3G vs 4G | Speed, Frequencies and Features Compared | Battery Life is less in 4G
3G and 4G both are mobile wireless access technologies and 3G is widely used now and 4G is evolving and being deployed in some counties in Europe and in America.
3G (Third Generation Networks)
3G is a wireless access technology replacing 2G networks. The main advantage of 3G is, it’s faster than 2G networks. Smart mobile handsets are designed not only for voice callings but also for Internet access and mobile applications. 3G networks allows simultaneous voice and data services with speed variation from 200 kbit/s and if its only data it may deliver several Mbit/s. (Mobile Broadband)
Many 3G technologies are in use now and some of them are EDGE (Enhanced Data rates for GSM Evolution), from CDMA family EV-DO (Evolution-Data Optimized) which uses Code Division Multiple Access or Time Division Multiple Access for multiplexing, HSPA (High Speed Packet Access) which uses 16QAM modulation technique (Quadrature Amplitude Modulation) and results in data rate of 14 Mbit/s downlink and 5.8 Mbit/s uplink speeds) and WiMAX (Wireless Interoperability for Microwave Access – 802.16).
The Main advantage of 3G networks over 2G is, the faster data access with voice.
4G (Forth Generation Networks)
Everyone’s focus now turns towards 4G because of its data rate. In high speed mobility communication it offers 100 Mbit/s (Such as trains or cars) and low mobility communication or fixed accessing would results 1 Gbit/s. This is a major revolution in wireless access technology.
It’s very much equivalent to getting a LAN or Gigabit Ethernet connection to a mobile device.
4G provides all IP communication with high speed access to smart phones, tablets, laptops and any mobile smart devices. Theoretically speaking this 4G access speeds are much more than Cable or DSL technologies in the sense 4G is faster than ADSL, ADSL2 or ADSL2+.
Once 4G is launched and if you have at least 54 Mbits/s (Worst case) download on your mobile handset or tablet, you can run any internet application as you do in desktop computers. For example you can run Skype, YouTube, IP TV apps, Video on Demand, VoIP Client and many more. If you have any VoIP client installed on your hand device you can make VoIP calls from your mobile. This is going to kill the mobile voice market soon. At the same time you can subscribe to any local numbers to your mobile VoIP client and start receiving calls on your mobile via IP. For example if you are living in New York you don’t need to get a NY number instead you can subscribe a Toronto fixed line number in your mobile via VoIP client. Where ever you go within 4G coverage or Wi-Fi area you can receive calls to your Toronto Number. (Even you can subscribe to Switzerland fixed number and live in New York).
You can use video calls over IP and have face to face meeting on go. You can make free video calls to your wife, girlfriend or even can have a video conference meeting while you are travelling if you are connected to 4G.
Though 4G has already been rolled out in Europe and North America (Some of the providers are Telnor, Tele2 , Telia in Europe and Verizon, Sprint in US), it is still at the development stage. 4G, inaddition to the target 100 Mbits/s data rate for moving customers and 1GB for stationary users is also expected to achieve greater quality of services to end users without dropping signals and allow interactive roaming worldwide.
The 4G technologies in use are flash OFDM, 802.16e wireless or mobile WiMax and HC SDMA, UMB and Wi-Fi.
Difference Between 3G and 4G
(1) The main difference is data rate is with 4G you can theoretically go up to 100 Mbits/s while in 3G, theoretically it is up to 14 Mbit/s downlink and 5.8 Mbit/s uplink.
(2) 4G network is all IP whereas 3G a mix of circuit and packet switching network
(3) What is now announced as 4G technologies are adoption from 3G such as Wi-max and LTE, ITU has defined them as 3.9G not really as 4G technologies.