WHAT IS 4G?
4G is the fourth in the generations of Mobile Technology, it is commonly referred to as 4G-LTE (Long Term Evolution).
It is an all I.P (Internet Protocol) based standard for both voice and data as set by the ITU-R (International Telecommunication Union- Radio Communication).
In layman’s terms, true 4G simply means high speed.
Its expanded capabilities for sending and receiving high bandwidth and speed are achieved using MIMO and OFDM technologies (Multiple Input- Multiple Output and Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing).
Practical 4G download and upload speeds are around 100Mbps and 30Mbps (Megabytes per second) respectively. Though theoretical download speed in controlled environments is up to 300Mbps -1Gbps (Gigabytes per second).
4G’s latency is about 50 milliseconds which is about 0.05 seconds, a significant reduction from 3G’s 100 milliseconds. latency means the time it takes for data to travel from sender to receiver and vice versa.
4G allows us to experience the internet in a richer, faster, and more wholesome way.
4G successfully delivers unthinkable super speeds, reliable and incredible coverage through a combined deployment of small cells, carrier aggregation, massive MIMO, etc.
WHAT IS VoLTE- VOICE OVER LTE?
It introduced VOLTE (Voice over L.T.E), which is a means to make high-quality HD voice and video calls over L.T.E.
For the best Voice-Over-LTE experience, being within a good and stable network coverage area gives the best quality.
In addition to pre-existing services, 4G Q.O.S (Quality of Service) introduced more variety.
It delivered the very first authentic internet broadband transmission rates to access services speedily and effectively.
TYPES OF 4G
It is currently the most widely available mobile cellular technology worldwide alongside all 4G LTE, WiMAX, LTE Advance, and other post-3G releases.
Pre- 4G technologies such as 4G- LTE (Fourth Generation- Long Term Evolution) sometimes called 3.9G or super 3G, Mobile WiMAX (IEEE 802.16e), Ultra Mobile Broadband, Flash- OFDM, iBurst and MBWA, LTE Advanced, WiMAX Release 2 (IEEE 802.16m)were launched at various stages between 2008- 2012 in a bid to meet the 4G standards.
Mobile operators like Ericsson Systems in Stockholm- Sweden, South Korea’s SK Telecom, Sprint Nextel, Russia’s Scartel, and America’s Verizon all raced to meet the 4G standards across the world.
Most forerunners before “true 4G” did not meet the defined standards. The ITU-R in December 2010 recognized all post-3G generations as 4G if they met IMT (International Mobile Telecommunications) advanced compliant versions.
According to the IMT “It must boast of a substantial level of improvement in performance and capabilities to the initial third-generation systems deployed”.
END USERS’- CURIOSITY AND INTEREST
This stirred an active curiosity and interest in 4G as Mobile operators and Phone manufacturers roll out cutting-edge 4G capable products.
Increased interest led more end users to want to distinguish between practical and advertised offers just to avoid purchase mistakes.
Compatibility is key if you want to enjoy 4G’s super speeds. This means combining a 4G network and a 4G-capable phone. It is impossible to access the 4G network on an older generation device except compatibility is established.
Now that we know 4G is fast, what does this practically mean when using our phones?
In truth, the combination of 4G with intuitive smartphones blows one’s mind with out-of-the-world experiences.
Enabling instant video, music, and sharing data at new staggering speeds that are hundreds of times faster than 3G is transformative.
It sure transformed our smartphones into a connected powerful on-the-go devices and opened our professional, business, fun, and personal lives to new possibilities. It is the powerhouse of the IoT (Internet of Things).
WHAT CAN WE DO WITH 4G?
Access to 4G means commercially being able to instantly sell and shop online, it means gamers can now concurrently compete on a multiplayer game app with multiple players.
It means streaming 3D/HD music, and movies on Netflix, Disneyplus, and YouTube in seconds.
It means accurately getting instant directions using satellite navigation like Google maps and Wayz. Quick instant review checks before purchase, upload an e-book from anywhere, facetime, smartwatch, smartphone, video conference calls/ online meetings on Zoom.
4G has a tremendous positive impact with Tele-Medicine as doctors can now give instant treatments regardless of location.
Depending on your variation of 4G and type of phone, the symbols that appear at the top right hand of your smartphone screen vary.
4G, LTE or LTE Advance symbols are 4G, LTE, LTE+ or 4G+.
FAST FACTS AND FEATURES OF 4G
- The Fourth Generation of Mobile phone technology is 4G, it succeeds 3G and precedes 5G
- It delivers high speed and low latency
- 4G uses MIMO and OFDM (Multiple Input- Multiple Output and Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing) technologies as its mode for sending and receiving high bandwidth
- It has a seamless network of multiple protocols and air interfaces techniques that boost better scheduling and call admission control
- It has an increased spectral efficiency
- Practical 4G speeds are 100Mbps downlink and 30Mbps uplink (Megabytes per second)
- It has a latency or response time of about 30- 50 milliseconds
- 4G uses an all I.P (Internet Protocol) based network system
- Its I.P architecture enables converging services based on the I.P Multimedia System (IMS)
- It supports interactive multimedia, high-definition voice, and video, Internet and apps, plus other broadband services
- 4G has global access, service portability, and scalable mobile services
- It enables calls over LTE commonly referred to as VoLTE
- The symbol for 4G is 4G
CHALLENGES OF 4G
4G network got congested as more users got connected, demands increased for massive bandwidth, quick connections, lower latency, and higher speeds.
The entrance of new ideas and innovation sprang immersive experiences in AR (augmented), autonomous driverless cars, smart cities, the internet of things (IoT), etc. challenging the capabilities of 4G.
These challenges accelerated the launch of the fifth generation of wireless network technology.
Its capabilities to process a thousand times more traffic with tens of speeds faster than a 4G network was revolutionary.
The fourth generation brought transformations beyond our imagination with speeds peaking 100Mbps. With instant access to services that changed our ways of life.
No doubts 4G was truly a game changer as it will be around much longer to operate side by side with the revolutionary 5G which will gradually be deployed and expand to a full standalone network.