Below are some answers to common questions that we keep seeing in emails from customers and appearing in our forum about 4G mobile broadband.
What is 4G, LTE and WiMAX?
The term 4G is a general term used to describe the new generation of mobile technology. Both WiMAX (Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access) and LTE (Long Term Evolution) are the actual technologies used for a 4G mobile network. Currently LTE is the most popular technology being implemented, mainly because it’s cheaper for most network operators to upgrade using LTE.
Will I be able to use my 4G modem or 4G phone with all 4G networks?
Much like 3G, 4G networks use different technologies and different frequencies. For your mobile device to work with a particular network operator it must support the technology (e.g. WiMAX or LTE) and Frequency (e.g. 1800Mhz or 2600Mhz) being used. This means that a 4G modem or phone supplied by a WiMAX carrier e.g. Clearwire will not work with a LTE network carrier e.g. EE.
Fortunately most 4G modems and 4G phones support multiple frequencies which allows them to work with many different 4G networks in different countries. There are also a few mobile broadband devices that support WiMAX and LTE networks.
Unlocked Dongle's service to unlock 4G modems and mobile hotspots remains much the same as for older 3G and 2G mobile data devices. There are a few minor differences, but they are mostly technical and not something customer would encounter. Our 4G unlocking service is still great value, fast and easy to use.
Will my 4G Modem and 4G phone work with 3G networks?
Currently virtually all 4G modems and phones are backwards compatible with 3G networks. But expect this to change in the future as 4G becomes the dominant mobile technology and manufacturers look for ways to reduce the costs of their mobile devices.
What’s so great about 4G?
1) Increased bandwidth – both download and upload bandwidth has been increased which means that sending and receiving large data files e.g. video, audio is faster than previously possible.
2) Reduced latency – This means that the time it takes for data to be sent from A to B is reduced, which is great news for services such which require minimal delay e.g. VOIP
3) Data network – 4G is a data network only and doesn’t use circuit switch technologies. This means that 4G networks will offer a more reliable service.
What is the Future of 4G?
LTE Advanced and WiMAX release 2 are already on the horizon offering faster download and upload, reduced latency and more resilient network connections.
In the not to distant future expect to see 4G replacing your fixed line ADSL or cable connection!
Author: Robert Cutts