3G has revolutionised how society connects – we’re no longer tethered to cables and wires or even have to stay within the reach of a Wi-Fi router. Today, most mobile devices come with 3G functionality with access to reliable and fast internet connection virtually everywhere.
Now, wireless broadband internet providers are lauding the arrival of 4G – the next milestone in internet connectivity. In Australia, Telstra is the first of the major internet service providers to activate its 4G network just last month although connection to the new 4G network is currently limited to Telstra coverage in metro areas. The ISP also plans to introduce a 4G capable mobile phone from HTC in its devices line-up early next year.
3G vs 4G – what’s the difference
According to Telstra and other broadband internet providers worldwide, the new 4G network boasts much faster access speeds, up to 25 times faster than the current 3G capabilities, according to Telstra.
Download speeds are reported to range from 2 to 40 Mbps and upload rates from 1 to 10 Mbps. These faster download and upload speeds will be especially helpful for users that consume intensive multimedia content including streaming for music and videos.
Of course, Telstra is actually not the first player to the game. Vivid Wireless provides a service that uses WiMax technology that provides speeds that have been compared to 4G. This has been available since 2010 but the network is limited to the major capital cities. For Telstra customers, the advantage of Telstra’s 4G service becomes apparent when they wander outside of the 4G coverage – the device automatically seeks out Telstra’s Next-G service where 4G is not available, giving users mobile broadband coverage virtually anywhere in Australia.
Telstra’s 4G network access is currently limited to certain devices in key metro areas.