What is 4G? A beginner's guide to the next-gen mobile tech

Of all the buzz-terms floating around the mobile industry over the past twelve months, few have the potential to be more exciting than that of 4G. But, just like any with new technology, 4G has been wrapped up in…

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Gerald LynchWhat is 4G? A beginner's guide to the next-gen mobile tech

Will WiMax or LTE win out?

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EDGE, 3G and HSDPA are all very well, but what will the next jump in technology be for wireless internet? There are two competing technologies – WiMax and LTE. Which one is likely to win the race in the UK?

WiMax is based on Wi-Fi, and doesn’t require a SIM card for usage. Its benefits are that it’s an open standard – anyone can create the gear required to use the technology without paying license fees. That means the tech can be up to half as expensive as the equivalent LTE tech.

LTE, on the other hand, is based on the existing 3G network technology. In fact, LTE stands for “The Long Term Evolution of 3GPP”. Its advantages are that it’s well-understood by carriers, and when a device is out of range of an LTE signal, it can drop back to a 3G or 2G service. LTE’s currently a little faster, too, but that difference should be addressed by the ratification of a new WiMax standard later this year.

In the last year or so, Motorola’s been trialling an LTE service, but there are already commercial WiMax deployments out there. As a result, WiMax has an early lead. But given how entrenched many operators are in their love of 3GPP networks, we’ll soon be seeing more of that. In fact, Motorola’s already testing an LTE network.

What’s eventually likely to happen, however, is that laptops and netbooks will rely on WiMax (thanks to lower prices and enhanced compatibility) and LTE will take hold on mobile devices, just because it’s easier for operators to continue working how they do now.

So I reckon it’ll be a draw, and both technologies will have their own places in the next 5-10 years. Bit of a cop-out, perhaps, but there you go. What’s your opinion? Drop us a tweet at @techdigest letting us know exactly how wrong we are.

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Duncan GeereWill WiMax or LTE win out?

Samsung announces first WiMax handset

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This, ladies and gentlemen, is the Samsung SWD-M100, otherwise known as the Mondi, and the big deal about the Mondi is that it’s Samsung’s first mobile device supporting WiMax.

It’s got a full slide-out QWERTY with an interesting looking D-pad, which I’m hoping is game-centric rather than straight ease of navigation because you might as well use the touchscreen for that kind of thing.

Samsung will, of course, utterly cripple the device with Windows Mobile, rumoured to be the 6.5 version, but you can expect to see the handset soon on the Clear network in the US, making it the first WiMax mobile in their market. Who’d like to put down money that Samsung isn’t going to miss the opportunity over here too?

(via Phone Scoop)

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Daniel SungSamsung announces first WiMax handset

The HTC Max 4G – the world's first 4G mobile with WiMAX technology for 70-megabit downloads

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And here we are still trying to think of a reason for 3G to exist.

The HTC Max 4G is the first so-called 4G mobile, thanks to HTC’s technicians incorporating WiMAX technology inside a very similar package to its Touch HD – and therefore giving theoretical, network-permitting, mountains and trees-permitting, battery-permitting maximum download speeds of around 70Mb per second…

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Gary CutlackThe HTC Max 4G – the world's first 4G mobile with WiMAX technology for 70-megabit downloads