Is Mobile Broadband 4G Now Good Enough For A Primary Connection?

4g_Mobile_BroadbandNowadays, the Internet has become so important in a person’s life that they require it not only as a static connection but as a mobile connection as well.  This is necessary so that they are able to utilize their broadband Internet connection both when they are in front of and away from their computer, making themselves contactable at all times.  In order to meet this need the majority, practically all mobile service providers are offering wireless broadband Internet connections via 3G connectivity. 

However, there is a more sophisticated mobile Internet connectivity technology that is now available from broadband and mobile phone providers known as 4G.  Information on which providers offer the different services can be found on comparison sites such as uSwitch.com.

What exactly is 4G mobile?

To understand how to use the 4G mobile broadband system, you must have an understanding of what 4G actually is.  4G (the name) is an abbreviation, or representation of, fourth generation communications system.  It is also known as the Long Term Evolution, or Beyond 3G system. Therefore, if anyone begins talking about LTE or B3G you will know what they mean.

4G was created and launched in 2012, as a system to overcome the difficulties consumers were experiencing with their 3G connections; primarily online congestion and speed. However, one problem that still presents itself is that of coverage, as the technology is only available in certain UK locations.  Providers state that this difficulty is being addressed and 4G will be available across the UK by the end of 2015.

Why is 4G a cracking broadband connection?

The 4G option is similar to the 3G broadband Internet connectivity option. However, it is more sophisticated, offering greater speeds and less congestion on the line.  Furthermore, this technology is moving towards a greater amount of coverage, meaning you will be able to connect to the internet in more rural areas that do not offer mobile hotspots.  Why would this be beneficial?

Let us use an example to answer this particular question.

If you were a person who maintains a home business and requires a constant Internet connection then the 3G broadband Internet connection facility would be useful.  However, if you were to attend a function based in a rural area, or area that does not support 3G connectivity, such as an outdoor exhibition, then you may have difficulty running your business.  If you had a 4G connection where there is decent coverage, the chances of obtaining an Internet connection in this location will be better.

How does a 4G mobile broadband Internet connection address speed problems?

As mentioned above, potentially one of the most frustrating difficulties found when using a 3G mobile broadband Internet connection is that of low download speed.  The download speed required is determined by the particular activities you complete using your 3G connection – different tasks will require different levels of download speed to be “smooth”.

In order to maintain a fast Internet connection for those types of users that stream music or play online games, you will require higher amounts of data allowance than a 3G connection.  However, if you are a user who utilises their mobile broadband connection for checking emails, social networking, viewing YouTube videos and using search engines – then the 3G data allowance may be sufficient. 

The 4G connection has reasonably high levels of download speed and data allowance; although data allowances are sometimes the same as on 3G packages.  This being the case, the first type of user mentioned (the one that uses their mobile connection for gaming and music streaming) may find this type of technology beneficial, as it would address their speed problems.  The second user (the one using their mobile broadband connection for lower level online tasks) may find the 4G technology will offer an even speedier website loading, but may not find the change in system necessary when considering the issue of broadband download speed.

How does a 4G mobile broadband Internet connection address the difficulty of online congestion?

In addition to download speed difficulties, users of 3G connectivity features have often found that the level of online congestion has slowed down or even halted their mobile broadband Internet facility.

Similar to the traditional static broadband Internet connection, the mobile 3G network users also experience delays in connection when too many users are using the network line.  This is known as an online congestion and the volume of data that is being accessed becomes too scarce to be shared among all users effectively – similar to a motor way with too many cars.

One recommendation on how to avoid such an online congestion is to utilize the broadband internet connection at a particular time of day.  It is advised that you test the different time periods and determine which are peak and non-peak times allowing you to utilize the 3G network at the less busy hours.

The 4G network is beneficial as it offers less traffic than 3G.  This sophisticated technology has, using the motor way analogy again, ‘more lanes for the increased amount of cars’.  Unfortunately, the 4G system is not available in many UK cities; but this situation is being addressed and providers hope to have 4G coverage across the UK within two years.

Are there any more benefits to the 4G mobile broadband Internet connection?

At the moment the 4G connection is seemingly one of the best connections available.  It is addressing the frustrating mobile connection difficulties of speed, reliability and coverage (to an extent).  Yet, are there any additional benefits of this technology that may make it good enough to be a primary broadband connection?

As 4G technology is the best mobile broadband Internet connection services available, one would imagine it is very expensive; however, this is not the case.  Currently, a video call can cost 4 times that of a standard telephone call.  An MMS is still expensive, being one of the most expensive types of communication.  The 4G network operators promise that these methods are soon to be cheaper, making multimedia more of an option.

In conclusion, the 4G network is the most refined mobile broadband technology available, making coverage, speed and cost more suitable for all business and personal requirements. These benefits make it possible to use as a primary broadband connection if you live in a city with good broadband.

Phil Turner found that uSwitch.com was very informative when it came to 4G mobile broadband, both in terms of what it could do and availability in his area.