General Question

Rickover's avatar

How fast is 4g?

Asked by Rickover (110points) August 16th, 2010

I would like to buy me a new phone but i do not know if i should choose a 4g phone or not.

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8 Answers

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LuckyGuy's avatar

This is more complicated than just giving one number but here’s the general idea
4G networks can stream at Ethernet speed – 100Mbps anywhere on the internet, and 1Gbps if the client and station are in relatively fixed position
3G and new 3.5G, can stream at 1.8, 3.6, 7.2, and 14.0 Mbps depending upon the carrier frequency.

4G has between 7x and 50x faster downlink streaming than 3G.
Why? Because we can.

Tobotron's avatar

is 4g otherwise known as HDSPA? or is that the mid point between 3 and 4G?!

phone wise though you kinda need 3G if your getting a phone like an iPhone or HTC, otherwise you’ll notice everything takes a little longer to download/load etc etc.

however more to the point do you live in a 3G or 4G area?! some countries like the UK are small and have great coverage but others like Australia and the US might not have 3G or 4G in every town?! Worth checking online via your provider to be, website!

LuckyGuy's avatar

HSDPA High Speed Downlink Packet Access is 3G and 3.5G.
HSUPA (Uplink) is about half the speed of downlink 5.76 Mbps max.

MaryW's avatar

@worriedguy I heard 4G was not much different than 3G and that it was hype. Do you know why more than one someone might say that.

Tobotron's avatar

@MaryW probably because mobile technology and more to the point the package the mobile operator will offer you hasn’t caught up with technology, eg. many operators won’t let you use more than a couple of gigs a month with 4G that could go very quickly…

also there’s no need for it yet, you can stream programs fine over 3G on mobile, dl your tiny apps, manage your updates etc.

same as if my home broadband offered me 20meg broadband up from 10…it might be double the speed WOW but 10 is so fast I really wouldn’t care or notice much difference for my needs…

marinelife's avatar

The chart on Page 43 of this paper, HSPA to LTE-Advanced: 3 GPP Broadband Evolution to IMT-Advanced shows the relative data throughput speeds.

LuckyGuy's avatar

@MaryW Yes.“Your mileage may vary.” It can only communicate at the slowest speed device in the chain. If one device is slow, be it: transmitter, server, router, you will not see any difference.
Also uplink and downlink speed are very different.

4G shines if you have a good network, and you are downloading something requiring a lot of bandwidth -a movie, for example.

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