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3G vs 4G - What's the Fuss About?

By Rizwan Ahmad - 08 January 2013 No Comments
4G is intended to be the start of faster mobile broadband services.   EE (formerly Everything Everywhere) is to bring 4G to the UK and this will be in addition to a fibre-optic broadband service.  4G is simple a more advanced version of the 3G networks that are already in existence.  If a device is connected to 4G LTE it can do everything so much more quickly.

Different 3G Systems
Most of the UK’s network is currently using HSPA+, which is an updated version of 3G.  At the moment this system has a maximum speed of around 21Mbps although most users experience much lower speeds.  There are some networks which are currently operating a more advanced system than this on 3G technology.  This is known as DC-HSPA and this has a maximum speed of 42Mbps although the speed will depend upon the network.  However, most users will be able to enjoy faster speeds than on the earlier HSPA+.

When is 4G Coming?
It is expected that the new 4G services are to be made available to up to 20 million people by the time it is rolled out across the country and by 2014 around 90% of the population will have access to these faster speeds.  At the moment, London is to be the first major city in Europe to have this type of coverage but it will soon be available in many other places.

3G vs 4G

What Difference Will it Make?
So what can users expect from 4G?  The main thing is the faster speed.  It is estimated that some mobile phone users will be able to enjoy theoretical speeds that are five times faster than the standard speeds of 3G which should also translate into speeds that are five times faster than the actual speeds of 3G.  At the moment 3G has excellent coverage in the UK with around 99% of homes having access to at least one network.  4G will take a little time to roll out but with 90% of homes having access by 2014, this technology will soon be readily available for most users.

Why Bother?
So why do we need faster speeds?  Most smartphone users will want to get on to the internet regularly, either to check emails or to simply surf the net.  How fast this system is will also depend upon the processor in the phone but if this is coupled with a faster connection then there is no reason why all the tasks needed cannot be as speedy as using the internet at home.

Will Your Phone Work on 4G?
Mobile phone technology will need to include connectivity options for 4G and at the moment most mobile phones do not have it.  However, as the system becomes available more and more handsets will have this option alongside others such as 3G, Wi-Fi and NFC.

If you know that 4G is soon to become available in your area it may be worth upgrading your handset to one that has 4G compatible technology.  You should expect these handsets to be a little more expensive than others but in time this will become the norm and the handsets will fall in price.        

Phil Turner has checked out Talk Mobile recently and likes the deals they have available.

Image is licensed under CC Attribution 
Rizwan Ahmad
About the Author:
This article is contributed by Phil Turner and posted by Rizwan Ahmad Author and founder of, He is a tech blogger from India and he loves to share his thoughts by writing articles on this site to the different topics related to technology world,


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