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Can you upgrade a 4G phone to 5G, for super fast Internet experience?

5G, an abbreviation for the 5th generation of cellular communications technology, provides faster Internet speeds than 3G and 4G. This is the age of 4G mobile Internet access, as more and more subscribers migrate from 4G to 5G. Sometimes, someone asks, “How do I upgrade a 4G phone to 5G?” 


5G is so much faster than 4G that it makes sense that you want to experience 5G speeds. Everything is better with 5G. Technically, it is possible to upgrade a 3G phone to 4G. But you would have to be a highly skilled electronics engineer to pull it off. Let me explain.

Is upgrade from 4G phone to 5G possible?

Is it possible to convert a 4G phone to 5G?

Can my 4G phone be upgraded to 5G?

Yes; it can be, though it isn’t so straightforward. There are currently two ways you can get it done. Let’s have a look.

The first way to upgrade a 4G phone to 5G is highly technical: it requires you to change a number of key components in the device. These components include: the modem and the processor. You would need to replace the 4G modem in your phone with a 5G modem. Also, if the built-in processor does not support 5G, you would need to replace that with a 5G-compatible unit too.

Chances are that the phone’s software already supports 4G, but you might also have to modify one or two things in that too. So, you pretty much have to dismantle your 4G phone and have these above modifications made in order to convert it to 5G. And to do that, you’d have to be a highly skilled electronics engineer or technician.


Unfortunately, these parts that you need to replace are not sold in your local market, and the expertise required to make those changes are not exactly available in the average phone repair shop. Where available, the total cost of such a conversion will make nonsense of things.

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Are you catching my drift? While it is theoretically possible to upgrade a 4G phone to 5G, it is not very pragmatic.

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You can add 5G to your 4G phone with a compatible case

Huawei P50 Pro 5G case
This case adds 5G to the Huawei P50 Pro, a 4G smartphone

The second way to upgrade a 4G phone to 5G is to use a special case. Yes; it turns out that is a thing. Using a 5G case on your 4G phone is the second way to add 5G to it. Huawei did it. Because of the US government ban, Huawei cannot make 5G phones, so all their new smartphones, including their premium flagships, do not have 5G. They are strictly 4G phones. But guess what Huawei did in the case of the P50 Pro: they got a 3rd party to manufacture a 5G case. That’s a case with inbuilt e-SIM and 5G connectivity.

Snap the case on the Huawei P50 Pro, and you have added 5G to a 4G phone. It is a brilliant idea, and I think that more manufacturers will consider it as an option. So, if your phone’s manufacturer embraces the concept, you will be able to add 5G to your 4G smartphone just by buying a compatible case. Absolutely brilliant. But if you do not have the technical skills and funds to add the components (and most people don’t), and there is no compatible 5G case for your smartphone, there is no other way to upgrade your 4G phone to 5G. At least, not yet. What do you do, then?


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Can you convert a 4G phone to 5G? T-Mobile REVVL-V 5G phone

Just Replace Your 4G Phone With A 5G Phone

If you currently own a 4G smartphone and want 5G Internet connectivity, the easy and simple way to go about it is to purchase a 5G phone to replace your existing device. Then sell or gift out your old 4G smartphone.

While it is technically possible to upgrade a 4G phone to 5G, it is largely impracticable. The process is beyond what you can do, and it would be too costly.

How To Choose A 5G Phone

Before choosing a 5G phone, be sure to confirm that it supports the LTE frequency band of the 5G mobile wireless operator that you want to use it on.

There are dozens of 5G frequency bands in use around the world by various cellular carriers. If you buy a 5G phone that does not support the 5G frequency that your operator/carrier uses, your phone will not be able to connect to that 5G network. And that would be a waste.


In addition, if you travel internationally, you should also consider what network frequency bands are supported in the countries you travel to, or intend to travel to.

If you plan to use a local SIM for 5G Internet access in those countries, you will need a phone that supports available networks there. As a rule, the more bands a smartphone supports, the better.

Now you understand that though it is possible to upgrade a 4G phone to 5G, it is mostly impractical and will cost an arm and a leg. It is just best to replace your 4G phone with a 5G smartphone.

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Related Article: Types of 5G networks.

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