We don’t need to tell you that 3G and 4G coverage isn’t available everywhere. While technology is definitely changing fast and 3G/4G rollouts have been going on for years, some places still do not have coverage. Even if you buy the best or the newest smartphone on the market, you’re still not guaranteed fast network service throughout the USA.
In fact, before 4G is complete, 5G will be introduced. You can learn more about 5G by reading our article What is 5G and how will it impact your life for the better?
What’s The Difference Between 3G and 4G?
The ‘G’ in 3G and 4G stands for ‘generation’ and refers to the different iterations of wireless technology. Broadly speaking, the main difference between 3G and 4G is speed – 4G brings broadband to your phone and has speeds up to ten times faster than 3G. It also allows for greater downloading and uploading capabilities.
4G is a data-only service and voice calls continue to be carried across the 3G network. Newer generations of smartphones are usually designed to be compatible with previous technology, so a 4G phone can communicate through a 3G network, or even through a 2G network. However, older phones can’t run on a 4G network. To access the 4G network you’ll need a 4G-ready mobile phone, a 4G plan and a 4G SIM card.
What Happens If 4G Isn’t Available in My Area?
There are alternatives if you reside outside an area where 4G coverage is widely available. Cell phones that use the 3G network are still at your disposal, and on the bright side, the 3G network is cheaper.
It seems ironic that 5G could substitute 4G before it’s even rolled out worldwide, but it’s a real possibility. Whereas 4G requires fiber connection, 5G doesn’t. For this reason, 5G home internet is much easier for carriers to roll out, they can just give customers wireless modems after installing fiber optics to a cell site every few blocks, instead of having to dig up every street in order to install house-by-house fiber optic lines.
Rest assured that carriers, device suppliers and even the government itself are all trying to work out a good way of delivering next-generation mobile internet.