Saturday, January 1, 2011

Upgrading from 3g to 4g Wireless Internet

While many people are still patting themselves on the back for mastering 3g technology, the next wave of wireless service has recently come out.  Today's fourth generation of high speed mobile internet has been the talk of the town lately, and puts those 3g phones and notebook connections to shame.  With a new 4g wireless enabled phone or computer, people are able to get high speed internet service everywhere and anywhere as long as they are in a coverage zone.  This isn't the same compromised speeds that come with 3g wireless, but speeds for both uploads and downloads that rival what many people are using at home.  Although it takes a while for a technology like this to become ‘universally available' (consider that terrestrial broadband internet is still not universally available in many parts of the US let alone the rest of the world) this latest wave of mobile technology is off to a good start.  With about 60% of the people in the United States already living in a coverage zone, like one of the initial major metropolitan areas to get coverage, there's a good chance that those who want or need this new internet service the most are already able to give it a try.

Everyone knows that 4g wireless is faster than 3g wireless, but exactly how much faster is it?  Many adverts will say that the latest generation is "four to ten" times faster than current third generation technologies, but what does that really mean?  At the end of the day, it means that download speeds will fall somewhere between 2 and 6 Mbps.  In some areas and given the speeding up of networks over time, it could peak out at 10 Mbps to 12 Mbps depending on the technology behind the connection.  The 3g phones that most people are using right now only operate at speeds of around 0.5 Mbps, if that, and get up to around 1.5 Mbps.  That's a big difference!  When it comes to checking emails and social networking there won't be much of a change right away until the mobile websites catch up with the new capabilities, but the implications for watching and sending videos are huge.  Think high definition live streamed videos anywhere and everywhere like in the car, on the bus, in line at the doctor's office or grocery store, and anywhere else you could want to go, and you've got an idea of just how convenient the world could suddenly be!

At the end of the day there are many reasons why people choose to stay with their current 3g service or switch over to 4g wireless.  The higher cost might be a factor, especially for those who don't currently use much internet on their phones anyway.  Those, however, who are chomping at the bit for better download speeds, improved data performance, and the ability to stream video, videoconference, at compete in networked gaming on the go might be ready to get in on the action right away!  Those who barely ever use their home internet subscription might also be great candidates, since they can get the same speed with ten times more mobile convenience froma  mobile carrier!

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