What Is 4G?

| March 25, 2011 | 4 Comments

Many of you have seen and heard of 4G or at least seen the 4G advertisements on TV. Like the AT&T one where the guy is running and claims that 4G is for “fast people on the move”, or the T-Mobile one where they show a guy who represents the iPhone 4 and steps out of the Wi-Fi network while talking to his mom on “Face-Time” then the phone starts to glitch.

Now some of you may know the four biggest cell phone carriers are Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile . All of these networks have 4G. The question most of you are asking is which one of the has the fastest or best service. I’ll tell you about the type of 4G they use and generally how fast it is estimated to be in Mbps ( the higher number the faster you connect).

First we’ll start of with Verizon. Verizon is currently using LTE, (long-term-evolution), that is supposed to get between 5-12 Mbps. They already have some laptop connect cards that use 4G ,but right now they only have one 4G phone called the HTC Thunderbolt ($249) .

The second network I’m going to talk about is AT&T. AT&T now has the newest 4G network. They now use LTE and if you go out of the LTE coverage area you will be supported by HSPA+* and then fall down to 3G after that and so on. ( AT&T currently  has HSPA+ , 1-7 mbps and LTE 5-12mbps) .They currently show 13 devices. 7 phones ,2 laptop USB connect cards ,and 1 mobile Hotspot. They have out the HTC Inspire 4g and they have the Motorola Atrix 4G out already.They are also coming out with the Samsung Infuse. They have this along with the “Shockwave” which is a USB Connect stick.**

Next up is T-mobile. T-mobile uses a type of Technology called HSPA+. Technically HSPA+ is more like really fast 3G but T-Mobile is calling it 4G so I’ll include it. They have three phones and an android tablet out so far. As I mentioned both At&t and T-mobile are currently using this technology. IT also might be a good idea to mention that the only phones that have 4G run android right now.

Last but not least is Sprint. Sprint uses a technology called WiMax as their 4g(3-6 mbps). Sprint had the first 4G network and the first 4G phone (The HTC Evo 4G). They currently have 3 phones, 2 laptops with built in 4G, 1 Laptop connect card, and a MIFI ( prounounced My-Fy. This alows you to connect sever devices through wifi and use 4g from it).

So to summarize this up. Verizon currently has the fastest 4G network, Sprint has the first 4G network and AT&T- Tmobile has the largest 4G network. It might be helpful to mention again that AT&T-Tmobile will be getting LTE 4G later this year this means that you will get the same speed as Verizon users but you would also get backhaul HSPA+.*

Its your choice but in my opinion I would either get Verizon 4G or wait a while and get AT&T-Tmobile 4G. Just remember if you get an AT&T-Tmobile 4G  you get HSPA+ backhual which is one advantage over Verizons 4G network.This means that seeing 3G on and AT&T LTE network would be rare for most but edge (2.5 g) would be as rare as seeing a dinosaur.

The latest news in telecom is that T-mobile and AT&T have announced a merger that will take place a year from now. This means that T-mobile customers will be able to get LTE ( although then they would be AT&T customers). This also means that while AT&T claims to cover 97% of Americans in 3G they will cover 95% of Americans in 4G having the largest 4G network in America.

Update: new 4G phones. Samsung Droid Charge 4G(android,Verizon, $299). Samsung infuse coming May 15 (Android, AT&T, $199). HP Veer 4G  ( HP web os, AT&T, $99, first 4G phone not on android).

Update: On Sunday September 18, At&t upgraded their 4g network in 5 cities to LTE.  San Antonio, Houston, Dallas, Atlanta, and Chicago will be among the first cities to be able to use backhaul with HSPA+ and LTE. Currently At&t does not have any cell phones released but they have 1 tablet, 3 laptop cards, and 1 mobile hotspot that you can get.

**New 4g devices:

At&t, Impulse 4g (phone,HSPA+), Blackberry torch 9810 (phone, HSPA+), LG Thrill 4g (phone, HSPA+), Xperia play 4g (phone,HSPA+), Acer Iconia Tab a501 (tablet, HSPA+), HTC Jetstream (tablet, LTE), At&t USBConnect Momentum 4g (pc card, LTE),  At&t Elevate 4g (Hotspot, LTE), At&t USBConnect Force 4g (pc card, LTE), At&t USBConnect shockwave 4g (pc card, LTE)

Verizon: Motorola Droid Bionic (phone, LTE), LG Revolution (phone,LTE), Motorola Xoom (tablet, LTE), Samsung Galaxy tab 10.1 (tablet, LTE), Compaq mini (laptop,LTE), HP Pavilion DM1 (laptop, LTE), Samsung SCH (hotspot, LTE), Verizon Mifi (hotspot, LTE), Pantech UML 290 (pc card, LTE), Verizon USB551L ( pc card, LTE) .

*this is shown on their website at att.com/network

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  1. mikyle says:

    Although you may be more likely to see noo coverage than 2.5g remember this is 97% of people not america.

  2. mikyle says:

    At the bottom of the story and it is att.com/network

  3. joerobert says:

    @mikyle where did you put it?

  4. mikyle says:

    You can go to the AT&T website I provided If your confused with the whole AT&T using two types of 4G and Backhaul . ( its above the rate this article thing right above the comments).

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