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What Is The Difference Between 4G & 4G LTE?

Written by Qurat Zafar ·  2 min read >

Warid, a major telecom service in Pakistan has been sending messages to its users giving them the news of an upcoming 4G LTE. You can read more about the news here. However, there are many who would like to the difference between 4G and 4G LTE technology so that they can understand what the hype is all about. This information can also help users make a good choice about the network they want to choose for mobile internet.We decided to categorically highlight and explain the main differences.
We have been living, until very recently, in an ancient era where our phone ran the EDGE connection, the tiny E you see on top of our mobile screen. An EDGE connection is defined as 2.75G and offers a humble 175 kbps of download. Now fast forward to modern era where users across the world have access to internet at speeds as fast as 15mbps. We are talking about the 4G. As the name suggests, it stands for Fourth Generation technology used for mobile internet. What is 4G LTE then, you ask? It is the Fourth Generation, Long Term Evolution and the current standard for mobile internet that the world is enjoying.

Think of Technology Like A Water Pipe
Too many technical terms? Let’s put it in simpler words. Internet is, at the end of the day, lots of bits flowing from one place to another. When we talk about moving from one generation to another, we are referring to the ability of data transmission. Think of the technology like a water pipe. A broad pipe would result in large rate of flow of water. 2.75G or your Edge connection was a measly, thin pipe on which Facebook took years to load. A 3G pipe is bigger and broader in comparison allowing more bits to flow through. 4G, however, is a huge pipe, giving huge data transmission speeds in turn.

Naturally, the 4G technology is a successor to the 3G. You can rest assured that it is faster than 3G but speeds vary with different versions of the technology. The two main categories are 4G and 4G LTE. The former refers to an HSPA Network, (High Speed Packet Access). What this means is that this variant of 4G is the new 3G GSM. 4G Networks typically range from 3-8 Mbps. However, it is not quite that simple. New technology brings us better speeds at lower costs. Let’s say your operator gives the users a wireless spectrum of 5 Megabytes. In a typical 3G network, this would mean that you would be able to download almost 5 Megabytes per second. In a 4G network, with the same speed you could get almost 50% higher speed that is you would be getting data at a rate as high as 7-7.5 Megabytes per second! The speeds can vary with congestion and the technology that the telecom company uses.

With 4G LTE, you are looking at the future. Theoretically, it is almost 10 times faster than 3G but at the end of the day, the speed will depend on the load and signal strength. 4G LTE networks can download data at high speeds that range from 5 to 12 Mbps per second. This means that you can directly stream movies on your smartphones. With that speed, just imagine the way your smartphone internet experience will be revolutionized and since most of us will be upgrading from EDGE connection, we can get ready for jaw-dropping experience.

The Final Verdict: Should I Chose 4G or 4G LTE?

There are two main factors that should influence your choice, the smartphone you own and your mobile internet usage. Not all phones are 4G LTE compatible. iPhone, for example, only supports 4G LTE from iPhone 5 onwards. Basically, you will need a good, high end set to use the technology. Secondly, you need to determine exactly how hungry are you for data. If you are a person who enjoys the luxury of internet availability on the go, you should consider 4G LTE with its unparalleled speeds.

That should cover the main differences between the two variant of 4G. In Pakistan, another major factor that will determine who wins the customers hearts with 4G speeds will be the timing of launch. Warid is yet to officially declare the 4G LTE availability date and ZONG is not keen on launching the service right away. While you contend yourself with 3G, you can start thinking about your future 4G variant choice. So what will you go for, let us know in the comments!

Written by Qurat Zafar
Her heart skips a beat everytime she sees a new, beautiful gadget. A tech enthusiast to the core, Qurat loves reading, writing and wasting time. She tweets at @q_zafar. Profile