4G (Fourth Generation) refers to the fourth version of a type of wireless communication that has been widely used commercially worldwide. When it comes to wireless cellular service, in each generation, there is a substantial upgrade when it comes to how responsive and fast the service will be. In this case, 4G cellular services are classed as being up to 10 times faster than 3G cellular services. Sprint was the first company to be able to offer 4G speeds in the United States of America at the start of 2009. Today, almost all cellular carriers around the world offer 4G services, however, in some remote areas, there are still slower 3G coverages.[1]

4G is actually a protocol that sends and receives packets of information and data. However, 4G differs from 3G in a way that 4G is entirely IP based. This means that when it comes to data like video and voice data that needs to be sent and received, it uses internet protocols. Using this standard of transmitting data mitigates the risk of the data becoming scrambled while being delivered. In order for a network to be considered as 4G, a network needs to be able to reach peak data rates of 100 Mbps (megabits per second) when it comes to highly mobile communications, which encompasses users that are travelling in a car, train, or any transport, while also having at least 1 Gbps (Gigabit per second) when it comes to not being in any form of high-speed transport. However, users need to realize that not all 4G networks are able to provide the same speed, reliability, or even responsiveness. This means that users must be aware of the different standards and parameters that are imposed by the Internet Service Provider (ISP).[2]

As compared to the previous generations of connections, 4G connections have three main benefits:[3]

  • Faster download and upload speeds
  • The latency of data being delivered is drastically decreased.
  • Voice and video calls are clearer as the quality of the calls are higher.


4G works in the same as 3G but is simply much faster. By using a high-speed download system and upload packets as a way of transmitting data, 4G networks will allow users to access broadband-type speeds while they are on the move. In all respects, 4G is basically a high-tech and advanced radio system. 4G and 3G connections use towers in order to broadcast their signal. These towers relay information and data that coders and engineers usually update.[4] The standard 4G network is often called 4G LTE and can offer a maximum of 150 Mbps (Megabits per second).[5] In such case, you can download a 4GB (gigabyte) movie in just under 6 minutes and 40 seconds with a standard 4G network. If this was a 3G network, at a constant speed, it would take as much as 50 minutes.

Commercial Use

Both 4G and 3G networks have their own advantages and disadvantages, but we will be focusing more on the advantages of getting a 4G phone:[6]

  • Newer phones use 4G – 4G networks are becoming a universal standard when it comes to newer high-tech phones. Phones like Samsung Galaxy S3, iPhone 5 and any other phone that has been released after those models usually rely on 4G networks to establish a wireless connection.
  • When your area features a strong 4G network connection – In most cases, 4G network connections are strong in highly urbanized areas. If there is a 4G tower within your vicinity, might as well take advantage of it.
  • If you use your mobile phone data heavily – Whether you’re working on a business that brings the need to keep yourself updated on different trends on social media, or on the latest news, then you should go with the 4G connection. If you also rely on a multitude of applications on your phone, especially if you are travelling and you need a fast and responsive access to the internet, then you should definitely get a device capable of accessing a 4G connection.

3G and 4G Comparison

In most cases, individuals do not know the difference between 4G and 3G. It is necessary to know the difference to be aware of the standards and restrictions that each type of connection imposes on its customers.[6:1]

  • When it comes to its development history, the "G" stands for generation. This means that 4G stands for fourth generation and 3G stands for third generation. As a general rule, if you are on the same carrier that is being used, A 4G connection is much faster than that of a 3G connection. However, this isn’t really always the case, since a 3G network of a different carrier might be faster than the 4G connection of a another carrier.
  • A 3G phone is unable to communicate or connect to a 4G network, but new generations of phones are specifically designed to be backward-compatible. This means that a phone that has a 4G connection-capability will be able to communicate with either a 3G or 2G network.
  • Another thing that users have to take into account is that once a new generation of wireless broadband becomes open to the public, this typically requires the Internet Service Provider to make some necessary hardware upgrades to their towers, and ultimately, to make upgrades to your phone as well. The upgrades that are being made towards your phone is to make sure that it will be able to send and receive information through the new infrastructure.

  1. https://www.4g.co.uk/what-is-4g/ ↩︎

  2. https://www.broadbandcompared.co.uk/guides/what-is-4g-everything-about-4g-explained ↩︎

  3. https://www.lifewire.com/what-is-4g-wireless-577577 ↩︎

  4. https://www.broadbandcompared.co.uk/guides/what-is-4g-everything-about-4g-explained ↩︎

  5. https://electronics.howstuffworks.com/4g.htm ↩︎

  6. https://www.digitaltrends.com/mobile/3g-and-4g-whats-the-difference/ ↩︎ ↩︎