In 3G vs 4G you can see the differences between the 3G and 4G mobile broadband internet and you can learn what the is better option for the particular situation.

3G vs 4G – Introduction


In this post you can find out about both types of mobile internet connections, why you should buy 4G mobile phone and when is 3G still better choice. Before 3G vs 4G comparison, let me first show you some basic facts about both technologies.

3G Technology

3G is the third generation of the mobile networks. There are few different technologies that use the name 3G:

  • EDGE
  • UMTS
  • HSPA
  • HSPA+
  • CDMA2000
  • EV-DO
  • EV-DO Rev A
  • EV-DO Rev B
  • UMB

3G technology, together with the WiFi, is the most responsible for the great boom of the wireless and mobile internet. 3G introduced the term mobile broadband. It is also one of the most responsible technologies for phenomenon of the social networks.

Read more about the 3G, 3G devices, and different kinds of 3G technologies and 3G vs 4G speed in the post What is 3G? Compare 3G Speed and 4G Speed.

4G Technology

4G enables much faster mobile broadband internet speeds than the 3G.
Two very different technologies are branded as 4G mobile networks:

  • LTE
  • WiMAX

The big majority of the mobile operators use only one of these technologies – LTE or Long Term Evolution.

Comparison of these two technologies, their similarities and their differences you can read in the post WiMAX vs LTE – What is a Better 4G Technology.

WiMAX – Wireless MAN

WiMAX or Worldwide interoperability for Microwave Access is wireless technology designed for long distances. Mobile version of WiMAX or WiMAX enables similar functionalities as LTE.

In the post What is WiMAX and How WiMAX Works, you can check the following fact about the WiMAX technology:

  • What is WiMAX
  • WiMAX vs WiMAX2 comparison
  • How WiMAX works
  • Different kinds of WiMAX services

LTE Technology

LTE or Long Term Evolution was designed as successor of the UMTS and CDMA2000 networks. The biggest reason of great dominance of LTE technology over WiMAX is that LTE is much more flexible. LTE is compatible with the all earlier versions of mobile networks:

  • GSM
  • GPRS
  • UMTS
  • EDGE
  • HSPA
  • CDMA
  • CDMA2000
  • EV-DO

You can read more about the LTE in the following posts:

3G vs 4G – Advantages of the 4G Technology

Since 4G is the next step in development of the mobile networks, 4G is better and more advanced mobile broadband technology. Let me show you in the 3G vs 4G, what are the advantages of the 4G.

4G Advantages

In the 3G vs 4G comparison I will use LTE technology for the 4G, but some advantages and functionalities and improvements also apply also for mobile WiMAX.

The fourth generation of the mobile networks has many improvements and advantages compared to the third generation of the mobile networks.

Below you can find the most important advantages from the user perspective or the advantages that the matter most to you. There you can check the reasons why to buy the new 4G mobile phone.

  • 4G offers faster transfer rates – download speed can be even ten times faster
  • 4G enables new applications like video chat, multiplayer gaming, smoother video streaming
  • 4G can serve more users than 3G
  • Less time needed for call establishment with the 4G technology
  • 4G is more flexible – enables six different bandwidths – gives more alternatives for the mobile operator and more choices for you as user
  • 4G has less problems with the interference
  • 4G enables better stability
  • 4G has lower latency

What is great with the 4G is that you can use your old 3G phone in the 4G network. You cannot enjoy all these benefits of the 4G, but you will have available service similar as in 3G.

When 3G is better Choice?

It is true that 4G brings many improvements, but there are cases when in 3G vs 4G battle, 3G can be better choice.

Check below situation when 3G can be better choice and when you don’t need to spend money for a new 4G phone.

  • You are using mostly the voice service and very rarely mobile broadband internet
  • You mostly spend time in area without 4G coverage – your 4G phone will soon lose battery
  • 3G plans are usually cheaper

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