As technology advances, consumers consider the pros and cons associated with upgrading their gadgets to take advantage of each advancement. When it comes to 3G and 4G, most people are now leaning towards 4G as it becomes more common within the marketplace. For those who are unsure about the move to 4G, it can be helpful to know the differences between the two standards.
First up, what does 3G and 4G actually mean? 3G is short for ‘third generation’, so this is the third generation of wireless internet technology, introduced around 2003. It offers higher speeds than the previous generations 1G and 2G (both analog).
4G is the fourth generation of mobile communications technology, introduced as an upgrade on 3G in the past few years. The issue of whether the 4G available just now is ‘real’ 4G is widely debated. You can click here to visit iinet directly & learn more.
The International Telecommunications Union didn’t think the 4G available today reached the standards 4G should, however, most carriers and consumers think of 4G as real 4G. Whatever the arguments around the debate, 4G is still an upgrade on 3G. Here’s how:
Most carriers use different frequencies to broadcast their 3G and 4G networks. For example, Optus broadcasts its 3G Plus network on the 900 & 2100 MHz frequency bands, and its 4G Plus network on the 1800 & 2300 MHz frequency bands.
Latency measures the time it takes data to travel from the device to the internet and back again. 4G latency is around half that of 3G, which makes streaming, video conferencing and online gaming much smoother.
Which brings us to the issue of speed. The biggest change 4G users will notice is the speed of connection. 4G is generally much quicker than 3G, although speeds will vary according to the device, the carrier, and the user’s location.
Faster speeds on 4G mean less buffering when watching video, better audio quality, reduced lag when streaming, faster web browsing, and an improved online gaming experience.
Due to the vast number of people using 3G networks, the networks can often get congested, especially at peak times. This can result in slower connection speeds and frequent dropouts for 3G users. As the 4G network is still relatively new, with fewer people connecting to it, there tends to be less congestion on 4G.
Coverage on 3G networks is vast, however, as a new technology, 4G networks are still being rolled out. 4G coverage in cities is generally fast and reliable, but those living outside 4G coverage areas have to make do with 3G. It’s worth remembering that 4G is a growing technology, and most carriers are continuously working on expanding their network to bring 4G coverage to more users.