07/22/12 — What is 4G?

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What is 4G?

By Ty Johnson
Published in News on July 22, 2012 1:50 AM

Don't be too confused -- the "G" stands for generation meaning 4G is the company's fourth network release, much like compute

r programs are released in versions 1.0, 2.0 and so on.

In the cases of U.S. Cellular and Verizon Wireless, the network known as the second generation of data transfer, after voice coverage, is called radio transmission technology or 1xRTT. It premiered in the early 2000s and transmitted phone calls and text messages at a rate between 60 and 80 kilobits per second.

The next step in data coverage came with 3G, also known as Evolution-Data Optimized or EVDO, which debuted in the mid-2000s and allowed for web browsing, streaming video and turn-by-turn directions to be transmitted at 600 to 800 kilobits per second.

Verizon's 4G Long Term Evolution, or LTE, allows for live video streaming, better connectivity for mobile tablets and interactive gaming and allows users to download data at speeds ranging from five to 12 megabits per second and upload speeds from two to five megabits per second.

U.S. Cellular's 4G LTE network has download speed from three to six megabits per second and upload speeds between one and three megabits per second, although users could experience peak speeds up to 31 megabits per second for downloads and 11 megabits per second for uploads, depending on area, coverage and compression.

The overlays into the area's existing 3G network required installation of new hardware -- not software as with some networks -- meaning the technology is wholly new and not simply a patch to allow current networks to run faster.