A Quick Guide To 4G Technology

4G is rapidly emerging as the new standard, with many telecoms companies deploying the technology as they upgrade from 3G. Initially the debate centred on whether consumers would adopt 4G technology, but over the last few months, the technology has captured the imagination of both the public and manufacturers.

Lenovo Computers was the first mover in the 4G space with its ThinkPad range supporting both 3G and 4G connectivity. Laptops from all manufacturers have been 3G capable for quite some time now, but Lenovo in particular is now embedding 4G capability into its ThinkPad range.

Many computer manufacturers have been slow to embrace 4G not because they were behind the curve, but rather because there was no technological standard and it was not clear exactly what 4G means.

Since 2010 there have been two sets of next generation wireless technologies embraced by both phone manufacturers and PC makers. One is known as Long Term Evolution (LTE) the other Wi-Max. Both are considered Fourth Generation which even industry experts admit is far to complicated with life being much simpler were there are single global standard.

Lenovo's ThinkPad Edge for example supports Wi-Max, whilst a Dell 4G laptop supports LTE, both technology are still very nascent, though it appears telecoms companies such as Sprint and AT&T are beginning to coalesce around LTE in the United States. To add to the confusion, laptop providers have not been completely consistent either. Dell for example has flip flopped between Wi-Max and LTE for different models.

The easiest way to solve the conundrum over which technology to choose, you could simply purchase your 4G laptop from your wireless provider, who will have made the decision for you by selling only laptops that are compatible with its service.

Many businesses prefer purchasing their IT equipment directly from manufacturers and consumers prefer shopping at retailers, which means that choosing which technology to go with is still an issue. If a clear winner in the 4G space is not apparent and you are one of these buyers you are going to need a crash course in 4G technology. There is still lots of time, and ultimately the decision rests not with technology buyers but rather with the network providers, since it is they who make the decision over which technology to deploy.

By most accounts, it would seem that LTE is winning , in Australia for example a couple of years ago, Perth became the first 4G capable Australian city and the debate is not over LTE Vs Wi-Max, but whether the latter is even suitable for a country like Australia.