Why am I not interested in 4G

, posted: 17-Nov-2013 00:12

I loves new technology. I remember spending ~$800 for Sony Ericsson V800 just so that I can embrace 3G the day Vodafone launch it. It turns out to be a useless phone as none of my friend in Dunedin had 3G phone. The only video call I had was with some random Vodafone rep - wanting my feedback on their new service. At least, she is hot!

4G network gives you faster speed.
Do I really need the speed when 3G+ is more than enough for browsing, youtube etc?

4G network drains your battery faster.
Do I really want to lug my charger and spare batteries everywhere I go?

Lastly, what is the point of having faster connection when the data allowance is too small?

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Comment by eXDee, on 17-Nov-2013 01:07

You're missing a few key things.

-3G is more than enough speed
Yes 3G can be already pretty quick, but 4G latency is far lower, web pages will be more responsive to load. Likely more responsive than many peoples home connections in fact. Additionally multimedia services such as streaming and video chat will be higher quality and more consistent.

-4G gives Battery drain
This was the case when 4G chipsets were separated in the first 4G phones. Just take a quick look at these battery benchmarks from anandtech's 2013 battery test. I think you'll be surprised.
This is for many reasons, one is that the 4G is now built into the chipset instead of separate. Another example is because pages load quicker the cellular module can go to sleep sooner.

-Why have higher speed with low data caps?
Already addressed above, but 3G also gets overloaded quite easily. If you've ever been at a major event and tried to use your phone, you'd see things can slow to a crawl. This is one of the reasons why data caps aren't cheaper than they are atm - aside from competition and other market factors. If some locations such as shopping centres can already start getting overloaded already, then giving people more data to use isn't going to help the problem. With a higher capacity higher speed network, it will greatly assist in pushing caps up.
Additionally even with my 500mb data cap, 4G would assist me when uploading photos for example. I'll often upload things to imgur and send the link, but waiting for a 2.8MB photo to upload can be annoying when i just want to quickly flick someone an image of something and get back to what i was doing. There's plenty more practical examples of this, but I mention it because i did exactly this a few times today.

So perhaps don't go and splash out on a new phone just to get 4G, especially if you're happy with your current one. But 4G is a great step forward and has plenty of advantages even when you don't have a high data cap. Things will get even better once we see a nationwide rollout on Band 28 APT that the players are currently bidding for.

Author's note by nakedmolerat, on 17-Nov-2013 04:28

Which network are you on? I do not have any problem uploading pics of that size on Telecom (my pics auto-upload to Dropbox). I have also used my Xperia Z to watch Hulu Plus HD with no lag/issue whatsoever on my Laptop.

Comment by johnr, on 17-Nov-2013 12:21

I use 4G all day everyday on my Samsung S4 and only need to charge my phone each night, Faster speed takes less time to do things online

Comment by eXDee, on 18-Nov-2013 12:00

I'm on Telecom also, and i find some areas can get quite congested. I still have to wait a bit longer than i'd like to for large image uploads - i'm used to VDSL at home.

Comment by BigMal, on 18-Nov-2013 13:22

The reason I believe Telecom and Vodafone don't want to let customers have inexpensive mobile data is because it would cannibalise their land line internet market.  

Other than that I totally agree with everything this blog says.  On my HSPA connection I get 20ms pings and similar speeds to my home VDSL connection.

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