What to Expect from 4G Internet Providers

by Aeyne Schriber on July 27, 2011 in 4G

There are an increasing number of mobile broadband providers that are offering 4G Internet which is the next generation of 3G Internet.  4G is known as the next generation of Internet connectivity since it offers faster speeds than most of the previous types of existing Internet connections.

If you are currently using 3G it may be worth your while to look into trading up to 4G provided it is available in the area where you reside.  The fact that 4G is a fairly new technology means that it is not yet available in all areas however, this is due to change as 4G becomes more popular.  4G is already available in some of the metropolitan areas throughout the US with some of the primary providers planning to have wider 4G coverage by 2012.

So what is all the noise about 4G and what can you expect when you obtain Internet access from a 4G provider?

Advantages of 4G Connectivity

Most people are under the impression that 3G and 4G are only used for establishing an Internet connection for a smartphone.  To clarify this notion, 3G and 4G networks can also serve other devices such as your laptop PC or a portable netbook.

The primary advantage of 4G Internet is that it allows both mobile and PC users to operate applications that require a high bandwidth in order to function properly.  Some of the functions you can expect when you sign up for a plan with a 4G Internet provider include the capability to chat on video seamlessly without latency, watch television on your mobile device or PC, use a wide variety of multimedia applications, access high definition TV, and accomplish more tasks with a higher rate of data transfer and better quality of sound.

Different Types of 4G Offered by 4G Providers

As it stands right now, 4G Internet providers can offer this type of connectivity which is categorized into different types of technology including WiMAX which stands for Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access and is capable of offering broadband access at a distance of up to 25 miles from a fixed station and slightly less than that for mobile access.

Another type of technology that is categorized under 4G is 3GPP LTE.  Although this type of technology is still considered to be 3G it is categorized under 4G connectivity since it offers more capability than the standard 3G connection including faster download and upload speeds.  A step up from 3GPP is Ultra Mobile Broadband or UMB which is also commonly referred to as 3GPP2 and raises the mobile standard for new applications that require more bandwidth.

These are the different types of technology you can expect from a 4G Internet provider that are considered to be part of the current form of 4G Internet connectivity.  As 4G evolves there are other technologies that will become available for running new apps and other programs that require a higher amount of bandwidth.

Data Transfer Rates You Can Expect from a 4G Internet Provider

According to the objectives that have been set forth by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) the data transfer rates you can expect from a 4G Internet provider vary according to whether you are accessing the Internet while moving in a vehicle or you are obtaining Internet connectivity from a fixed location.

The typical rate of data transfer you can expect while moving in a vehicle is approximately 100Mbps (megabits per second) as long as you are within a specified distance from the base station that provides the signal.  If you are accessing the Internet from a fixed location you can expect a data transfer rate of approximately 1Gbps (gigabits per second).

Enhancements Made Possible with 4G

If you are currently using a 3G connection with your mobile broadband provider you can expect to enjoy the features of 3G in addition to the enhancements that a 4G connection has to offer.  Where 3G performs at approximately the same speed as a DSL connection you can expect a significantly faster speed with 4G.  For instance, 3G typically delivers a data transfer rate of 3Mbps and if you obtain a 4G connection with your provider you can enjoy speeds up to 100Mbps.

3G offers the capability to view videos and stream music.  It also offers gaming in 3D and the ability to browse the Web at the speed of a DSL connection.  If you trade up to 4G with your service provider you can still enjoy the features of 3G however the enhancements with 4G will include capabilities such as video on-demand, VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol), high definition, and an improved quality of sound.

4G Internet Providers

If you want to find out more about the types of services you can expect from a 4G Internet provider some of the primary companies that offer 4G and are planning to expand their coverage over the next year include AT&T, Sprint Nextel, T-Mobile, Vodafone, Verizon, Cox Communications, and Clearwire.  You may also find independent providers in your local area.

Although the cost will vary according to the provider you choose you can typically expect to pay approximately $30 monthly for a personal plan and significantly more if you are obtaining 4G for a business.  Some providers are also offering unlimited data transfer plans for 4G connectivity.

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