What is 4G?

The fourth generation of mobile phone mobile communications standards is referred to as 4G.  It can be five to ten times faster than 3G.  Because 4G is so fast, early adopters were surprised at how quickly they ran out of data on their wireless plan.

Fast forward to the year 2020 and ATT has plans for a nationwide scheduled rollout of 5G service by midyear.


4G networks use different frequencies to transmit data than 3G, so you need a handset which has a modem that supports these new frequencies.  4G uses OFDM, orthogonal frequency-division multiplexing, a broadband multicarrier modulation method that offers superior performance and benefits over older, more traditional single-carrier modulation methods.  OFDM is known for getting the maximum data capacity out of a given bandwidth channel.

What is 4G Technology

The most common standard protocol for 4G networks is WiMax.  WiMax stands for worldwide interoperability for microwave access, and is a wireless broadband technology that delivers WiFi-like speeds to wide areas.

Huawei claims its new phone, Huawei Ascend P2, can download at speeds of 150 Mbps.  General Motors announced this February that it’s teaming with AT&T to bring 4G to most of its vehicles by 2014, for most model year 2015 Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac cars and trucks.

True 4G Speed

So, maybe you want to upgrade to 4G.  There are a few of things to consider first.  One, not all “4G” is 4G.  There’s HSPA+.  HSPA+ is an enhanced version of high-speed 3G wireless networks. Because it is so closely related to 3G and is not a new, built-from-the ground-up technology, HSPA+ has been called a 3.5G network instead of a true 4G network. But HSPA+ networks are capable of delivering 4G speeds, with download speeds between 5 megabits per second and 8 Mbps. In selecting a new phone, it helps to find out the 4G coverage type in your area.  Two, your 3G phone will work on a 4G network, but not at 4G speeds. And on a 3G network, a 4G phone works only at 3G speed.  Three, if you travel internationally, 4G doesn’t operate on the same frequencies in every country.  If your 4G device doesn’t match the frequency of the 4G network, you’ll be back on 3G speeds, or, if your frequencies do match, you may have to pay roaming charges, or high data charges.

What is 4G? The main difference between 3G and 4G is faster data, therefore, higher data usage.

For the very near future, regardless of how fast 5G will be there will still be a need for sea cables to carry internet traffic via fiber at the bottom of the worlds oceans.

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