What is 4G?

weBoost | July 17, 2012

The 4G moniker has been thrown around TONS for the last year or so by wireless carriers but exactly what is 4G? Seriously.  Is it HSPA+? LTE? WiMAX? Technically all three of these are 4G technologies. Simply put, 4G is the fourth generation of cell phone mobile communications standards. Regardless of tech specs, wireless carriers, frequency bands and advertising jargon there is one thing that pretty much everyone agrees on, 4G is the next big thing in mobile. (Check out our new 4G cradle booster that is now available, the Sleek 4G-V!)

Sometimes a good way to define something is to decide what it isn’t. In the case of 4G there are two things we need to keep in mind. First thing: 4G standards and protocols aren’t clear-cut and this doesn’t look to change any time in the near future. Second: 4G isn’t going away. According to an article by Tim Schiesser posted on Neowin.net 4G is one of five technologies you should look for in your next smartphone

Wireless carriers seem to agree on this as they are shipping more 4G devices in 2012…lots more.According to Brad Reed of NetworkWorld ABI Research predicts that around 87 million 4G devices will ship this year. That’s a 294 percent increase over 2011.

So, why are 4G devices and networks so appealing to consumers? One word: Speed. Speed is what truly defines 4G. In an article written by Kim Komando for USA Today she says the International Telecommunication Union defines 4G as the ability to download data at speeds of 100 megabits per second to 1 gigabit per second. Komando goes on to explain that the 1 gig per second applies to low-mobility situations, while the 100 megabyte standard would apply to mobile situations such as traveling in a car or train. She also mentions that generally speeds are nowhere near that fast…yet. But still, 20 megs down is pretty fast, much faster than the speed of current 3G networks.

Which protocol will win? Most folks in the mobile industry feel LTE will end up being the 4G standard. At this point only AT&T and Verizon have LTE networks.

Well, there’s some 4G information to think about. Don’t despair if you have some confusion about the 4G blitzes because you are not alone. To quote Kim Komando,“If you’re confused about 4G, welcome to the fastest-growing club!”

Keep in mind that Wilson has the following 4G boosters–the AWS, the Sleek 4G-V and the LTE now available to help boost your 4G speeds! What do you think about 4G? Anything else to add to our article? Let us know in the comments, or leave us a message on Facebook/Twitter.