October 8, 2012

4G Explained in simple terms

4G is pretty confusing , therefore you might want to read 4G explained in simple terms.

4G Logo

The current mobile technology is known as 3G and this was launched in the UK in 2003. In the telecoms industry, a new and updated mobile technology appears around every 10 years. Currently, 3G networks are being stretched by an increasing number of smartphones and tablets and an ever increasing amount of mobile data consumption.

4G is the next generation of wireless technology and is the new updated version of 3G. 3G networks will continue until around 2020. Historically, the 4G wireless auction has been delayed since 2009 and has resulted in the US and some European countries launching 4G well before us in the UK.

4G – 4G LTE this month

4G comes in two forms in Europe and these are 4G LTE and WiMax 2. In the UK, the main mobile operators have chosen 4G LTE for their networks and mobile services whilst WiMax 2 may be used in some rural areas but this is likely to be on a smaller scale.

National coverage of 4G services will come via 4G LTE. There are two forms of 4G LTE in UK and these are 4G LTE and 4G LTE Advanced. LTE Advanced will come years later and offer far greater download speeds than 4G LTE. In the UK, all mobile operators will launch 4G using 4G LTE.

4G LTE services will launch in the UK later this month ( October 2012 ) and it’s taken quite some time to reach this point. It’s a strange position to occur in that one mobile operator will launch 4G in the UK yet the 4G mobile auction has not begun. The UK 4G auction process will begin in months with approval in the Spring of 2013.

4G LTE – what speeds

4G LTE will initially offer download speeds five times faster than the current 3G network and in addition will provide a more stabilised experience. In 3 to 5 years time, 4G LTE advanced could offer download speeds of 20 times faster than current 3G download speeds. Some experts are predicting some replacement of fixed line broadband lines with 4G wireless connections as the difference between the two lessens.

4G LTE – the UK launch

The launch of 4G in the UK has not panned out as we expected. A spanner was thrown into the works when Ofcom approved an application form EE ( Everything Everywhere – which owns Orange and T-Mobile ) to launch 4G LTE using some old 2G frequency spectrum it owns. This was very much like a side-winder missile for the other UK mobile operators who have to officially tender for a 4G licence and approval via Ofcom.

The result is that EE will launch 4G LTE on the 30th October 2012 whilst Vodafone, O2 and Three have to wait until at least May 2013 to launch their own 4G LTE networks. The EE 4G launch will initially cover ten cities and be launched in 16 cities by Xmas (London, Birmingham, Cardiff, Belfast, Derby, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Hull, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Nottingham, Newcastle, Sheffield and Southampton ).

The 4G LTE launch dates for the UK are :

EE 4G launch : 30th October 2012 ( confirmed )

Vodafone 4G launch : June 2013 ( estimated )

O2 4G launch : June 2013 ( estimated )

Three 4G launch : July 2013 ( estimated )

4G LTE – 4G Ready Phones

Later this month there will be both 3G and 4G phones available to buy in the UK. The 4G phones will only be available from EE ( Everything Everywhere – which owns Orange and T-Mobile ) and will only work as 4G phones on EE’s 4G network.

At the time of EE’s 4G network launch there will be a number of 4G enabled phones available. The 4G Ready Phones being offered by EE are : the iPhone 5, Samsung Galaxy SIII LTE, HTC One XL, Huawei Ascend P1 LTE, Nokia Lumia 920 and 820, Samsung Galaxy Note II LTE, Huawei E589 Mobile Wi-Fi device and the Huawei E392 Mobile Broadband stick.

4G.co.uk sit and wait for the first launch of 4G in the UK on the 30th October when we will be able to test the 4G network and start undertaking our 4G phone reviews on the above devices.