5G Vs Fibre: Pros, Cons and Differences

5G Vs Fibre: Pros, Cons and Differences
Friday, 9 February 2024

What is 5G?

5G is the latest generation of mobile network technology, and its newest development is bringing wireless connectivity to homes. 5G works by sending signals between cell towers to your modem. It offers faster download speeds, lower latency, and ultimately, a more reliable and efficient connection than other wireless options.

Pros of 5G Wireless 

  • Fast download speeds mean that you can stream movies and shows much quicker. 
  • Low latency means that video calls will be as close to real time as possible. Also ideal for gaming! No more lagging.
  • High bandwidth, which means more devices can be connected at the same time, so you can have people in the house streaming, gaming, and video calling simultaneously. 
  • Reliable experience with minimal dropouts. 
  • Improved experience with the Internet of Things – the smart devices throughout your home.

Cons of 5G Wireless

  • As 5G relies on cell towers, coverage can be limited and they can also be interfered with by trees or buildings blocking them. 
  • It’s still a relatively new technology so there are still developments and it could take time for all Kiwis to have access to it.

What is Fibre?

Fibre broadband is a type of internet that uses fibre optic cables instead of traditional copper cables. These fibre cables use light to transmit data between devices. Fibre allows large amounts of data to be transmitted across long distances, and delivers fast upload and download speeds, lower latency, and a consistent performance.

Benefits of Fibre

  • Better signal strength over large distances and less interference.
  • Large bandwidth so multiple devices can be connected and in use at the same time. 
  • Low latency, so it’s great for gaming and video calls for instant transmission of data. 
  • Fibre is a great choice for consistent connectivity for a range of tasks.

Cons of Fibre

  • It isn’t available everywhere – some rural communities may not have access – but most Kiwis already have access to it.
  • Where you don't have access to it and want it installed - it is best to do your homework on the costs. For most Kiwis it's free to have it installed.

Differences Between 5G Wireless and Fibre Cables

Towers vs Cables

5G uses cell towers to send and receive data, while fibre cables are made up of hundreds of tiny glass pipes that use light to transmit data. 

Speed

Is 5G or fibre faster? Well, it truly depends. Both of them offer lightning-fast speeds. But fibre is generally faster than 5G. However, for those who cannot access fibre, 5G will deliver speeds fast enough for your online activities such as internet browsing and streaming.

Distance

Each 5G tower can be separated by a few hundred metres, whereas fibre cabling can stretch distances up to 70 km. 

Latency

Both options have incredibly low latency. While fibre may have a lower latency than 5G, if you are rural, you’ll still be impressed by this near real-time speed for sending and receiving data! Video call and game until your heart’s content. 

Reliability

Fibre and 5G are both highly reliable forms of broadband. Fibre is durable against storms and delivers reliable connection. 5G works differently as there are no wires. But it provides reliability too. 5G only connects to the nearest tower so if one goes down in the area, your connection should remain intact.


While there are differences between 5G and fibre, both offer their unique benefits and no household situation is the same. 5G wireless broadband will generally suit rural households who don’t have access to fibre but who wish to enjoy the benefits of a smooth and solid connection.

The most powerful way to decide which option is best for you is to have all the information available to you by comparing

Broadband Compare allows you to compare different internet providers and plans side-by-side so you can see which option and offering will suit your individual needs and interests best. You can even find the best deal and save money in the long run. Broadband Compare is free to use! You may even be able to enjoy joining perks that many providers offer, such as freebies, discounts on the first few months, and free subscriptions to streaming platforms.

To do so, follow these simple steps: 

  • Go to Broadband Compare
  • Type in your address
  • Hit enter.
  • Browse all the different plans available to you & compare them side-by-side.
  • Find one you like and switch!

Compare Fibre Plans

Visit Broadband Compare

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