3G or 4G? a deep insight!

Is this a 3G or 4G mobile this is a question one always asks before buying a cell phone. More often it has become a standard of judging the quality of a phone i.e. a phone is good only if it supports 3G or 4G. So what do the terms 3G and 4G refer to? What different does this technology marks? This article will address these questions.

Generation is the term associated with the ‘G’ technology, but generation of what? It is the generation of mobile technology installed in handsets or telecom networks which define the speed of internet and quality of other services like new base technologies, more network capability for more data per consumer and is likely to have improvised voice feature. A total of four generations have been placed in markets up till now, 1G and 2G being the initial ones named as analog cell phones and digital phones respectively. They were the simplest beings followed by the intricate ones, now popular as 3G and 4G.

2003 was the year marked by the emergence of 3G facilitating the people of United States offering high internet rates of 144Kbps. But the 3G speed was not limited to 144 kbps only; it also offered upto 400 kbps and sometimes even more than that. So here we can see that 3G exists along with its diversities.

The fourth generation of Mobile Broadband is known as 4G which, if on the same carrier, offers speeds faster than 3G of the same carrier. But with different carriers, 4G doest necessarily offer high speeds when compared with 3G.

The real 4G is characterized by a speed of 100 MBs per second if the data is being used at fast moving speeds i.e. either cars or trains and should offer 1 Gb per second if data use is at low mobility rates i.e. for stationery use. 4G exists in diverse forms each offering different speeds therefore we can say that there is no specific formula of identifying a true 4G if measured in terms of speed. 4G is distributed as LTE, WiMAX, and HSPA+, but LTE is undoubtedly the most widely used amongst major US carriers.

If you are making a jump towards a new generation, all you have to do is to inform your cell phone provider to make adjustments on the respective towers. After the modifications your cell phone will also need upgrades to synchronize with the altered towers’ setup in order to send and receive signals. It shouldn’t be remained unsaid that a 4G and 3G phone is capable of communicating through 3G and 2G respectively, but it is impossible for an old generation mobile to use the newer one.

  • Now, in what conditions 3G will suit you? 4G is not necessary and you can surf on 3G under certain scenarios. Look for the connection you have as your mobile service. If you donot have a 4G supporting network, then just buy a 3G phone and it will not leave you annoyed. Plus it will be sufficient for you if you are not fond of surfing or streaming of internet in search of exciting stuff like music, movies , videos etc. Most apps for basic stuff like GPS, weather, email,  and social networking will work just fine on a 3G connection.

Now why 4G is better? One answer to this lies in the software of new cellphones which are all 4G supported so you can easily enjoy the perks of super fast network. Another reason is if you know there is a strong 4G network In your area, you should avail it. And last but not the least, you can surf on rocket speeds. Watch your favourite season on supersonic speeds and locate your ways on GPS.

Before 2014, 3G and 4G services was considered a dream and future technology prospering in Foreign countries but yet to come at Pakistanis’ services. But after its launch in 2014, the licenses were auctioned opening doors to the most awaited and advanced form of mobile broadband. It was the biggest challenge for Pakistani markets and a milestone indeed generating great competition among the companies who acquired the licenses then.

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Fortunately Zong was the successful one who was able to get both 3G and 4G licenses, hence got an upper hand over Ufone, Mobilink, telenor and Warid. And now as its 2017, the performance of all the companies would be interesting to analyze.

If we go back into the years when 2G was the only mobile internet available to us, the market was generating 4% of the total data contribution. But right after the licenses broke through the Pakistani markets, data revenue was seen as generating 12% of the overall revenue. So you can see, 3G and 4G services proved to be a great contribution as it marked an overwhelming three times increase in data revenue.

Let’s compare it with India and USA. India is successfully generating 18% revenue in its telecom industry while 50% of telecom revenues is being generated in USA by 3G/4G.

An important aspect is evident from the proportion of revenue spawned by Mobile broadband. Mobile broadband is emerging as the major revenue contributor towards the telecom industry. According to statistics, voice revenues have stopped growing since the last 3 years. Till 2012, SMS/MMS and broadband were competing neck to neck but 2016 shows us an enormous increase in the ratio of broadband profits.

Now lets have a look on Pakistani markets.

This pie graph clearly demonstrates the success story of Zong who ruled the telecom industry by generating most of the market revenues

Before the introduction 3G, 4G and LTE, Pakistani telecom industries were suffering from a severe fallback. The industry got stabilized right after the penetration of latest and improved mobile broadband while stretching its revenue from Rs. 446.2 billion to Rs.452.8 billion within a time span of 1 year marking a difference of 1.4%, as per the annual reports of PTA(2016) stated. 3G, 4G and LTE also raised the revenue of mobile phone companies from Rs.77.94 billion to Rs.98.82 billion, the reports further mention.

During the month of November 2016, zong unveils its monthly revenue for the month of October 2016 which according to it, peaked the statistics by generating PKR 5 billion. It was 26.5%  higher as compared to the same month of the previous year which gave out a figure of 23.2% only. These results are fueled by major growth in mobile data that has registered a phenomenal growth of 200% MoM against October last year.  Moreover, it is also expected that the company will soon reach 2 million 4G subscribers.

Zong is also crowning the list of other 4G services by successfully getting a subscription of 1.71 million users which was only 0.9 million last year. Due to this, Zong praises itself by calling it the fastest growing data network of Pakistan in terms of subscribers, income and network squash. And it doesn’t end here, it has been officially announced as the best system in voice and data services by PTA.

PTA Chairman Dr Syed Ismail Shah expressed his concerns regarding mobile broadband service in the annual report. He termed mobile broadband as an alternative source of revenue generation for telecom industry. He also said that the new service is consuming the people more, enabling them to experience well.

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