Monday, August 20, 2012
With so much hype surrounding 4G networks that have become accessible with today’s latest batch of smartphones, it’s easy to let yourself be swept away and upgrade your connection to 4G speed. The question is – would 4G really be worth the upgrade?
What is 4G?
Basically, 4G is the newest – fourth generation –network designed for wireless Internet connectivity. The previous technology was – you guessed it – 3G.
How fast is it?
Generally speaking, 4G can bet 5 to 10 times faster than its predecessor. Theoretically speaking, it is possible for 4G download speeds to be around 5MB to 20MB per second. On the other hand, 3G is usually limited to a maximum download speed of 1MB per second. Unfortunately, since there has been no official definition made for 4G, speeds for this new network greatly vary.
What can affect 4G speed?
Good job for those who have thought of asking this question, too. Similar to 3G networks, the Internet speed that’s been broadcasted and advertised aggressively in association with a particular 4G network is unlikely to be available at all times. Certainly, you can expect your supposedly 8MB/second 4G network to slow down during peak hours. But those are not the only factors to consider.
4G speed may still be affected by the following:
- Proximity to one of the network’s cell tower (shorter wireless distance always means greater speed and better connectivity performance)
- Type of device you are using to access 4G
- Quantity and quality of network traffic
Can any device work with 4G connectivity?
No. Similar to how things worked with 3G and previous networks, your phone must have the necessary hardware and software to access a 4G network. Worse, there are various kinds of 4G networks so you need to make sure as well that your phone is compatible with the particular 4G network you have in mind.
- Verizon uses a 4G LTE network.
- AT&T uses two types of 4G networks: HSPA+ and LTE.
- Apple’s iPhone 4S runs on HSPA+.
If you have a 3G phone and it’s possible for you to connect to a 4G network, you can certainly do that but you will only be limited to enjoying 3G speed.
How Do You Choose the Right 4G Phone and Plan?
- Make sure that your phone and 4G service are compatible with each other.
- The 4G service must be available in your local area and, if possible, in other areas that you frequently visit.
- Your 4G phone must at least have a dual-core processor so that it can fully take advantage of the kind of speed that 4G networks offer.
How do you know if 4G is for you?
Even with all the things you have learned earlier, you may still be confused about whether you should take that step to upgrade your Internet service or not. If so, why not contact a professional to help you out? A Broadband Expert compares internetproviders and offers comprehensive information so that clients may make the best informed decision about their Internet service needs.
Krystine Joy Sitjar is a freelance writer that loves to write about Tech topics. She also pamper herself by going to her favorite spa together with her fiancee' Warren Keith Nietes.