What’s the Difference Between 3G and 4G LTE Speeds?

What is 3G? What is 4G? And what makes 4G LTE so much faster?

Verizon’s 4G LTE network is fast, making mobile Internet use pretty painless. But how did this revolution in Internet speeds come about? By building on 3G technology, which truly changed the way we connect and communicate, 4G speeds have become the new necessity for anyone with a smartphone or tablet.

What is 3G?

3G is shorthand for “3rd generation,” and refers to a networking standard in cell phone technology that is capable of providing high-speed data service to mobile devices. As 3G wireless networks became more widespread, you could finally connect to and use the Internet at practical speeds (with a 3G-enabled smartphone), which far surpassed those of the previous generation of mobile phone technology (called 1X).

Verizon’s 3G network paved the way for a world that’s almost forgotten phones were once used merely for voice calls and text messaging. A world where it’s perfectly ordinary to download huge chunks of information to your phone from the Internet, to stream audio and video to people thousands of miles away, and to effortlessly, wirelessly pass large multimedia files to a co-worker.

Indeed, it was 3G that made smartphones truly feasible. In doing so, it changed the way millions of people communicate, and set the stage for even more advanced mobile technologies such as 4G.

What is 4G?

In one word: fast!

To be technical, 4G stands for “4th generation” mobile data protocol. But as a growing band of 4G users will tell you, it’s all about the speed. Now, what is 4G LTE?  LTE stands for Long Term Evolution. It’s a term used for the particular 4G protocol that delivers the fastest mobile Internet experience. Some experts even refer to it as “true 4G.” A 4G LTE network is therefore one that operates at the leading edge of speed and reliability.

Using a 4G smartphone on Verizon’s 4G LTE network means you can download files from the Internet up to 10 times faster than with 3G. With 4G LTE, using the web from your phone becomes as pleasurable as using it from your home computer.

To join the 4G revolution, you need to have a smartphone that is configured to work with a 4G network and a mobile plan like MORE Everything℠. All 4G phones offered by Verizon will work with its 4G LTE network, the largest in the U.S. These phones will connect automatically with the 4G LTE network, but they can also connect to and use the 3G network (at 3G speed) in places where 4G LTE service is not yet available.

So there you have it. 3G speeds laid the groundwork for our increasingly mobile lifestyle, but 4G speeds are truly taking “mobile” to the next level.

This article was written by an author contracted by Verizon’s Insider's Guide to provide helpful information on wireless technology. The thoughts, opinions and suggestions of the author may not necessarily reflect those of Verizon Wireless.

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