The Fourth Generation (4G) of Wireless Networks

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Compare and contrast 3G wireless networks to 4G networks in terms of:

    1. Services and application

3G networks rely on CDMA 2000, UMTS, and EDGE services and applications. On the other hand, 4G networks use Wimax2 and LTE-advanced services and applications (Agbinya, 2010, p. 2).

    1. Network architecture

3G networks have equal to Area Cell-Based network designs. On the other hand, 4G networks incorporate wireless LAN and wide Area network designs (Agbinya, 2010, p. 5).

    1. Data throughput

3G networks have an average speed scope between 0.5Mbps and 1.4Mbps even though they can reach maximum speeds of 3.1Mbps. On the other hand, 4G networks have practical data throughput ranging between 2Mbps and 2.1Mbps even though they can maximum speeds of 100 to 300Mbps (Agbinya, 2010, p. 5).

    1. User perceptions

Users who carry out speed tests state that the Sprint 4G network provided by AT&T is significantly faster than both Sprint 3G and AT&T 3G. This perception represents the widespread perception that 4G networks are costly for customers even though they are faster than 3G networks (Agbinya, 2010, p. 10).

Distinguish between the 4G LTE, 4G WiMax, and 4G WiBro networks based on:

    1. Upload and download speeds

4G LTE networks can send download speeds ranging between 5Mbps and 12Mbps. According to Verizon, 4G LTE can provide upload speeds of up to 5Mbps. 4G WiMax networks offer download speeds between 3Mbps and 6Mbps. 4G WiMax networks also offer upload speeds ranging between 1Mbps and 4Mbps. Finally, 4G WiBro networks offer users an experience of 4.2Mbps in download speeds and 1.49Mbps in upload speeds (Glisic, 2006, p. 181). While moving, users report download speeds of 2.9Mbps and upload speeds of 1.01Mbps.

    1. User perceptions

Users of 4G LTE networks do not use numbers to describe the network. Instead, users say 4G LTE is a future experience that ought to provide much quicker speeds than they currently provide. While artificial numbers are vital, user insight always overtakes them. Users of 4G WiMax networks have described it as “grand rapid.” 4G WiMax users currently prefer this network over any LTE network. Users of 4G WiBro networks claim that the network has the prospective of altering how they gain access or even mold their anticipations. The same claims apply to smartphone users as long as the United States providers of the 4G WiBro network change their stellar implementation.

    1. Backward compatibility

4G LTE networks are backward-compatible with GSM and HSPA. This is because LTE integrates Multiple in Multiple out (MIMO) technology, the Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiple Access (OFDMA) air edge in the download, and Single-Carrier FDMA in the uploads (Du & Swamy, 2010, p. 789). 4G WiMax operates under the 802.16 standard. This standard can drive data allocation speeds up to 1Gbps while still retaining backward compatibility with current WiMax frequencies. The Korean version of the 4G WiBro network receives a particular mobile WiBro duplication of 802.16e instead of any upcoming standard that adds backward compatibility to static wireless (Glisic, 2006, p. 184). As a result, other versions, except the Korean version, have backward compatibility.

    1. Service availability

4G LTE network providers believe their transmissions will drastically affect mobile applications and service provider competition. Currently, the service availability of 4G LTE networks spreads across the United States, Canada, and Japan only. 4G WiMax data grid for Clear and Sprint users expanded and developed volumes in Grandville, Kentwood, Grand Rapids, Jenison, and East Grand Rapids (Du & Swamy, 2010, p. 792). 4G WiBro networks currently have more than 300,000 customers, transfers fast uplink and downlink speeds across the United States, London, Tokyo, and Hong Kong irrespective of whether the user is stationary or moving.

Identify why the competition between the 4G LTE carriers has been so fierce and describe the benefits of this competition to the subscribers.

The competition between the 4G LTE carriers has been so fierce because customers usually resort to 3G when their preferred service provider fails to keep their promises about 4G service availability (Du & Swamy, 2010, p. 486). Carriers of 4G LTE have users who routinely endure a significant decline in data speeds. These declines arise when the carriers decide to either upgrade or change their generation networks. For example, when AT&T’s subscribers discard a 4GLTE coverage region, they resort to either 4G or HSPA+ networks. HSPA+ networks offer speeds that are four times faster than regular 3G networks (Glisic, 2006, p. 189).

This means subscribers of LTE carriers will have a much superior experience on a 4G network than a 3G setup. Subscribers benefit largely from this competition. Firstly, customers get to experience the new LTE networks developed by the carriers. Currently, Verizon covers more than 200 million subscribers, which means they get to experience new technological advancements made by Verizon. Secondly, previous LTE networks have become average uplink and downlink speeds. As a result, 4G LTE carriers compete to impress and retain their current customer base (Du & Swamy, 2010, p. 794). At the same time, LTE carriers get to sway new customers by using their most advanced generation network. Gradually, it is the customer who benefits from the new speeds, irrespective of the generation and its compatibility.

In January 2012, Verizon stated that 4G LTE is available in 190 cities covering 200 million American subscribers. According to AT&T’s Website, they had plans for covering 20 million Americans in 15 markets by the end of 2011. Conclude why Verizon can cover more markets than AT&T.

Verizon can cover more markets than AT&T because the firm does not solely focus on upload and download speeds. According to Verizon’s Chief Network Officer, the company does not solely concentrate on speeds (Du & Swamy, 2010, p. 121). Verizon offers fast speeds where subscribers want it, and when they want it. Location and time are critical business factors for Verizon, which makes the company flexible to nearly any user’s schedule or program. Even though AT&T may have networks with faster speeds, Verizon has more widespread coverage than AT&T. For instance, Verizon’s most recent push takes their 4G LTE network to more than 95% of the United States population while covering nearly 99% of the company’s 3G service (Du & Swamy, 2010, p. 816).


Agbinya, J. I. (2010). Planning and Optimisation of 3g and 4g Wireless Networks. London: River Publishers.

Du, K., and Swamy, M. N. S. (2010). Wireless Communication Systems: From RF Subsystems to 4G Enabling Technologies. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Glisic, S. G. (2006). Advanced Wireless Networks: 4G Technologies. New York: John Wiley & Sons.

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