Why 4G Isn’t Worth Signing Up To

Why 4G Isn't Worth Signing Up To

4G technology is not worthwhile with the current back end technology and data packages on offer. I believe the new high speed connectivity for mobile technology, due to take over from 3G, just isn’t worth signing up to.

Internet browsing and downloads are offered at speeds five times faster than 3G but on current mobile phone contracts this speed comes with a huge downside, on a basic tariff you could eat up your monthly Internet allowance usage in minutes.

The high-speed connection on 4G enables you to download a movie in 1 second. A 3G connection maxes out at 14.4Mbps compared to 750 Mbps for LTE 4G. The killer with such speed is the data caps on basic tariffs. At such download speeds 4G can burn through your average monthly allowance of 500MB very quickly. Smartphones capable of 4G won’t be able to be used to their full potential because of such strict data allowances.

The price-data bundles on offer are not of great value and to add to this, the speed of 4G versus the power it requires from the phone is also not good. It demands such power that 4G is capable of burning through the battery life of handset very quickly.

EE, which provides 4G in the UK, has a monopoly on the technology for several months, which means they can continue to hike up prices by placing strict data caps on users. Currently, I’d advise anyone against moving to 4G because it doesn’t make commercial sense and any users would have to be extremely vigilant how they use it or they could end up with hefty phone bills at the end of each month.

We have a long way to go before 4G can become viable. The back end technology, the data providers, do not have the technology available to deal with 4G users en mass. This means the amount of 4G users or the amount they can download has to be limited otherwise the back end systems wouldn’t be able to cope.

To bring the ‘back end’ up to speed, so it can cope with billions of 4G users with much larger data allowances will literally cost billions. So essentially 4G is currently before its time, everything else needs to now catch up.

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Jeff Orr is the founder and CEO of Stack Data Solutions and Chairman of the Stack Group of companies, one of the leading IT and Cloud service providers in the North West. Jeff studied at Liverpool University obtaining a B.Eng and an MBA. He is a Chartered Engineer and a member of the Institute of Measurement and Control. Jeff consults widely on data communication analysis and traffic shaping for large enterprise organisations numbering Premier League football clubs and rail companies among his regular clients. He speaks at international events on subjects as diverse as spam mitigation and BYOD. He is married with two sons and a daughter.