4G Mobile Broadband is the new buzz in town. 4G means a whole lot of new possibilities. Better speeds, better bandwidths and better connectivity. Today every other company is boasting about their 4G capabilities and how fast their network is compared to 3G. Is the buzz worth the hype? Let’s figure out.
The ITU defines 4G as a connection capable of 100Mbps with high mobility (wherever you go) and up to 1Gbps with low mobility (Wi-Fi range).
That is a promising figure. It is almost ten times the fast high speed internet we are enjoying today. But is it for real? Too good to be true? Well, that may be because it is.
Today, most companies use 4G as a marketing term to call it the next generation after 3G, which is currently the fastest internet we know of (in availability).
Is 4G Mobile Broadband faster than 3G?
Of course yes, technically 4G is faster than 3G. But in today’s perspective, real 4G networks are not available. When we say real 4G network, we mean those networks that can provide upto 1Gbps on WiFi. In the USA, there is no available network that can offer this speed at the moment (Feb 2012). Source: Wikipedia
But yes, as the next generation technology after 3G, 4G mobile broadband and 4G Mobile hotspots are something to look up to.
Are 4G Mobile Broadband Networks available today?
If you have to go by the advertisements, yes. 4G networks are pretty much available today. The reality is that these networks are just “4th Generation” (because they came after 3G) and don’t really meet the 4G technical standards of offering 100Mbps connection.
A recent study in the U.S.A has suggested that no mobile networks available today have been able to meet the actual 4G network speeds so far. But we hope they do soon. Source: LifeHacker
4G Average and Maximum Speeds – The Difference
Today, the advertisements can be categorized in to two. The ones that speak about either average speeds or maximum speeds.
Maximum speeds are unrealistic speeds because these are attained by someone somewhere (hopefully in the test labs) and not really enjoyed by the end user. Maximum speeds are often described with “Up to” in their ads. Where it means that the network is capable of attaining speeds up to the given numbers but there is no guarantee that they will.
The second category is average speeds, which is the actual, practically possible network speeds attainable by the carrier. The advertised speeds in this case, will not be described with an “Up to” and normally stick closer to realistic speeds.
So, next time when you see that advertisement, you know what is the difference, and of course, what to expect.
Should you get 4G Mobile Broadband?
There are several questions to ask yourself before getting one. Getting a 4G mobile broadband should give you better speeds and better connectivity. If they don’t , probably its not worth the money. While we hope that the 4G Mobile broadband connections available today meet up to the real 4G standards, the reality is different.
Question 1 – Do you want better & higher speeds?
If yes, you should go for 3G mobile broadband, possibly a WiFi hotspot that you can take anywhere. There is no beating this one in speeds so far as we know. They are convenient and not so expensive ($49.99 per month tops).
Question 2 – Do you want to go for contracts or no-contracts?
Contract based Internet is risky. What if you don’t get the speeds that were promised? No contract based Internet connections come in here. They don’t force you to sign an agreement with the provider, so if you’re not getting the speeds that were promised, or are dissatisfied with the product, you can simply stop using them. No questions asked.
Question 3 – Will you get 3G or 4G connectivity in your area?
Though internet service providers have extensive networks, not all of them have full coverage. Users should be aware of this firsthand before buying the product. A good thing to do is check for the coverage maps, and make sure you have connectivity in your area. If not, prepare to be disappointed when you have the connection. Most networks switch to regular or slower connections when 3G network is not available in the area. Example: Check Datajack’s coverage map here.
So, What’s next after 4G? 5G Mobile Broadband?
Yes, you guessed it right. While we’re still figuring out how to make sense of 4G Mobile broadband, 5G is already in the making.
IMT is already preparing the next generation broadband technology after 4G and has named it, well you guessed it “5G”. The least surprising part of 5G IMT-Advanced is that it will be faster than 4G LTE and WiMAX. Both WiMax and LTE both promise theoretical download speeds over 100 Mbits/second. IMT-Advance technologies will have a theoretical max of 1 Gbit/second.
But its only in the research phase now, so it might take a couple more years before it hits the shelves. And most probably it will undergo a lot of changes as well. It is widely speculated that we can expect 5G Mobile broadband by 2014.
How fast is 5G Mobile broadband going to be?
This should get you excited. Trends says you’ll theoretically be able to download a 720p TV show in 90 seconds or less. Now, how fast is that?
How to Get High Speed Mobile Broadband?
So, until we wait for the “real 4G” and 5G mobile broadband speeds, getting high speed mobile broadband Internet, today is easy and affordable.
And there are several data plans available, from $9.99 a month to $49.99 of upto 5GB in bandwidth. And contract based Internet is a thing of the past. We have convenient No contract Internet mobile broadband plans available that make things a lot easier. With them, you can kick start high speed mobile broadband Internet as soon as you get the device and stop using it when you like, no questions asked.
Cost is a big factor when it comes to selecting your Internet plans, and we understand it. Which is why we offer high speed Internet at the most affordable rates with no credit checks or deposits. Check it out here.