What is 4G?

4G is the current state of the art in mobile phones – you only need to worry if you don’t yet have a 4G phone or your carrier does not offer 4G. So what’s so good about 4G anyway?

4G is the fourth generation of wireless communication services. 4G is the newest development after 3G – most mobile phone providers offer 3G today and are adopting 4G. In fact, three national mobile phone providers currently offer 4G. 4G is a combination of your phone and your mobile phone provider’s network.

When you place a call using your mobile phone, it connects to your mobile phone provider’s network and, through a number of technologies, connects you to the person you’re calling. Your phone and the mobile phone carrier’s network work together to ensure that your call stays connected, even as you speed along the highway. The mobile phone provider’s 4G network provides voice along with data services so that you phone can send and receive data, and take calls as long as your phone has enough battery power.

A 4G network makes it possible to have a phone that does more than ensure crystal clear calls with reliable connections. Video calls are becoming more common, along with video on demand and other services that use your phone’s data capabilities as opposed to its voice¬† capabilities.

Today’s phones have features that can take advantage of the fact that they can send and receive data any time. GPS is a great example – 4G phones include GPS along with mapping services, like those provided by Google Maps. In the past, you had to get updates for your GPS device because maps change over time, especially in areas where there’s a lot of expansion taking place.¬† When using a 4G phone instead of a traditional GPS receiver, your phone gets the most up to date maps the moment you need them. In fact, your phone can also get information about current traffic conditions, road closures, and other important information. You can also get a current listing things that are close to you, like restaurants, gas stations, hotels, shopping, and more. Not sure if a place is good? Your phone can get reviews and photos of places you’re thinking of visiting, and you can provide reviews in real time if you like, helping others too.

All of this communication needs a network that can not only connect your phone to a reliable network, it also has to provide the best available speed. A video, maps, and reviews often use a lot of data and you want it fast so that you don’t miss the next turn!

4G supersedes older technologies like 3G. Most national mobile phone providers offer 3G services and are slowly adopting 4G. You’ll have to update your phone to take advantage of 4G because 3G and 2G phones are not capable of working on 4G networks. Some carriers may provide a 3G service along with 4G but will eventually phase-out 3G altogether.

If you’ve been thinking about updating your phone and you’ve had it for a number of years, ask your mobile phone provider about whether they support 4G and browse through some of the great 4G phones available today for features and uses you might not even have imagined.