The terms 3G and 4G are much talked about, but not many really understand what they truly mean, except for the fact that 4G is better, faster and more advanced technology than 3G technology. Well, that’s true, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that you should exchange your 3G plan for 4G right away, when it becomes available in your area. It is a little more complicated than that.
So here, we are going to tell you… 3G vs 4G: What Should You Choose? Also we try to settle the 3G vs 4G debate once and for all and tell you if it makes sense to change to 4G or not.
What does “G” in 3G and 4G stand for?
Let us first understand what “G” in 3G and 4G stands for. G stands for a generation in mobile technology. The first generation of mobile technology comprised of analog cell phones and was called 1G, the second generation belonged to the first digital phones and called 2G. The current generation is 3G and the latest is 4G. With every new generation, you get better technology, more network capacity and possibly better voice quality. Every change in “G’ requires you to change your phone or switch to a different cellular network – so an upgrade isn’t as easy as you would think.
3G stands for third-generation mobile networks that give you internet speeds from 400Kbps to around 10 times that, and offers video calling feature than ever before. 3G was first introduced in the US in 2003, and since then has been the preeminent mobile technology, used in a majority of smartphones all over the world. In fact, it is the 3G technology that made the iPhone and Android possible – without 3G, we wouldn’t have smartphones.
4G is the fourth generation of wireless data transmission networks set-up by the mobile phone industry. This mobile phone technology follows on from the existing 3G and 2G mobile technology and offer more bandwidth and greater speeds for everyday mobile device operations. 4G phones are the fastest out there. But 4G technology is not the same everywhere. There are different variations of 4G technology such as HSPA+, WiMAX (which is obsolete), and the best of the lot, LTE. We discuss LTE briefly because it is expected to be the standard for 4G all over the world.
4G LTE (Long Term Evolution) is much faster than other variations of 4G such as HSPA when it comes to upload speeds. You can upload an enormous amount of data – photos, videos, etc. – in very little time using LTE. LTE speeds are not the same with all carriers, some are much faster than others. Carriers that have more radio spectrum available are faster than those with less of the same.
3G or 4G – Why Go For 4G?
Obviously, the biggest reason to go for 4G is speed. In fact, in the United States, Europe and Asian countries such as South Korea and Japan, most people have already switched to 4G. Most mobile carriers such as Verizon, T-Mobile, Sprint, AT&T and so on offer a nationwide 4G coverage.
4G makes surfing the internet and streaming videos really fast. There is no time lag whatsoever, and no buffering. It can really make a difference if you connect 4G to your laptop through a mobile link. You can find out your 4G speed by using it on your laptop using a mobile link and then checking on DoSpeedTest.com, the best internet broadband speed checking tool out there. You will be astonished at how fast 4G can be. 4G is the future of mobile telephony and you should get it for that reason.
3G or 4G – Why Stick to 3G?
However, there are a few reasons why you may want to stick to 3G. You should stick to 3G if you use your phone mostly to make calls, for texting or light browsing. If you are not in the habit of streaming videos on your phone or don’t use the internet heavily, you are better off sticking to 3G for now.
This way you will save money as you won’t have to upgrade to a more expensive phone or to a costlier plan. And you will save on the battery life as well. Also, not all areas have 4G coverage, so there is no point is buying a 4G phone if that’s the case with where you live. And if you are buying a phone on a contract, you will save a lot of money by settling for 3G.
So, whether you choose 3G or 4G is a choice left to you. Hope this settles THE 3G vs 4G debate! Meanwhile, you should know that not ISPs (Internet Service Providers) offer the same broadband speeds as advertised. If you feel that your ISP short-changing you, test your internet speed here at DoSpeedTest.com, the best broadband speed test tool out there.