I’m sure you’ve heard the focus of today’s Telecom Tuesdays post being thrown around, and you’ve probably heard commercials about it, but do you actually know what it is, or how it can help your business?
4G is short for 4th generation of mobile telecommunications technology. 1G was used from 1981-1992 and it supported analog transmission (think back to dropped and static-filled calls). Digital was the upgrade that ushered in 2G (1992-2001) and call quality became markedly more clear and precise. 3G followed from 2001-2011 and there were three significant advances: An increase in download speed was the most noticeable, secondly the use Spread Spectrum, which provided better call quality and more secure communications and lastly was multi-media support (think mobile internet access, Video calls and mobile TV). A major drawback to the first three generation technologies is that none of them were built with future technology compatibility in mind, simply meaning that each subsequent generation required not only upgrades, but total deployment of the next-gen technology.
4G in its purest form is MUCH faster with download speeds of up to 1Gbps (1 Gigabit per second, that’s a LOT of data). 4G also uses a newer and more robust replacement technology for Spread Spectrum that is based on IP-based communication and it is designed with future-gen technology in mind.
There are several “drawbacks” or limitations to 4G, namely coverage and capacity. In major metro markets where 4G is readily available, coverage is not an issue, but an overabundance of subscribers creates capacity constraints, which actually SLOWS DOWN the internet throughput speeds available to users (meaning that 4G may not even be as fast as predecessor 3G networks). Carriers have even resorted to moving traffic over to their 3G networks in some markets during peak usage hours to spread the usage and to alleviate constraints. As seen on many of the recent commercials where the carriers tout their own network coverage maps and discredit the claims of their competitors. The bottom line is that using a 4G phone in an area that lacks 4G coverage is not going to improve network speed.
LTE & P-Cell
There are two other buzzwords that you may have already heard and will increasingly hear more and more about within the world of Cellular technology. The first is “LTE” which is an acronym for Long Term Evolution. It too is an IP based network architecture that further enhances speed. Because of it being IP based, it will easily be install-ready on all future gen technologies that will emerge. The other term is “P-cell”. P-cell is quite possible going to revolutionize wireless technology more substantially than any other feature or technology before it. Currently, all wireless devices within signal range of a cell tower share the available bandwidth the tower offers. P-cell technology is able to give each user access to the FULL tower bandwidth thereby increasing internet speeds by up to 1,000 times current speeds!
[author_bio username=”Barry” name=”yes”]