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4G Vs. 3G
Transcript of 4G Vs. 3G
Should You Get 4G?
What is 3G/4G Network
3G i.e., Third Generation telecommunication standard for mobiles complies to the standards of IMT-2000. Its first commercial launch was in the year 2001 by NTT DoCoMo in Japan. 3G is largely used on mobile phones for purposes such as watching mobile TV, videos on demand, video calls and conferencing, etc. The activation of 3G services depends on the service provider.
: Up to 3.1 Mbps
: Estimated at 300 Mbps, but current carriers max out at 100 Mbps
: 50 Mbit/sec - 100 Mbit/sec
: 500 Mbit/sec - 1 Gbit/sec
The first point of comparison between the 3G and the 4G network is the speed. Answering which one of them has better speed is tricky. The speed of 3G is dependent on how the network has been implemented. Current 4G transmission speed is said to be at about 10 times faster than the 3G network, however, many experts opine that the current 4G network can only be called an advanced 3G network. It has also been observed that if the speed of 3G is enhanced in the GSM network, it is equal to the 4G speed on a CDMA network.
With the introduction of 3G, cell phone users were able to use speech and data services simultaneously, at higher data rates. The 4G data rates are expected to be higher than the current ones provided by 3G. Along with the increase in data rate, 4G is expected to give its users gaming, multimedia, and Internet access support. On the 3G network, both voice communication as well as data communication is possible. Both these structures work parallel to each other.
3G technology uses both packet switching and circuit switching network nodes. In 4G, only packet switching infrastructure is used. If you look at the bandwidth of 3G and 4G, you will notice that there is no difference. Hence, all the calls in a 4G network are inherently IP telephony calls, which is not the case with a 3G network.
It is the data rate which makes the big difference. Both 3G and 4G have a bandwidth of 5 MHz - 20 MHz. For 4G network, the data rate has been set at 100 Mbit for moving vehicles, and 1 Gbit for stationary and walking users. The data rates specified by International Telecommunication Union (ITU) for 3G are 3 Mbps for stationary or walking users, and 384 Kbit for a moving vehicle.
4G or 4th generation of cellular wireless standards has been developed for serving users with a solely IP-based wireless networking solution. It comes with OFDMA or Orthogonal Frequency-Division Multiple Access digital modulation scheme, and hence, is referred to as a technology beyond 3G. 4G network enables its users with a secure Internet Protocol solution, WiMAX (Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access), allowing better video streaming, greater downloading and uploading speed, anytime and anywhere. For a user who is moving in a car or train, the highest downloading speed is no less than 100 Mbit/sec, whereas, for a stationary user, the speed requisites for 4G service set the highest downloading speed at 1 Gbit/sec.
Most networks are yet to implement 4G completely. Therefore, what you need to know is if your carrier not only supports 4G, but also supports the same at your required locations. This includes where you live, where you work, or where you hang out. If that area does not have a good 4G coverage, then it's pointless to get it. The only incentive is that 4G is still developing, so you will eventually get it as good as (probably even better) than 3G networks. It's just going to take a good deal of time for that.
Just ask yourself what you use your current mobile Internet for. Most people do not have a regular and heavy data download/upload requirement. If socializing and minimal gaming is all you're going to do, then there's no point upgrading to 4G. As of now, the costs for a 4G connection are too high, so unless you can afford it and you really need that speed, don't go for it. Just wait it out till 2014 and then get a network that can be affordable and wide.