The days are gone where a mobile phone’s primary function was doing calls. Internet access has become this kind of essential purpose of our devices as you no longer have to wait until you’re sitting at a computer to do such things as checking emails and internet-based banking. On the other hand, not every mobile data technology is made equal. You’ve most likely been aware of ‘3G’ and ‘4G’ data before (and even 5G), but what does this really mean for your data connection and exactly how much of a difference is there between these technologies?
3G vs 4G: What’s the difference?
They are both mobile data connections, but 3G is an older technology that always provides slower speeds. 4G is a newer technology that has the ability to provide faster speeds.
4G can reach speeds of up to 50Mbps – 10 times faster than most 3G connections
4GX or 4G LTE (Long Term Evolution) and beyond can reach speeds upwards of 400mbps
3G will come in more areas – you will have a tendency to find the most effective 4G coverage in densely inhabited areas just like your nearest CBD, but in rural locations 3G is still mainly used
4G networks are only able to be utilized with newer 4G compatible cell phones – older models may possibly be suitable for 3G networks.
The difference in speeds is substantially more apparent in larger files – if you’re downloading movies or attempting to maintain a HD Netflix stream, if you notice an impact
The graph below shows the speed variations between 3G and 4G with regards to common downloads. The difference between the speeds of 3G and 4G really begin to show as the size of the files used increases. This is mainly because of the fact that 3G builds up speed as a download progresses, whereas 4G speeds remain constant with time.
While 3G and 4G basically serve the same purpose, 4G is greatly better than 3G in most situations. There are only two real possible disadvantages in using 4G:
It drains much more of your battery than 3G does
You can utilize more data due to the higher speeds, particularly if the 4G connection in your house is quicker than your internet
Besides that, 4G is simply the natural progression of standards that are implemented by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU). The ITU dictates minimum standards for data speed and reliability which the service providers must meet for their network to be considered ‘current gen’. So, think of the different generations as belonging to different decades:
1G belonged to the 1980s
2G belonged to the 1990s
3G belonged to the 2000s
And 4G is the benchmark of the 2010s
5G is still being rolled out in 2020, with reception of the new network being limited across UAE, and with phones adopting the new technology.
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