4G and the Future for Mobile Broadband Technology

With the steep competition surrounding the mobile industry it is no wonder that companies have begun to nip at each other's throats. Every mobile phone provider has a new term or piece of technology to outdo the other and earn that slightly larger piece of the market. One of the newest and most heavily used terms is now 4G technology. Spencer Hogg from UK mobile broadband website Broadband Expert gives us a rundown of what to expect with 4G.

Fourth generation of technology is being used to describe a new type of connection available for phones and other connectivity devices around the world and is a major selling point within the States. The ITU, or International Telecommunications Union, is an organization which regulates mobile technology standards. According to this union many companies are in fact abusing this term to peddle their wares without backing up their claims. So is 4G the future of mobile technology or simply a new buzz word in an international marketing campaign?

This shift in technology is the product of necessity as the current 3G networks around the world are being put under considerable stress and there are very specific rules and guidelines on what exactly a 4G mobile broadband connection and 4G network are. The ITU states that a phone must have download speeds of 100 MB per second in high mobility scenarios and must have download speeds of 1 GB per second in stationary scenarios to be considered 4G. There are a slew of other rules governing the term 4G ranging from the seamless hand off between multiple wireless 'zones' to how flexible the bandwidth must be indoors and outdoors.

Many companies claim to have 4G broadband connections, but these speeds are more dependent on location than phone type. Only a handful of cities within the US even possess the transmitting technology to support this massive data load whilst the UK may not have access to these speeds for upwards of two years. This is not simply due to the competition between mobile phone companies, but the competition between opposing technology.

WiMAX has maintained part of the infrastructure that brings wireless technologies to the world for the past 8 or 9 years. Unfortunately, it cannot consistently supply the data transfer speeds that the ITU demands of a 4G network. Another competing technology is LTE, or Long Term Evolution, which is also attempting to develop an infrastructure which could truly call itself 4G. Neither of these branches of technology has quite made it yet in terms of delivering a true 4G connection though future versions such as Advanced LTE promise to do so.

Outside of the private sector, governments around the world have begun looking at the possibilities that an international 4G network could bring. Nearly instantaneous access of any data anywhere in the world could revolutionize healthcare, education, and natural disaster response. 4G mobile broadband networks also have much more robust security. With the increasing amount of personal information that is put into mobile phones and transferred wirelessly this could lead to a dramatic decline in the theft and loss of personal data.

Leaving all of the controversy of competing companies and technologies behind, the future of the mobile broadband 4G network is bright. It has the possibility of finally bringing about a true worldwide, high-speed network. So what does this mean for the average consumer today? That a blindingly fast mobile broadband network for our phones and laptops may be just around the corner.

When will 4G broadband come to India?

Whilst this new technology sounds fantastic, India is still waiting for the regulatory body, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), to auction of the 3G spectrum which may happen this September. Thankfully the TRAI is already acting to bring 4G to India which has been recognised as an important technology for the country. With the TRAI saying that “It is necessary that our country should be prepared to introduce 4G services at the earliest (opportunity)”.

Spencer Hogg

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