3G Vs 4G: What’s the difference?

Technology never fails to baffle us; it continues to flabbergast us with its continuous upgrades in different verticals of technologies. When it comes to the world of technology in telecoms, it becomes more complex and extremely difficult for a layman to comprehend the telecom jargons like bandwidths and spectrums. In this piece, we are going to discuss about 3G and 4G and the major differences between the two technologies.

To begin with, 3G is the abbreviated form of third generation in mobile telecommunication technology which complies with the standard set by International Mobile Telecommunications-2000. According to IMT, the data rate on a 3G network should not be lesser than 200 kbit/s (0.2 Mbit/s). Gradually, the network providers began to promote different standards like UMTS, CDMA and HSPA+ under 3G platform. With these standards the speed of the internet on 3G platform goes up to 3.1Mbps as of today.

4G is the successor of 3G and operates on an upgraded platform to provide much faster speed than 3G. In March of 2008, the International Telecommunications Union-Radio communication sector (ITU-R) decided a speed of 100 Mbps for high mobility communications and 1GB for low mobility communications. Though, the speed provided by network providers in India is up to 49 Mbps of download speed.

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3G vs 4G difference-spiderorbit

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Quick Analysis & which is better for you?

To simplify, the difference between the two platforms is practically measured in upload and download speed. On 3G, one can expect to get a speed of up to 3.1Mbps with an average speed of 0.5Mbps to 1.5Mbps. On 4G, the internet speed almost doubles, it is expected to deliver a maximum speed of up to 40Mbps which an average download speed of 1Mbps to 2Mbps. The peak download rate is 100Mbps whereas on 4G it is 1Gbps. The peak upload rate on 3G is 5Mbps as compared to a whopping 500Mbps on 4G. The third generation network operates on 1.8 – 2.5Ghz in comparison to 2 – 8Ghz on 4G.

3gv4g-download-speeds-spiderorbitimage credit : Whistleout

If one gets deeper into the two technologies, one will find the 3G network operates on Wide Area Cell Based network architecture while 4G functions on Integration of wireless LAN and Wide area network. The services and applications utilized on 3G include CDMA 2000, UMTS, EDGE among others while on 4G there are Wimax2 and LTE- Advanced technologies. 3G uses Turbo codes for error correction while Concatenated codes are used for the same. Both the platforms use packet switching, but on 4G message switching is also implied.

4G was introduced in India a couple of years back and yet it has not become popular among the masses, mainly because the internet speed on 3G is more than sufficient even to carry high-end tasks. Hence, one should not opt for the upgraded technology unless one requires express download speed or the nature of work requires the fastest connection available.


Availability of 4G Smartphones

4G mobiles are available in plethora, across all brands and operating systems. Not only the big brands but Indian and Chinese brands offer 4G mobile phones from low to high budget. So, a 4G mobile phone can be purchased in a limited budget; however the best experience of a 4G mobile phone can be enjoyed on devices that boasts of powerful configuration and on latest version of the operating systems. Even brands like HTC, Samsung, Motorola among others offer low budget smartphones with excellent features which eventually benefit the consumers.

Though 4G phones are available in plenty, but not all network providers in India offer 4G connections. Airtel is the only company that provides 4G services and that too is limited to a selected few cities. So, you need to check whether the services are provided in your area or not before purchasing a 4G mobile phone.

Must Read : 4G services in India

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