4G technology is the fourth level of wireless technology available from wireless cellular carriers that utilizes ultra mobile broadband.
The first generation of wireless technology available, 1G, refers to the analog signal used by cellular towers.
2G technology upgraded the analog signal to digital and allowed the inclusion of sending text messages across the network.
3G technology made use of electromagnetic wavelengths, known as spectrum, to broadcast a wireless broadband signal that allowed users to access the Internet and download applications using a 3G data card or a handheld mobile device such as a Blackberry or iPhone.
4G technology upgrades further to faster information transfer times, heightened security and greater information exchange abilities.
Ultra mobile broadband refers to the rate of data transmission available on the wireless network. 4G technology may provide data transmission rates between 100Mbps and 1Gbps. For comparison, 3G networks offer data transmission speeds averaging around 200kbps.
Network connections on 4G may also be more accurate during travel when user and tower locations are at a constant rate of change—for example, when a user is traveling in a car and signals transfer between towers.
This faster, more accurate connection likely can enable the transmission of larger packets of data than 3G networks. Users may be able to access increasingly information-heavy applications, such as HD television signals and real time audio during video chat.
4G wireless service may include modems, netbooks and cell phones. 4G mobile hotspots may offer wireless connections for multiple devices, including computers, netbooks, handheld gaming systems, and mobile phones; with the 4G technology, users may be able to simultaneously download large applications to each device as well.
A 4G netbook could operate similarly to a lap top, but with smaller memory and fewer drives; it may offer instant Internet access, downloading, and real-time Web chatting.
4G technology may provide a new wave in downloading capabilities for consumers regardless of which device they choose.