We've heard a lot about 4G and a couple of years ago we heard a lot about 3G. Deciding if you need to upgrade to 4G or stay with 3G can be difficult. New technology, while exciting, can be overwhelming. We wanted to make the process of picking a little bit easier by providing and answering some essential questions that should clarify in general use terms the difference between 4G and 3G:
Whats the difference between 3G and 4G?
In the simplest terms 3G and 4G are the third and fourth generation data networks. Just as 3G was much fast than 2G and 2.5G, 4G is a lot faster than 3G. The speed difference can be compared to the difference between low-end DSL speeds and basic cable speeds, which for arguments sake are essentially 768Kbps to 1.5Mbps vs. 4Mbps to 6Mbps, respectively. You don't need to do any special math to realize that cable data speeds are faster than basic DSL speeds. It's basically the same idea with data networks, though the data speeds are different. 4G data networks are a lot faster than 3G data networks.
How would you use 4G?
Thats really the big question you need to ask and be honest. 4G is all about speed. You could use your cell phone as a modem with your laptop when youre on the road and if youre in a 4G market youll likely get 4G speeds. Thats not all you can do with a fast connection on a cell phone: 4G seeds will let you download files up to 10 times faster than 3G. You can experience the web on your phone the way you experience it on your computer at home. That said, if you have a fast WiFi connection easily accessible on a WiFi-enabled 3G smartphone you can still have a fast mobile web experience via WiFi and the cell phones battery will last longer. In short, if you use data services (watch videos, web surfing, video chat, etc.) on your phone regularly and frequently 4G is probably a good choice for you. If you dont, you might be just fine with a WiFi-enabled 3G phone.
Is it available where you use a cell phone most?
Its true, 3G networks are more readily available throughout the country. Although 4G is a relatively new network its available in quite a few places most notably, major cities. The issue will be finding out if the 4G network you want to use is available in your area. For example, Sprint offers its 4G service in Portland, Oregon, but Verizon doesnt. The easiest way to find out if 4G service is offered where you use a cell phone most is to check the coverage maps for each carrier. You can do that by clicking the link to the corresponding carrier listed below and entering an address.
4G is definitely exciting, but as of yet there arent a ton of 4G cell phones available and you do need a 4G phone to use 4G services. That said, some WiFi networks also offer fast speeds for surfing the Internet on your phone and we see that feature on a lot of high-end 3G phones. If you decide that you want a 4G phone, follow the rest of our upcoming coverage that discusses the different carrier offerings. Or if you have more questions about 4G, leave a comment below.
How well will a 4g phone work on a 3G network. Does call quality suffer
A 4G phone should have no problem on a 3G network since the phones are backward compatible, so call quality shouldn't be an issue.
I have been wondering will the option to use a 3g phone on the 4G network be available eg to use the 3g phone to the full extent the 3g network can offer 1.5MB reliably
Are these good cell phones for kids? My child really wants one of these but I feel that a cheaper phone would be better
4G phones are powerful and expensive. If you think you're child is up to dropping a phone or losing it, a 3G phone option might be better.
Depending on the type of 4G phone you're using you can manually set it to only use 3G data connectivity.
Does anyone know if a 3g phone will work on a 4g network.
do the 4g zones automatically switch between 3g and 4g depending on where you are?
Do 4G phones work on 3G network?
Can you video chat on a 3G cell phone
will 4g work on a 3g phone and will its speed will decrease?
can 4g work in 2g and 3g phones
If I purchase a 4G phone, will I need to change my present 3G plan?? Will I only need to put my present 3G SIM card in the 4G phone to get it working?
If it is a 4G LTE phone you will definitely need a new SIM card. You may not need a new data plan depending on your current plan.
can 3g handset use for 4g network
Want to buy Ipad with 4G, Can I use my 4G on a 3G network without changing my sim?
Okay so, will 4G phones work on 3G? you see i don't think they have 4G where i live yet (small town) and i was thinking about getting an LG revolution (4G phone) i get great 3G when i'm in town and such. but i do not know about 4G and so i was wondering that if there isn't 4G will 3g be sufficient or will my phone just not work?
question: does a 4g phone have to have a 'data' plan or can you use it as a phone.
Well, Me in Addition to EVERYONE posting on this...REALLY WANTS A '4G' Device.
4g is faster but people need to know about their plan if your data gets throttled down after 1-2g of use then having 4g phone won't run faster than a 3 or even 2g phone. At 1-2g speed cap after downloading or watching one movie in your mobile phone you are done with 3-4g speeds. You now will be surfing at 2g or less. If you have a plan that has 4g speeds up to 5-10g of use then 4g phone would be good. Also are we also ignorant? There is no such thing as Cell phones anymore. They died in the 20th Century when analog died. Cell phones are analog and digital phones called PC'S. But can just call them mobile phones. Especially Columnists should use the correct terminology. 21st Century people!
I have a 3G phone, if I get a 4G wi-fi it won't work?