For almost two years now I have had an iPhone 3G. I have absolutely no idea what that means. I am, for lack of better words, a technology imbecile. I have no idea what the difference between 4G and 3G is. So, please, bare with me as I try to explain to you something that makes no sense to me.
4G is the fourth generation of wireless communications. It is an upgrade over previous wireless services that began with 1G in the mid-eighties. At it’s current state, 4G is really not what it is said to be. At this point, the 4G systems utilized by Verizon and Sprint are more like 3.5G. Almost, but not quite there. When they are there, your phone will be running ten-times faster then it did under 3G.
T-Mobile can claim the largest 4G network nation wide. T-Mobiles 4G service is arguable the best, too. Theoretically on T-Mobile’s network, you could download a 2 hour movie in about 5 minutes. The service is available in 100 metropolitan areas.
In 2012 services like Nokia and Windows will be unveiling their 4G networks. Steve Ballmer of Windows said that the device “will be blindingly fast.” We’ll see.
If you’re like me, though, it’s all about AT&T. The service that first gave us the IPhone unveiled it 4G smart phone in the fourth quarter of 2011. Sure, they were a little late to the party. But, undisputedly, AT&T is the party. There were 4.3 million activations of the AT&T 4G network in the fourth quarter of 2011. That’s more then 2 million more activations than Verizon had in the that same time frame.
Right now about 200 million people are using 4G networks in 195 cities. As of now, engineers are still making improvements to 3G networks. What does that mean to you and I? It means that 4G will be here for a while and 5G won’t come around for another 5 years or so.
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