There was a time, not too long ago, when 3G wireless networking was the “in” thing for everyone in the mobile device industry, right from vendors to operators to end-users. 3G had then opened doors to hitherto unimaginable mobile computing, new applications, rocket-speed browsing and video streaming and so on.
This sudden 3G boom also gave mobile network operators enough incentive to invest huge sums of money for equipment necessary to get their 3G services functional.
However, with the recent advent of 4G wireless networking, it all seems to be changing yet again. Now, those very operators who had readily plunged into 3G have their doubts about its sustenance. Carriers who are just thinking of wireless networking seem to prefer going in for the fourth-generation systems, better known as 4G.
Why is this 3G vs. 4G issue even coming up? What is the reason behind this huge generation leap, as they say? Here is why 4G might soon become the preferred wireless network:
Experts think that 4G systems, which is still only starting off in many countries of the world, will end up being much cheaper than 3G. They believe that the new system can be built over the existing system, without the operator having to completely retool and purchase and entirely new spectrum.
While 3G requires an entirely new spectrum and standard, 4G makes good use of existing technologies. In fact, 4G is capable of seamless integration with 2G, Bluetooth and even LAN networks, which makes it far more versatile than its predecessor.
Needless to say, 4G also provides far faster data services than its predecessor. This would also make the going much easier for those working with heavy applications, such as advanced VoIP and video streaming.
4G networking transmits speeds of greater than 20MB per second, hence, can offer high bandwidth services anywhere it is installed, including homes, offices and public places such as airports, cafes and so on.
This gives operators the opportunity to offer user much better services, thereby increasing their own businesses.
Since the entire networking process is much cheaper for providers, they will be easily able to recover their initial financial investment in the project. Not only that, while they can offer much cheaper basic service to their customers, they could also charge well enough for providing advanced data services to business enterprises, which would like to maintain hotspots.
Though 3G is not bad either, it becomes more difficult for the provider to recover his initial capital. LAN is already quite popular and offers relatively good speed and hence, any existing LAN user would think twice before going in for the much more expensive 3G.
Mobile telcos who have invested heavily in 3G are now beginning to worry that their heavy investment may not yield the expected profits. 3G network providers too are finding it difficult to fund their venture.
Of course, mobile 3G is yet strong enough to hold on in most nations of the world, and hence, will not totter too soon. In fact, many companies actually think of both 3G and 4G as complimentary networking systems, which would be able to work side-by-side, since each one has strengths that the other lacks.
But for how long can 3G actually survive in the mobile networking race? Will it finally be completely washed over by 4G? Well, we can only wait and watch – time will unfold the answer.
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