4G Internet is fourth generation wireless Internet technology which offers a few more advantages than its predecessor, 3G. Where 3G provides a faster data transfer rate, 4G offers a more inexpensive way to connect to the Internet while providing a faster data transfer rate and an easier method for acquiring connectivity.
4G Internet is called fourth generation since it was created with Internet users in mind instead of being specifically for mobile smartphones. Instead of having to find the nearest coffee shop to acquire connectivity 4G is mobile, has a wider coverage zone, and allows your device to be used as a wireless hotspot wherever you go within the zone. 4G is designed for connectivity with smartphones, netbooks, mobile phones, laptop and desktop PCs.
How to Acquire 4G Internet Connectivity
Gradually there have been more Internet Service Providers and cellular phone service providers offering 4G Internet connectivity with more companies coming on board. This means that you will have to determine the availability in your geographic location.
- Contact Primary Service Provider: You can find out if 4G is available in your location by contacting a major service provider such as AT&T or Sprint. You can also look up these providers online to see if they offer 4G in your geographic location. 4G is fairly new so it is only available in certain areas however this is preparing to change as this type of connectivity becomes more popular. If you have availability in your area you will be requested to purchase a subscription.
- Obtain a 4G Device: To establish connectivity to 4G Internet service you must have a 4G enabled mobile device. These are commonly offered by the service provider and include mobile devices such as a smartphone or netbook. Once you choose the 4G device it will automatically connect to the Internet once you power it up.
How to Connect a Device That is Not 4G Enabled
If you have a device that is not 4G enabled you can still establish connectivity by purchasing a 4G modem from your service provider. Once you acquire the modem you simply install it in your PC or netbook that is not enabled with 4G.
Your 4G modem comes with a CD that you use to install the software that helps you establish 4G Internet connectivity. When you insert the CD it will walk you through the process of installing the software and establishing connectivity to the 4G network. Then you connect the 4G modem via one of the USB ports located on the side of your PC. Once the modem is connected your PC will automatically detect the new hardware and then install the drivers that are necessary for using the modem to connect to the Internet.
WiMAX and 4G Technology
WiMAX provides 4G Internet access that is wireless with a high rate of data transfer. This type of 4G Internet works via microwave and can deliver a signal at a much greater distance than 3G or other wireless technologies. Instead of relying on cables and phone lines to deliver a signal, it uses microwave links to provide high speed 4G Internet from base station towers to consumers with 4G enabled devices. The advantage of this is that the consumer can access the Internet within a long distance of the base station tower which can be as far away as 30 miles.
LTE and 4G Wireless Technology
LTE is known as Long Term Evolution and is another type of 4G Internet. LTE provides high speed broadband Internet by utilizing a radio platform as opposed to the microwave connectivity of WiMAX. LTE is considered a competitor of WiMAX but is not expected to be available until 2012.
4G Wireless Routers
If you have a subscription to a 4G Internet service and you have multiple users with 4G devices, you can opt to use a portable 4G wireless router. By using a 4G router subscribers can share 4G Internet among multiple devices. As a general rule, you can usually connect up to five devices including PCs, game consoles, cameras, and any other type of WiFi enabled device. If there does not happen to be 4G Internet in the area the router will automatically establish a 3G connection.
Many users question whether or not 4G bandwidth stacks up to a wired connection in terms of being able to view streaming video and other applications that require greater bandwidth to function properly. Typically 4G Internet users will receive bandwidth of 20 Mbps to 40 Mbps which is considered a functional alternative to the bandwidth that is offered on a wired network. Although this may vary according to peak times and according to how much you use applications such as streaming video, if the 4G base station tower provides moderate to heavy loading it is highly likely that the 4G network will offer consistency in terms of bandwidth advantages. As the popularity of 4G grows the bandwidth will continue to remain more consistent and relevant with the volume of usage.