The Current Status of 3g and the Future of 4g Essay

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The Current Status of 3G and the Future of 4G 3G and 4G are two mobile communications standards that are currently in use. 3G is the third generation of the standard and 4G is the fourth and most recent generation. Each successive generation usually brings new base technologies, more network capacity for more data per user, and the potential for better voice quality. 3G became available in the United States in 2002 and 4G became available in 2009 (O’Malley). Although it is a previous generation of communications standards, 3G is still in use world-wide and will probably remain so for a few more years. 4G is still relatively new and has somewhat limited coverage, but it is only going to expand and get better.

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Currently, Verizon and T-Mobile have the broadest 4G coverage. AT&T currently covers about a quarter of the U.S. population (Lee).
The Future of 4G Because 4G is a relatively new communications standard, its use is currently somewhat limited due to the newness of the technology and its limited network coverage. But as time, technology, and the 4G network progresses and expands, so will the scope of its usage. Wireless providers are expecting and anticipating for a rapid expansion of their 4G networks. Data volumes on the mobile broadband network have increased by 8,000 percent over the last four years. One gigabyte of use is equal to about 35 hours of streaming music or 5 hours of streaming movies. By 2015, the network will handle the same amount of data traffic between Jan. 1 and Feb. 15 that it did in all of 2010, according to AT&T.
However, 4G has its skeptics. Some experts have expressed concern that 4G networks will end up overwhelmed in the same way 3G networks were when AT&T first introduced the iPhone to its networks in 2007. Additionally, users that spend the extra money on phones and service plans for 4G speeds won’t necessarily be able to use the service everywhere because not every city is currently covered by 4G. Also, switching between the two networks creates a considerable lag as the phone reconnects from one network to the