4G technology begins to take off

Guy Burstein

(April 1, 2011) — A little over a year ago, Sprint released the Evo 4G, the first of all 4G phones. Several months later, T-Mobile joined with their own 4G network. Now both AT&T and T-Mobile are planning to join in on the hype with the creation of their own cellular 4G services coming out over the next few months. 4G is a broad term that can mean any form of technology which allows for Internet speeds that exceed a download speed of 100 megabits per second. According to the Denver Post, 4G speeds offered by cellular service providers are around ten times faster than the 3G speeds they offer. However, one big problem with 4G networks in the United States is that no network currently passes the requirements that are set in pace by the International Telecommunications Union. In fact, Verizon’s 4G LTE network has only 12 percent of the necessary speed. This means that the speed is considerably slower than those in other countries. “It’s not really much faster than what I had with 3G,” said Evo 4G user sophomore Nick Baygan. “It just costs a lot more than usual.” Many other students however are excited by 4G technology. It is seen as a considerable improvement over the current smart phones that many of them have. “I think if you need the extra speed then it is definitely worth it,” said sophomore Armen Dzulfayan. A major concern some people may have over new 4G phones is the increase price over 3G plans. Though the prices for the phones themselves may not be much more than average, the plans cost around $10 more than the regular 3G plans. For those who greatly need the speed increase, the additional cost may be worth it. However for some, the price may be lost money. Additionally, due to how relatively new the technology is, many areas are still not covered by 4G service. Though this may be a problem now, many people are confident that the coverage will quickly spread across the country. “[Phone companies] took their time time setting up 4G but I think it will spread faster now,” Dzulfayan said.