So just what is 4G anyway?

So just what is 4G anyway?

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The videos you watch. The apps you download. The sites you check out. A few years ago it would have taken minutes (gasp!) to access these things. But thanks to 4G, the wait time has been cut to just seconds.

So, what is 4G exactly?

4G stands for “fourth generation,” as in the fourth generation of the mobile network. It is the evolution of a system that started decades ago with 1G. That was what was used when those first clunky cell phones were all the rage. 1G used analog radio signals to transmit information.

Then 2G came along in the 1990’s. The main improvement there was that instead of using the analog radio signals, 2G took advantage of digital signals. With the rise of 2G came the invention of SMS messaging and along with it thousands of misunderstandings and emoticons.

But the people wanted more. 3G ushered in an entirely new mobile phone experience. Starting in 2006, people could use smart phones to surf the web. The increase in capability provided by the 3G network turned phones into mini computers as opposed to just calling and texting machines. Uploading and downloading became common place.

The natural evolution of that was the fourth generation of mobile phone technology. 4G is everything people have come to love about 3G but only better.

First and foremost, it’s faster. This is because 4G is completely IP-based. That allows more people to use it at the same time without slowing down or clogging the flow of information from phone to tower. A signal from a 4G tower can serve three to four times as many people at once as one from a 3G tower.

Content is crisper and cleaner once it is on the phone. 4G allows for high definition video and less lag time. Gone are the days of looking forward to seconds of video after struggling through excruciating minutes of buffering.

This newest generation of technology has allowed users to forge ahead into a new era of mobile nirvana. 4G is just the most recent entry in an ongoing wave of improving the experience of using mobile devices.

Check out the below Infographic created by Vividwireless that discuss the Mobile data usage in Australia over the past few years. It’s amazing to see the increase in data download since the introduction of 4G.


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