Understanding the difference between 3G and 4G
We take a closer look at the difference between 3G and 4G, and how you can take advantage of the faster 4G mobile network.
With mobile technologies changing faster than you can say ‘SIM plan’, it’s easy to feel like you’re drowning in a sea of techno-babble. Here we break down the difference between a 3G and 4G network to help get you up to speed.
What do 3G and 4G mean?
If you’ve been looking at different phones or SIM plans, no doubt you’ve run across the terms 3G and 4G. These are used to differentiate between the latest generations of mobile technology – 3G stands for ‘third generation’ and 4G stands for ‘fourth generation’.
Both technologies are designed to let you make phone calls and browse the web.
What’s the difference?
Some of the major differences between 4G and 3G include:
• Speed. Some 4G networks can be faster than 3G. The faster speeds offered by 4G are ideal if you like to download apps or watch videos or movies on your mobile device.
• Availability. Both 4G and 3G networks are currently in use across Australia. You’ll typically find the best 4G mobile coverage in and around metro CBD areas, with 3G coverage in-between cities. However, providers are continually working to roll out more 4G networks to regional areas.
• Backwards compatible. A 4G compatible device will allow you to access both 4G and 3G networks, while older 3G devices only work on 3G networks. Most of the newer handsets on the market today are 4G compatible, but you may want to check the specifications just in case.
Another benefit of 4G is a worldwide roaming capability, or the ability to roam across different types of networks.
Nowadays, the 4G network is the industry standard in Australia for metro areas and it’s available to anyone with a compatible device.
How much does 4G cost?
There is no extra cost for using the faster 4G network – just make sure the handset you’re getting is 4G compatible.
Is my phone compatible with 3G or 4G?
If you own a 4G compatible phone or mobile device, you’ll automatically have access to the fastest network available in your area, whether it’s 3G or 4G.
Today’s mobiles phones are designed to know when to switch between available networks, so you have the best connection available wherever you are. You don’t need to worry about network compatibility – simply buy a 4G compatible phone and you’re ready to go!
Which network (3G or 4G) is best for me?
The question isn’t so much about which network is better, but rather which network is available in your area. All of the major communication providers in Australia offer a combination of both 4G and 3G services, so you’ll automatically be using a 4G network if you own a 4G compatible device and you’re in an area where it’s available.
If you’re ready to take advantage of the high speeds and better performance of the 4G network, let us help you find the right phone and plan for your needs. Compare different plans from our participating mobile provider today.