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Private 5G, Public 5G and Wi-Fi: what’s the difference?

Private 5G vs. Public 5G vs. Wi-Fi: Key Differences Between Networks

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Promising higher security, stronger digital connectivity and better mobility than existing services such as Wi-Fi and wired networks – plus greater control and more specific reach than public networks – it’s easy to see why private 5G is creating such a hype across many industries. Some businesses have even started the process of rolling out this game-changing digital connectivity to deliver significant ROI – in fact, the unique benefits of private 5G could unlock £530bn of value in manufacturing by 2030. But is the hype warranted?

In short, yes. Heralded as the true enabler of IoT, AI, and Industry 4.0, private 5G provides:

  • Unified connectivity
  • High multi-user capabilities
  • Specific coverage and capacity
  • One dedicated network
  • High, predictable performance
  • Improved security and mobility
  • Enhanced bandwidths
  • Faster transmission of greater amounts of data
  • Coverage precisely where needed (inside and outside)

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IoT: 7 billion connected devices

Over the years, connectivity has evolved from just providing access to the internet to powering complex infrastructures within businesses – such as smart manufacturing and agritech – who are now relying on the IoT technology to implement Industry 4.0 efficiently. But with this growing number of devices and data comes a need for new and better network performance levels. And this is where existing network solutions just can’t keep up with the demand.

Also, when you deploy your own private 5G network, you can gain full control of your own connectivity, allowing your business to handle critical communications, adopt cutting-edge technologies, and accelerate your digital transformation. We will explore the difference between Wi-Fi and private 5G in the following sections. 

Private 5G

What makes the difference between public and private 5G is that the latter is a wireless network solely operating to connect a limited number of devices that belong to a company or any other organisation. This private wireless network offers lower latency and increased reliability, which has contributed to further development of industries such as AR or VR, robots, electronic vehicles and others. The bands mostly depend on the location: in the US, the band goes up to 7125 MHz, in Germany, to 3800 MHz, whereas in France it goes up to 2620 MHz. 

Public 5G

While public 5G still provides the same benefits – reliability, low latency and high speed – the security and flexibility will suffer. In private 5G vs public 5G, the latter does not offer the customisability and privacy that your business might require. Since the network is public, data is transmitted over the Internet, so you might be more vulnerable to cyber-attacks. Moreover, the quality of the network, particularly indoors, depends on your location and proximity to the cell tower. As a result, you might experience more issues than organisations that opted for the private 5G option. The frequency bands also depend on the location and other factors but mostly range from 3300 to 3800 MHz.  

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Wi-Fi Network

Wi-Fi is a wireless networking technology that connects devices with a router, either directly or indirectly. In 5G vs Wi-Fi, the latter is an older technology that was invented in 1997 and can pose security threats to your business. If hackers gain access to the network name (SSID) and password, they will be able to penetrate your services and collect sensitive information. Even though Wi-Fi 6 might be promising, the privacy issue is not likely to be resolved in the near future. However, Wi-Fi is a cheaper option that might be sufficient for small businesses that do not have a lot of important data to protect. The range of Wi-Fi bands is quite large and goes from 2400 MHz to 5000 Mhz.

Private 5G, Public 5G & Wi-Fi: Main Differences Between Networks

In this section, we will look into the difference between private and public 5G and Wi-Fi. When it comes to business operations, what you need to worry about first and foremost is the security. Hacker attacks will continue to occur, and you need to do everything possible to minimise them. If we compare private and public 5G vs Wi-Fi, your business will be a lot more protected with 5G. The 5G models also provide more flexibility and mobility as they cover a much larger range. 

Another win for 5G in the public and private 5G vs Wi-Fi competition is the capacity. 5G is able to connect a lot more devices compared to Wi-Fi, which can be very beneficial to larger companies. Reliability is another issue that separates public and private 5G with Wi-Fi networks. Whenever you move inside the office, your device might suddenly disconnect from one access point to another and the connection will disappear for a few seconds. With 5G versus Wi-Fi, the handoff is smooth and barely recognisable. 

Finally, let’s explore the difference between Wi-Fi and public 5G when it comes to costs. Wi-Fi networks are usually more affordable than private or public 5G, which makes them more accessible to smaller businesses. We can confidently state that, when it comes to private 5G and Wi-Fi networks, the former is more secure, reliable, stable, consistent, and capacious. 


If you are looking for a more secure and flexible solution appropriate for office, consider acquiring a private 5G network for your organisation. Especially if your business is growing and accumulating more sensitive data, internal staff and clients, you will certainly benefit from the capacities of a 5G technology. Solve the inadequacies of existing mobile and network capabilities with Nokia Digital Automation Cloud (DAC) – a high-performance, end-to-end, secure and simple private wireless network platform that’s simple to install with UCtel. Call us at 0333 344 4417 or email to find out more.


Find answer below or contact us to ask more about UCtel

What is the difference between private 5G and public 5G?

Private 5G is privately owned and controlled by a company, which guarantees higher security and flexibility. Public 5G also delivers higher speeds and lower latency but is publicly shared, which can jeopardize data protection. 

What is the difference between Wi-Fi and 5G?

Wi-Fi is an older technology in comparison with 5G and provides lower speeds and poorer security. Moreover, in Wi-Fi versus 5G, Wi-Fi networks lack the capacity and cannot cover as many devices as 5G.

Is 5G more secure than Wi-Fi?

When it comes to Wi-Fi vs 5G, the former can pose a threat to your business by offering a relatively simple way of hijacking your security and allowing hackers to gain access to your information.

Contact the team to discover how UCtel can improve your digital connectivity and communications.

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