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4G Wireless

You have probably seen the advertisements on television lately talking about new 4G networks and high speed wireless from cellular companies, but you may wonder what all that means to you.

It's Fast - 4G is a user friendly name for the next generation of technology in cell phone transmission. It uses an IP (internet protocol) network just like the routers and computers in your home do. The thing that really sets 4G apart is it is fast. Really fast. A typical download speed on a 3G wireless device was 600kpbs to 1.4mbps. On 4G it is 3 to 6mbps. The technology is capable of more, but the providers put limits on it to preserve over all performance for everyone. Compare this to your high speed at home. With DSL service you get from 1.5 to 5mbps. With Cable, you get 4 to 20mbps.

It's Mobile - With a 4G wireless device, you can connect from just about anywhere you have cellular service. If 4G is not available in that area, the device will revert to a 3G connection. You can use it at the car, the park, the beach or just about anywhere else to connect to the internet.

There are several types of 4G devices and applications:

Mobile Hot Spot - This is a device that connects to the 4G network, then lets your computers connect to it just as a wireless router. This allows you to place the device on a table and have several laptops in the same room share the high speed 4G internet access.

USB Wireless Card - This works just like the existing 3G cards to provide internet access to one computer, but now at 4G speeds.

4G Cell Phone - The first 4G cell phone is the HTC EVO 4G that comes out this summer. It has a 4.3 inch screen, Works as a Mobile Hot Spot, HDMI output so you can download movies to watch on your HD TV and many other features. The faster the data speeds get, the more fun features will be on our phones.

4G Enabled Router - This is perfect for a small office that cannot afford to be offline ever. Use this router to connect to the internet through your typical Cable or DSL connection, but if that goes down, it automatically switches you to a 4G connection as a backup. You could also use this device to simply replace your existing Cable or DSL connection. Imagine just packing up your broadband and taking it with you when you travel.

So where are the 4G speeds available? Several cities have been covered already. Sprint partnered with the Clear company is working on the Houston area now. In fact most of Sugar Land and Katy are already covered.

To see if your area is covered, go to http://coverage.sprint.com. Be sure to click on "Data, Email and Multimedia" then on "Sprint Devices with 4G".

Posted by Charles Swihart on 5/1/2010

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