The world of technology and tech-lingo can be confusing for us normal folk – let’s face it, if it was up to most of us, then the human race wouldn’t have got as far as fire yet, let alone the wheel.
What does it all mean? What is the different between 2, 3 and 4G? And why are tech companies already talking about 5G?
Isn’t three types of G enough?
The G part actually refers to ‘Generation’, so 2G means Second Generation, 3G is Third Generation etc.
The main difference between 3 and 4G is download speeds – 4G is faster, can support larger files, and 4G ready devices should be able to do more things at once.
Of course, 4G isn’t available nationwide yet – in fact neither is 3G, as anyone who has ever been to the New Forest will testify – but it is available in most major cities, if you have a phone or tablet that can support it.
The iPhone 4 doesn’t, but most of the smartphones available with your upgrade should do the trick and where 4G is not available, the idea is that your phone will switch to 3G, so performance is not compromised too much.
The pioneer of 4G in the UK is EE– yup, not Vodafone or Virgin or any of the usual suspects – but EE have made strides in making 4G available in this country, including having the most comprehensive service checker available on the web.
On the EE site, you can type in your location and receive a reliable result regarding whether you should be able to receive 4G where you are – and the service can tell you about 2 and 3G coverage.
You can check whether your area receives 4G here.
4G is designed to allow users to make more of their device, whether it be streaming more films, downloading tracks in bulk or making Skype calls with better connectivity – on 2 and 3G, internet calls are still plagued by a loss of connectivity and poor sound quality, with irritating ‘unable to connect’ messages being a frequent occurrence.
4G can achieve download and connectivity speeds of up to 30Mbps, which for the uninitiated means that watching TV, gaming and downloading music using your phone will be more like using a home computer.
In fact, it will be faster.
The new service, when used via EE, will have certain perks like 2 for 1 cinema tickets on Wednesday (Orange did well there) and 99p Thursday, where you will be able to rent a new release for less than a quid.
Other benefits of signing up with EE for a 4G ready device will be music packages that will allow unlimited music downloads for a fixed fee every month – a bit like Spotify but with the added benefit of being able to keep the track.
If you’re the kind that is uneasy about signing a phone contract, then EE are also offering 4G capable phones on Pay As You Go contracts.
EE currently have the best 4G coverage in the UK covering more of the nation than any other provider, which are typically limited to London, Reading and some cities in the Midlands – and have already managed to double their connectivity speeds – they also offer both fibre-optic and standard broadband, so it’s well worth jumping on the EE bandwagon.
LinkedIn users can also use Future Thinking, a website created between EE and LinkedIn to allow professionals to access a huge amount of content, websites and blogs aimed specifically at their industry.
Do I need 4g? We hear you ask. Well, yes. It’s the way forward, the way technology is moving you don’t want to be stuck with 3G by the time 5G comes along, do you?
Image courtesy of cocoarmani, via flickr, with thanks.