Beginner’s Guide To 4G
You may have heard the term 4G mentioned in relation to mobile phones quite a lot recently, and the non-tech savvy may be left scratching their heads wondering just what it is. If you’re thinking of getting a 4G phone but don’t know where to start, or are stumped by the whole concept, this useful guide will hopefully make things a little clearer.
4G is the next generation in wireless mobile data networks, designed to be much faster than its predecessor, 3G. UK network provider EE offer the UK’s only 4G service at present, and the company has just announced 17 new towns and cities to join the 12 existing locations able to access its 4G services.
What can 4G do for me?
So, how exactly is 4G better than 3G and how will it aid you in help your daily life? The main advantage and selling point of 4G is the speed it offers, with EE claiming its 4G network offers download and upload rates up to five times faster than 3G. To test this, we conducted our own 3G vs 4G speed test in central Manchester, pitting a Samsung Galaxy S III LTE against a 3G Samsung Galaxy S III.
Our tests found the 4G handset to be much faster reaching download speeds around 14Mbps - 20Mbps, against the 3G handset’s average of 1.2Mbps. To put this in perspective, it will take a 3G mobile about an hour to download a feature film, however, a 4G device should be able to download the same film in just 10 minutes.
This is due to 4G being a completely data-based network with a larger bandwidth; therefore data can pass through it at a much quicker rate. When you consider that the average home broadband connection offers around 9Mbps download speed, 4G is very quick indeed.
Another advantage of 4G is that it will bring increased coverage to people in rural areas who may struggle to get 3G connectivity or home more effectively 3G signals, and requires less power for transmission, meaning it can stretch farther to give remote locations access to the web.
How can I get 4G?
Well, first of all you’ll need a 4G enabled handset. You can’t upgrade your existing handset to 4G as it lacks the necessary hardware to be able to connect to the network. For example, if you’ve got a new iPhone 5, Samsung Galaxy S III LTE, Nokia Lumia 920, your phone will be 4G enabled. You’ll need to sign up to EE to get connected though, as it is the UK’s only 4G provider at present.
Derby is one of the cities that EE has already rolled out 4G to, so as long as your handset is 4G-enabled and you’re an EE customer, you’re ready to take advantage of ultra-fast data transfer and a swifter, more streamlined mobile experience.
This guest blog was written by Abbi Cox of Phones 4u, home of super smartphone deals and cracking contracts.