4G or “LTE” is an exciting new mobile broadband technology. It claims to offer faster speeds for downloads and uploads when using the Internet. Many cell networks around the world are touting 4G as the next best thing since sliced bread.
It’s a new technology aimed at those that are glued to their smartphones and tablets when out and about. It makes downloads of large files, videos and emails quicker and more convenient. But is 4G worth the hype, or is it just another way for cell networks to make money out of you without offering a decent service?
What is 4G all about?
For some time now, people had to use 3G technology to go online from their smartphones. The technology has been in commercial use since 2003, although it got tested for some time before that year.
Users of 3G can expect mobile broadband speeds of anything between 384 kbit/s to 2 Mbit/s, depending on where they are in the world. Sometimes speeds can be faster than 2 Mbit/s.
4G mobile broadband is the fourth generation of mobile data technology. The first commercial uses for 4G began just a few months ago. One can expect speeds of up to 100 Mbit/s with 4G mobile data technology. Although in real-life scenarios, speeds of around 30 Mbit/s are more common.
Are there any downsides to 4G?
As you can see, 4G offers faster speeds than 3G technology ever could. Cell networks are quick to sing the praises and benefits of high-speed mobile broadband. But there are a few caveats as well that consumers need to be aware of.
First, there is the question of compatibility. The smartphone you use has to be 4G-enabled. So if you’re rolling with an old smartphone that you just refuse to give up using, 4G won’t work for you.
Next, there is 4G provision. There are plenty of areas around the world where even 3G isn’t available. 4G isn’t available in all 3G areas. Infrastructure providers are upgrading cell towers to support 4G, but this is a slow and expensive process.
In the UK, cell networks charged subscribers extra for 4G to help fund coverage expansion plans. It is hoped that, soon, there will be better 4G coverage in the countries that use the technology.
Is 4G good for me?
The answer depends on what you use your smartphone for and where you live. Are you someone that uses the Internet all the time when they are out and about? And do you live in a 4G-enabled area? If so, 4G will be a useful upgrade for you.
But should you seldom go online, or you live in a rural area, it’s pointless paying extra for a service you cannot use.
In those cases, it’s best to connect up to someone’s Wi-Fi network and avoid using slow mobile broadband connections.
I hope that today’s guide on 4G mobile broadband was useful to you today. Thanks for reading it, and feel free to share a link to this page with your friends!