The phrases 3G and 4G are standards for mobile communication which specify how the airwaves must be used for transmitting information from mobile devices (voice and data).
There has been so much hype around 4G over the last 12 months, with announcements on how the great 4G will provide increased speeds and better device functionality.
What does it all really mean?
What is 4G and why do we need it?
4G refers to the next generation of mobile networks, which promises faster speeds, in particular for data. 4G technology has been driven by an explosion in the use of mobile broadband in the UK since the arrival of smartphones. The market is expecting mobile data flows to continue to rise, as tablet computer sales take off and smartphones become mass market devices.
How fast is 4G?
4G can be much faster than the 3G mobile internet connection you currently use on your phone or the connection from the 3G mobile broadband device you plug in to your laptop.
- Standard 3G connections have a maximum speed of 7.2Mbps
- Whereas true 4G could offer realistic download speeds in excess of 100 Mbps.
Whilst true 4G is not yet available, the marketing around is based on these speed predictions. And a recent post from BBC’s Rory Cellan Jones says that in the middle of London he was able to download an episode of Frozen Planet in about a minute – which is pretty amazing.
When will 4G be available in the UK?
Germany, the USA and Sweden have already started to roll out 4G networks. Ofcom admits that things haven’t moved quite as rapidly here as it might have hoped.
Ofcom has plans to auction national licences in the first half of next year (2012), but even now there is a delay in the ‘offing’ that might see it go back again. And according to the latest from them
“Regardless of when the 4G auction takes place, the spectrum won’t actually be cleared and available until 2013 at the earliest,”
But even if everything goes to plan, consumers won’t see any 4G services much before 2013/4!!
For more information on current Mobile and Wireless solutions, please contact Greg Tutt……