4G Networking – What it is and when we’ll get it

What is 4G Networking?

4G is the next generation of mobile networking, compared to what is currently available, which is known as 3G. It is meant to be up to 10x faster than the current 3G systems, but also promises a broader availability. Currently, 4G being advertised at the moment is not the real deal, as they are the precursors to the next system. The current “3 ½ G” Networks will be upgraded soon, but currently do not have all the planned features of the full release.

When will it be available?

The current estimates are looking at between 2013 and 2014. Those who own fairly modern phones from Sprint, Nextel and Clearwire use a system called WiMax, which is technology for wirelessly delivering high speed Internet to a wide area. However, if you use Verizon, Metro PCS and AT&T, the chances are, you will be using a LTE network. Those who use these systems do not need to worry about buying new hardware to meet the release of 4G, as these handsets are going to be compatible with the release. The iPhone 4 is one of the handsets which is going to be compatible with 4G. LTE is currently available in Stockholm and Oslo.

How fast is 4G going to be?

Do you remember Dial-up, when you’d have to listen to your wall playing a little melody, to give you pathetically low download speeds. In 5 years, we shall be thinking the same about the current Internet provision. The competing technologies (LTE Advanced) are promising up to 1GB/Sec download speeds, which is 1,000 MB/s for static connections . The current average is 7.6MB/s in the United Kingdom and the United States is 3.0 MB/s. For moving connections, such as using a connection on a phone whilst travelling, it would be possible to reach 100MB/s. At the moment, LTE advanced is able to provide 300 MB/s, but it is not commercially available.

Which mobile providers will be offering it?

  • DigiWeb
  • AT&T
  • 02
  • Verizon
  • Vodafone
  • Telus
  • Bell Canada
  • Telestra

Is there going to be 5G?

4G was announced in the end of 2010, and 5G has not had a mention yet, but it would not be surprising if companies began to advertise “5G” before its release.

Written by Struan McDonough

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