3G or 4G – So Which Should You Get?

If you cannot decide which is better 3G or 4G here is the bottom line. 4G is faster but consumes battery life more quickly. And while 4G technology is superior, its speed will be determined by your carrier. If you are going to buy a phone or tablet, no doubt it will be advertised as being 3G or 4G, but what exactly does that mean?


3G and 4G Explained

The G refers to mobile phone technology generation which is installed in cellular networks and mobile phones. Each G necessitates a phone upgrade and for the network it means upgrading their system. The first generation, 1G was the analog cell phone followed by the digital phones (2G). The third generation, 3G appeared in US markets in 2003. The technology back then was capable of 144Kbps. As the years passed many, many types of 3G emerged with speeds ranging from 400Kbps to ten times faster.

4G Today

The same is happening with 4G technology. It promises to deliver faster Internet, better voice quality, more data capacity and other benefits. But as in the case with 3G, numerous ways of implementing it have appeared that the term has come to mean all sorts of things. A standards body, the International Telecommunications Union tried to implement a set of standards for the technology to be called 4G, but carriers ignored them.

So today 4G includes LTE, WiMAX, and HSPA+ 21/42. While some experts hold that LTE is the only real 4G technology, others disagree, and there are even some who say that none of the so-called 4G today actually deliver the speed which they should.

More about Speeds

But one thing is certain, and that is every new generation will offer increased speeds at least with the same carrier. Although there is confusion with all the terminology, you can be certain the speed will get a boost on your carrier when they upgrade to the new generation.

Of course the challenge now is finding which carrier offers the fastest Internet speed. But this isn’t as difficult as it used to be because there are online reviews that gauge a carrier’s capability.

Is it Time for 4G?

The first thing you have to realize is that carriers are still completing their 4G networks. If you want 4G you need to buy a 4G as nothing else will do. Even then, the coverage will vary from carrier to carrier. But make no mistake about it; elements of 4G are already in the market. If you love streaming video or surfing the Internet, 4G is right up your alley.

The bottom line is any activity that requires a large bandwidth will benefit from it. But there is a catch though, as carriers impose data limits in their subscription plans. 4G is also the way to go if you are frustrated with your 3G phone and just can’t put up with all the network traffic. 4G is not only faster but there is less traffic.

When thinking of which is better 3G or 4G, bear in mind that 4G will not resolve problems with dropped calls, as carriers still use the 3G networks for all calls. 3G is not dead yet, but if you want to be a step ahead, it is best to go for 4G. But 3G is still around and it will be a while before 4G completely takes over.

Allan is a free lancer writer of http://www.techiesguide.com/