Mobile 5G vs Fixed 5G: What’s The Difference?

5G is on its way, and it’s almost here! Many large telecom providers in the United States are expecting to launch their own 5G networks by early 2020 nationwide, which should cover about 200 million people at launch. That should be for Mobile 5G and Fixed 5G. What’s the difference between the two? There’s a lot, but at the heart of each is Internet access for all of your devices.

But if you’re curious about what the intricate difference is between Mobile 5G and Fixed 5G, follow along with us below.

What’s the difference?

The most significant difference is that Mobile 5G provides your mobile device(s) with a speedy Internet connection on the go, and Fixed 5G provides you with Internet access at your home. Sort of in the same way that an Internet Service Provider (ISP) would bring you Internet access to your devices at home.

Fixed 5G

We don’t know all of the details that surround Fixed 5G yet, but there are some initial pros that we can think of here. All of your devices at home are going to get Internet access, for starters. Then, because 5G has much less latency and ping — as well as less downtime — you’re going to get a more reliable connection overall.

Another thing with Fixed 5G is that you’re more likely to get Unlimited data. Many Internet Service Providers (ISPs) don’t offer plans like that, but in theory, you should be able to tie into a telecom provider’s unlimited data plans.

Mobile 5G

Mobile 5G, as you know, is for the Internet outside the home. With Mobile 5G, there’s going to be no hardware installation needed on your end — except for the need for purchasing a new, 5G-capable mobile device.

Additionally, Mobile 5G continues to work when you leave home, and like 4G LTE, you should be able to use hotspot and tethering style access to provide Internet connection to other devices as well.

The cons with Mobile 5G

There’s a lot of awesome things that come with Mobile and Fixed 5G connections. There’s the easy setup — buy a device, insert your SIM, and go — as well as the ability to have Internet, well, everywhere. At least within the telecom provider’s coverage area.

On the con side of things, 5G is so much faster, so if you don’t have an unlimited plan, you’re going to burn through your data allotment quick. And even if you have Unlimited, you’ll run through your high-speed data fast, too. It’s just so easy to get overage charges and other fees with having a connection this fast. There are no bottlenecks to stop it!

The other small con is that Mobile 5G has a much weaker signal range, which means that you could likely experience inadequate coverage in some areas as well.

The cons with Fixed 5G

The biggest drawback with Fixed 5G is the specialized hardware that you need. There’s no buying a 5G-enabled device, and you’re good to go. Nope. Instead, you’ll need to work with your telecom provider to get a special modem and antenna. They have to install the equipment either on the outside or inside of your home, and that is how the 5G signal gets to your home.

You’ll likely need a new router as well.

There is, however, also a benefit to this. 5G typically doesn’t work that well indoors because of interference — i.e., due to walls. But since the signal is between your modem/antenna and the tower/cell, you should actually get a perfect connection indoors. It should stay constant and reliable.

How to get Mobile 5G or Fixed 5G

As with any service like this, you’ll have to consult your telecom provider for Mobile 5G. As far as on-the-go access like that goes, you’ll also need to make sure that you have a compatible 5G-equipped phone from them as well.

It’s worth noting that you may be hard-pressed getting a Mobile 5G plan, or even getting Mobile 5G to work — as of this writing, there are very few cities available where 5G is live.

You’ll have to consult them about Fixed 5G plans as well. Prices will likely vary, especially when it comes to having to get the new equipment hooked up to your home for it to work. Fixed 5G is still very difficult to understand because most carriers have only just started testing this in small sectors around the United States.


As you can see, there are some pretty significant differences between Mobile 5G and Fixed 5G. As discussed, Mobile 5G can bring your mobile devices Internet access from anywhere. Fixed 5G, on the other hand, is for Internet access inside of your home. They both have their pros and cons, but one of the things that we really love about Fixed 5G is that it should work to bring, allegedly, better Internet to people in underserved areas as far as tech goes.

What are you looking forward to about Mobile 5G and Fixed 5G? Let us know in the comments section below!

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