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3G vs 4G which one to choose?

3G has revolutionised how society connects – we’re no longer tethered to cables and wires or even have to stay within the reach of a Wi-Fi router. Today, most mobile devices come with 3G functionality with access to reliable and fast internet connection virtually everywhere. Related Articles 3G – not just for smartphones anymore Road Ahead for Indian Telecom Portable Wifi Hotspot – Who Else Wants On-the-spot Online network Access Pole to pole They Are? Gadgets You Should Get Rid Of (or Not)

Now, wireless broadband internet providers are lauding the arrival of 4G – the next milestone in internet connectivity. In Australia, Telstra is the first of the major internet service providers to activate its 4G network just last month although connection to the new 4G network is currently limited to Telstra coverage in metro areas. The ISP also plans to introduce a 4G capable mobile phone from HTC in its devices line-up early next year.

3G vs 4G – what’s the difference

According to Telstra and other broadband internet providers worldwide, the new 4G network boasts much faster access speeds, up to 25 times faster than the current 3G capabilities, according to Telstra.

Download speeds are reported to range from 2 to 40 Mbps and upload rates from 1 to 10 Mbps. These faster download and upload speeds will be especially helpful for users that consume intensive multimedia content including streaming for music and videos.

Of course, Telstra is actually not the first player to the game. Vivid Wireless provides a service that uses WiMax technology that provides speeds that have been compared to 4G. This has been available since 2010 but the network is limited to the major capital cities. For Telstra customers, the advantage of Telstra’s 4G service becomes apparent when they wander outside of the 4G coverage – the device automatically seeks out Telstra’s Next-G service where 4G is not available, giving users mobile broadband coverage virtually anywhere in Australia.

Telstra’s 4G network access is currently limited to certain devices in key metro areas. In terms of mobile phones, a number of manufacturers have released 4G compatible models in its international markets including HTC, Motorola and Samsung. Meanwhile, iPhone devotees will find that the latest iPhone 4S won’t have 4G capabilities and they’ll likely have to wait until the iPhone 5 debuts.

The 3G experience

For most standard mobile broadband users, 3G speeds will likely be sufficient. Most 3G carriers offer reliable coverage throughout Australia. Typical download speeds are around 1.1Mbps – 20Mbps and upload speeds clock in between 300kbps – 3.0 Mbps, although this will greatly depend on your location and network coverage. Most 3G wireless broadband service providers offer network coverage throughout major cities and in many regional areas.

There are a number of 3G mobile broadband providers that offer reliable connection at a number of price points. You can also opt for pre-paid, contract or month-to-month service, making it easy to find the mobile broadband internet plan that’s right for you.

Author: Eva Jio

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