This week the UKs best and worst cities for 4G coverage were revealed with the north fairing significantly better than the south (which causes Kent-born Tony no end of turmoil). According to consumer group Which? and OpenSignal, Middlesbrough and Teeside had the best coverage at 82.7%, followed by Sheffield with 79.3%; however, Bournemouth and Poole ranked lowest with 67.5% with Southampton and Portsmouth not fairing much better at 69.6%.
Stoke on Trent appears to be the best place to be if you want a fast download speed, with Brighton being the worst. You may be forgiven what any of this matters, but with most of us living our lives, and even running our businesses from our mobiles, having strong, fast and reliable connectivity is vital.
But what is 4G?
For those not sure what 4G actually means, it stands “fourth generation” and relates to mobile network technology that allows compatible phones to connect to the internet faster than ever before.
It was launched in the UK in 2012, but the vast majority of users are still operating on 3G smartphones. However, this is likely to change in the not too distant future as 4G based plans and contracts will fall, making them more economically viable across the board.
So what’s the difference?
When it comes to differentiating between 3G and 4G, the only real thing that sets the latter apart is the speed and smoothness with which you can connect to the internet. Web pages are meant to load quicker, content can be downloaded almost instantly and anything you’re streaming is free from buffering.
Looking at the cold hard facts, a 3G phone should connect at a speed of 21Mbps, whilst a 4G enabled phone will, theoretically, do so at 300Mbps. It is important to note however that this speed is a top speed, and may never actually be reached. The reality is that throughout the UK, the average 4G speed is 60Mbps.
The user experience is seamless, and saves you considerable time. As you can imagine, if you have bought in to the 4G experience, and paid a pretty penny to do so, finding out that your local network is not up to scratch, and is therefore not able to offer these faster speeds, is somewhat frustrating.
Where do we go from here?
There has been talk of rolling out 5G in the future, but it’s clear much more work needs to be done to ensure that the current 4G network is up to standard before offering something even better.
Industry experts are also predicting that as 4G becomes more consistent throughout the UK, this will encourage mobile entertainment providers to launch a far more extensive movie and TV download service.
Is your phone 4G compatible? What have your experiences been so far? Head over to our Facebook page to let us know what your thoughts are.
If you want to find out more about 4G and what there is available in the market for businesses, speak to the team at Diamond Solutions today.