6 Jun 2012

What is 4G to a layman?

In light of the recent woo-ha about Singapore's operators launching new 4G commercial plans and reducing data limit, many people are concerned over this new 4G service.

I was asked the questions "What is this 4G thing?", "What is the extra features (the extra "G") ?" by a few friends. My reply to them was "new technology, faster speed". That was all I can say to make things simpler to understand.

But if you like to know, you can always read up the Wikipedia on 4G: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/4G

And if you don't want the technical jargon, here is what you might wanna know.

  • 4G is the fourth generation (and thus 4G) of mobile communication standards.
  • Things progressed, LTE is recognised as a forerunner to 4G standards. 
  • Anyway, operators use 4G and LTE loosely to promote their services.
  • It is no more circuit switching, but all IP (Internet Protocol) based. 

To a consumer like you and me, the only thing we see is:

  • Faster downloads
  • Speedier uploads.
Both are actually the result of higher speeds of 4G. 

A few questions to ask before signing up for 4G services/

  • Do I need this 4G service now?
  • Do I have the coverage at my area (e.g. workplace/ home/ etc)?
  • Is it affordable?
  • Do I have the necessary equipment to access the faster network? If no, is the upgrade worth the deal?
What is my take? Will I sign up?

As of this post, I don't really need that high speed connection on mobile. Here are the reasons
  1. Although there are significant improvements over speed and access, I don't have the time to use data on mobile. I use data on mobile while travelling, or waiting for friends. Half the time, you don't get a good connection (even 3G or 2G) in the older MRT tunnels,I don't think the coverage of 4G will reach there soon?
  2. I have a fixed line Internet at home that satisfies my Internet usage. 
Well, so what is your choice?

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