According to Matt Davies Stockton, we have come a long way since the era of 2G and 3G internet service which tested our patience while accessing the internet. The introduction of 4G was the first dramatic improvement in mobile internet technology since it allowed mobile users to stream high-definition video and audio without any noticeable lags or buffers in areas or high signal connectivity. However, many people still have misconceptions about 4G wireless internet.
Here is the lowdown on 4G wireless internet:
- What is 4G – Basically, 4G is the fourth-generation wireless service for broadband mobile communications and is the successor of the 3G wireless cellular standard. Different wireless networks use different technology but it all boils down to radio systems and 4G is the same.
Thus, 4G can be termed an advanced radio system that was created to pack as much digital data as possible in each radio signal to maximize the speed and efficiency of the whole network.
It is powered by MIMO (multiple input multiple output) and Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing (OFDM) technologies to offer improved data transfer speed compared to 3G.
Plus, 4G is an all-IP (Internet protocol standard) that uses standard communication protocols to send and receive data in packets including voice data which is different from 3G. However, 4G is not a revolutionary improvement, just an evolution of the 3G wireless cellular standard. Still, 4G supports a higher data capacity, higher data rates, and reduced latency than a 3G network.
- 4G vs 4G LTE vs HSPA+ – This is the most common area of confusion among consumers and to understand the difference between 4G vs 4G LTE, you have to understand its history and realize that it’s all marketing.
When 4G was introduced in 2008, there was no established mobile network or cellular carrier infrastructure that could support the fully advertised 100 Mbps that the 4G network was supposed to deliver. However, two competing approaches were developed to bridge the gap between 3G and 4G.
This was the introduction of different air interfaces or standardized communications protocols that coordinate network traffic to enable them to communicate better with the base station. If you have ever seen a 4G smartphone commercial, you have probably heard about these air interfaces.
These include. WiMAX (Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access), HSPA+ (High-Speed Packet Access), LTE (Long Term Evolution), and more. WiMAX has fallen out of favor since it was similar to office Wi-Fi protocols. However, LTE gained favor since they utilize OFDM to support parallel data streams and MIMO to support simultaneous up and down transmission.
Now, LTE is the future of 4G since carriers intend to stick to this technology for the long term. That means it is not compatible with older 3G systems. It also doesn’t promise a certain 4G speed standard. On the other hand, HSPA+ is backward-compatible with previous generation 3G systems but it is not the future, but rather a way to make use of the existing infrastructure.
Matt Davies Stockton suggests you choose a smartphone that supports a 5G network since it is the future. 5G is superior to 4G since it supports a theoretical speed of up to 20 Gbps, offers lower latency, less congestion, and consumes less power.