5G Glossary of Terms

Find out more about the phrases and terms used to talk about the new 5G technology by clicking on any of the expressions below.


2G is the second generation of mobile technology and is suitable for making calls and sending text messages.


3G is the third generation of mobile technology which makes it possible to access the internet more effectively through a mobile phone.


4G is the fourth generation of mobile technology, succeeding 3G. 4G services make it much quicker to use the internet on mobiles, tablets and laptops. 4G

is ideally suited for services which demand more capacity and data like video streaming, mapping and social networking sites.


4G+ is an upgrade to 4G mobile technology which allows for faster data speeds than standard 4G because of the network’s increased capacity.


5G is the next generation of mobile technology providing faster data speeds, improved connections and better coverage. The fifth generation of mobile technology will improve your mobile experience. It will give you a more reliable mobile connection and the ability to instantly open apps and load websites, reliability when playing games online and the ability to connect with smart home devices.

5G and health

Sure is committed to safety and our current and future mobile networks will continue to meet the safety standards set by the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation (ICNIRP) which are regulated and independently verified by CICRA in the Channel. Islands.  For more information on CICRA’s responsibilities in relation to 5G please refer to health information on their website.

Augmented reality (AR)

Augmented reality (AR) is an interactive experience of a real-world environment where the objects that reside in the real world are enhanced by computer-generated perceptual information.


Bandwidth describes the maximum data transfer rate of a network or Internet connection. It measures how much data can be sent over a specific connection in a given amount of time.

Communications Commission

The Communications Commission is a statutory board of the Isle of Man Government. The commission is the regulatory and competition authority for the telecommunications industry in the Isle of Man.


Mobile calls, texts and data are transmitted over radio frequencies, in the same way that your radio picks up FM stations from the air or your satellite dish picks up TV stations.5G frequencies are covered by international and national guidelines and regulations. These international guidelines also apply to existing 2G, 3G and 4G technologies and other radio frequencies such as radio and TV transmissions.


This stands for ‘Gigabits per second’. It’s a measurement of data speed. 5G will work at average speeds of 150-200Mbps, and peak speeds will reach 1Gbps.

International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation (ICNIRP)

An independent organisation, the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) provides scientific advice and guidance on the health and environmental effects of non-ionizing radiation (NIR) to protect people and the environment from detrimental NIR exposure. In July 2018, the International Commission on Non- Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) produced a draft revision of their guidelines concluding that none of the frequencies used by mobile communications, including 5G, required amendments to their guidelines. The final guidelines are expected in November 2019.

Internet of Things (IoT)

This refers to connected devices beyond smartphones and computers. Things like lights, roads, cars, household appliances and more.


The time it takes for a network to respond to information. The lower the latency the quicker it will be to do things via the mobile network.


This stands for ‘Megabits per second’; the number of bits transferred per second over an internet connection.

Mobile antenna

Antennas send and receive information (phones calls, texts and data transmissions) from devices connected to the mobile network via radio waves.

Mobile data

Mobile data is internet content delivered to mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets.

This can include emails, web browsing, app updates, using WhatsApp and downloading videos and music – everything you do on your phone.

Mobile mast

This is a support structure that houses mobile antennas.

Network slicing

A 5G network can be ‘sliced’, which means operators like Sure can isolate parts of the network and dedicate them to specific tasks. For example, one part of the network can be used for phones connecting to the internet and another part could be used for driverless cars when that technology is available in the island.


This is the UK’s Office of Communications. It’s a government-approved regulatory and competition authority for the telecommunications industry.


Spectrum relates to the radio frequencies allocated to the mobile industry and other sectors for communication over radio frequencies. All wireless communications signals travel via radio frequency, aka spectrum. The TV programme you watch, the radio show you listen to, the GPS device that helps get you where you’re going, and the wireless phone service you use to make phone calls and check Facebook from your smartphone -- all use invisible airwaves to transmit bits of data through the air.


Faster speeds are the result of greater data transmission rates, or throughput, which refers to the amount of data transmitted and is measured in megabytes or gigabytes.

The World Health Organisations (WHO)

A specialised agency of the United Nations that is concerned with international public health – it works worldwide to promote health and keep the world safe. “A large number of studies have been performed over the last two decades to assess whether mobile phones pose a potential health risk. To date, no adverse health effects have been established as being caused by mobile phone use.” View source.

The Channel Islands Competition and Regulatory Authorities (CICRA)

CICRA comprises the Jersey Competition Regulatory Authority (JCRA) and the Guernsey Competition and Regulatory Authority (GCRA). It is independent of the States of Jersey and Guernsey. CICRA is the government-approved regulatory and competition authority for the telecommunications industry in the Channel Islands. View source.

Virtual reality (VR)

Virtual reality (VR) is a simulated experience that can be similar to or completely different from the real world. Applications of virtual reality can include

entertainment (i.e. gaming) and educational purposes (i.e. medical or military training).