The truth about “4G”
4G…. 4G …. 4G. That’s all we’ve been hearing from carriers. They claim theirs is faster, the largest and most reliable. The truth is 4G is not created equal and in fact almost all US Carriers use different 4G technology. I will be telling you guys the truth about which 4G network is the best. First let’s talk about what 4G is. 4G is the next generation of wireless technology. It basically gives you faster speeds than 3G. Well, how much faster is based on what carrier and what technology they are using. 4G should give your 4X-10x faster data speeds than 3G.
In the US we have 4 major US carriers that claim they have 4G, Verizon Wireless, T-Mobile USA, Sprint Nextel, and AT&T. Sprint was the first carrier to introduce 4G in the US. Sprint’s 4G network is based on CDMA/WiFI. It’s called Wimax. WiMax can offer 4G speeds but it’s already become old technology and doesn’t hold much capacity compared to other 4G technologies. What that means is Sprint’s network can only hold so much devices until it starts to slow down. This is what we are seeing across Sprint’s 4G Wi-Max network in big cities like San Francisco, New York, Orlando, and Charlotte. Wimax also does not penetrate through building very well. Sprint plans to move onto 4G LTE in 2012. Next T-Mobile 4G network is based on their existing 3G/HSPA network. It’s called HSPA+. HSPA+ can potentially give users 4G speeds. T-Mobile’s Network can theoretically give speeds up to 42mbs (you will never see these speeds in real life) you will ranger between 5-12mbs (and even faster based on location and time of day). T-Mobile also has areas with 21mbs and 14 mbs hspa+ which aren’t as fast as their 42mbs network but they can offer 4g speeds. Next AT&T offer two technologies for 4G, HSPA+ (like T-Mobile) and 4G LTE. AT&T HSPA+ network only offers up to 21mbs HSPA+, At&t claims it gives users 4G speeds, 6mbs average. At&t says it offer 4X faster speeds than 3G. Next At&t’s 4G LTE Network is what many people call REAL 4G. LTE (Long Term Evolution) is the next generation of GSM (Global Standard) which is what many networks across the world are using. It can offer 10X faster data speeds than 3G, it holds more capacity and can penetrate through building better than 3G. LTE is available is only 9 markets, User have been showing speeds of 15-30mbs. At&t’s LTE is still new and not many people are using it but once capacity is filling up, At&t claims 5mbs-12mbs. At&t’s say even when your not in a 4G LTE area, you will be on hspa+ and still get 4G speeds. Verizon Wireless also uses 4G LTE. It offers the same speeds as At&t’s LTE network. Verizon’s 4G LTE has over 150 markets and growing. But when your out of a 4G LTE are you will be on Verizon’s slower 3G network.
I hope this article helped you understand more about 4G and how each carrier differs. If your asking what 4G network is the best? My opinion is Verizon’s because they have coveraged so many area’s with LTE and its just blazing fast. Then I would give to AT&T, T-Mobile and then Sprint. T-Mobile has not said if they would move to 4G LTE, AT&T is in the process of buying T-Mobile to use it’s spectrum for 4G LTE, Sprint will move onto 4G LTE in 2012.