What to choose between 4G and 5G in Luxembourg?

1 June 2022
4G or 5G: which mobile package to choose in Luxembourg?

Do you live or work in Luxembourg and are you hesitating to take out a brand new 5G mobile package? If so, read this article: you'll know which type of package is best for your situation.

4G VS 5G: how it works

How do mobile networks work?

Unlike the fixed-line telephone of the 1980s, mobile networks do not need cables to operate. They use radio frequencies to transmit data... in the air. It is thanks to these frequencies that we can make our calls, listen to music or watch videos, wherever we are.

The higher the frequency bands used, the faster the electromagnetic waves and the higher the download or upload speed.

GSM, UMTS, LTE... An overview of the technologies used to date

It was only in the 2010s that mobile data really began to be democratised, with a very strong acceleration from 2015. The emergence of unlimited packages has largely contributed to the development of 3G. However, the technologies used in recent years are very different.

  • GSM technology (Global System for Mobile Communications) operates on bands from 900 MHz to 1900 MHz. It only allows you to make calls and send texts.
  • 3G technology (or UMTS, for Universal Mobile Telecommunications System) occupies the 900 MHz to 2100 MHz bands. 3G can reach speeds of 20 Mbit/s download. Today this may seem ridiculously low, but at the time it was a revolution.
  • 4G technology (or LTE, for Long Term Evolution) operates on much more precise bands: 700, 800, 1800 and 2600 MHz. But it is 4G+ (or LTE Advanded) in particular that marks a breakthrough: while in theory it is capable of reaching 1 Gb/s download, practice shows that it rarely achieves more than 300 Mbit/s. This is already more than 10 times the maximum speed achievable with 3G.

What is the difference between 4G and 5G?

5G is a radical game changer. While it uses some of the frequencies of 4G, it is also capable of using frequencies that are far higher than anything we have known before. We are no longer talking in megahertz, but in gigahertz (or 1000 MHz).

  • Frequencies : This technology uses high frequencies between 30 and 300 GHz, as well as 3.5 GHz (the frequencies generally used by WiFi boxes).
  • The flow : This new way of exploiting frequencies allows 5G to reach record theoretical data rates of up to 20 Gbit/s. This is a 20 times the theoretical maximum speed of 4G+.
  • 5G latency : This technology has a higher download speed, but it is also much more reactive. This is called "latency": the delay between phones and servers that can cause slowdowns, outages or lost connections. 4G latency is 10 milliseconds. 5G latency is 10 times lower: only 1 ms.

In short, 5G has enormous potential and can literally increase your download, streaming, video calling and file sending speeds tenfold. But is it a good choice?

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Is a 5G package required in Luxembourg?

Maximum achievable flow rate

Each mobile provider uses its own term to define the maximum speed achievable with its 5G offering.

  • POST will, for example, talk about "225 Mbit/s", "500 Mbit/s" and "1Gbit/s" or "1.5 Gbit/s" speeds.
  • Tango will talk about 5G "Fast" and "Max" (speeds from 250 Mbit/s to 1.5 Gbit/s)

The maximum achievable flow rate is therefore, at the time of writing, of 1.5 Gbps. That's a bit more than the theoretical maximum speed of 4G+. Your connection will certainly be much faster, but it will still be a long way from the technology's initial promise of 20 Gbps download speeds.

5G coverage in Luxembourg

The other point to consider is mobile coverage. There is no point in having such a package if you cannot use it fully on a daily basis.

  • If you live in the capitalIn this case, you are perfectly eligible for this technology. The operators have concentrated their.
  • If you live near the border with FranceThere is also good coverage in Esch-sur-Alzette.
  • If you live in the north of the Grand Duchy, it will be more complicated. Few operators have deployed antennas in the region. It is even difficult to get 4G in some areas in the north.

To find out exactly where you can get 5G, please visit this map of coverage in the Grand Duchy. You will then know which operator to choose if you want to take out a mobile package.

4G or 5G: the conclusion

In conclusion: there is no doubt that this new technology is a real revolution in the uses. It could allow you to increase your download speeds by 10, 20 or 50 times. But for the moment, the Grand Duchy is still in the early stages of deployment. Few areas are covered yet, and 5G only offers a maximum speed of 1.5 Gbps (compared to a theoretical maximum of 20 Gbps).

However, 5G deployment is accelerating in the Grand Duchy: the leading operator POST has committed to cover 90% of the territory by 2025.

Before making your decision, we therefore recommend that you carefully study this map of 4G and 5G coverageand compare mobile offers available this month. You will be able to make the best decision according to your budget and your desires.

Map of 4G and 5G networks
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Map of 4G and 5G mobile coverage in Luxembourg

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is 5G?

5G is an Internet communications protocol that allows mobile devices to send and receive data at very high speeds. In theory, 5G download speeds can reach up to 20 Gb/s. In Luxembourg, it is currently limited to 1.5 Gb/s.

What is 4G and 5G?

4G is a slower protocol for receiving and sending Internet data than 5G. 4G offers reception speeds of up to 300 Mbit/s. In comparison, 5G can go up to 1.5 Gbps in Luxembourg (and up to 20 Gbps in other countries).

What speeds in 5G?

In theory, you can reach up to 20 Gbit/s for downloads. In reality, 5G is currently limited to 1.5 Gbit/s in Luxembourg.

What will 5G change?

This technology offers ultra-fast Internet: it will revolutionise communication by making connected objects faster and more efficient, or by allowing doctors to perform surgery remotely, for example. 5G holds great promise for many industries, but its deployment takes time.

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