Many people have cell phones with 3G and can’t imagine living without the feature. 3G seems to be very cutting edge and in demand, especially since the iPhone with 3G has become more affordable. But, not so long ago 4G was in the news. If you’re like me, you want to know more about 4G too.
For some of you the first question may be: What is 3G? To put it simply, 3G is wireless technology that is mostly used with cell phones to make Internet use faster. 3G allows you to talk on the phone, while surfing the web or checking email. And, with 3G, your cell phone can be used to make video calls and make free (or cheap) calls worldwide.
Okay, now what is 4G? 4G is still in development. The goal is for it to be faster than 3G, transmit over greater distances, and offer true Mobile TV with more channels and enhanced quality, while reducing costs to make 4G more affordable than 3G.
Developers are in intense competition to release 4G services in markets by 2010. The two 4G technologies that are most talked about are Clearwire’s WiMAX and LTE. LTE may be faster than WiMAX, but WiMAX is ahead in the race.
WiMAX is available now in certain markets. Just this month, Clearwire confirmed it will cover 120 million Americans across 80 markets by 2010. The full commercial launch of Atlanta is planned shortly, followed by markets in Las Vegas, Dallas and Chicago and others later this year.
In contrast, Verizon’s LTE will only be available in 25 or 30 markets in 2010. Other global carriers, like AT&T won’t turn on their LTE networks until 2012.
WiMAX users say it is very fast. Downloading is nearly as fast as cable, and uploading is faster. However, service is spotty. So, don’t rush out today to get ready for the next wave of technology, but when more markets are up and running you won’t want to be left in the dust. Developments in 4G technology are something you should keep an eye on.