed 5G towers were torn down and burnt.

Luckily, the panic has passed as the myth was cleared up. 5G is now being given an opportunity to shine and is slowly becoming available all over South Africa.

Why use 5G?

  • It is so much faster than the previous generations of this technology.
  • Overall better connectivity
  • Higher device capacity which allows more devices to connect without the speed being compromised.

LTE Network

LTE stands for Long-Term Evolution, and it is the standard wireless connection available from network companies. While LTE is the standard, it is actually a lot faster than 3G although it is much slower than 5G. When your device cannot connect to a 3, 4 or 5G network, it will generally, automatically, switch to the LTE network. Like the other networks, this one is flexible and versatile, and perfect for home and office use.

Why use LTE?

  • It is, economically speaking, a better choice.
  • LTE offers really wide coverage.
  • It requires no installation.

At Imaginet, we are dedicated to helping our clients access the web through the best possible means. We can provide you with expert advice, and a selection of useful internet packages that will both get you and keep you online.