Free mobile internet sounds like some crazy pipe dream, especially while we’re all shelling out ££s each month for data contracts on our phones. But it’s one of the possible results of the new 4G networks that are gradually rolling out around the world. 4G won’t come to the UK until around 2014, but it promises to bring a better, cheaper service..
Not only is 4G faster (with a peak of 100 Mbit/s it’s twice as fast as 3G) and more secure, it’s also more efficient so it will cost telecoms companies very little to send content over the network, after the initial set-up fees are paid off of course.
License fees for chunks of the bandwidth are also significantly cheaper than 3G licenses were, further driving down prices.
Of course we’ll have to see how the competition works out – not all carriers will be content to give people stuff for free, but financially it’s possible, and at least one European network has promised to do so. Bring it on please.
In 2015, it’s not just going to be mobile phones using mobile internet, we expect there to be hundreds of thousands of tablet computers, with people doing increasingly complicate and bandwith-heavy tasks on them.
Currently there are two types of 4G internet available:
Both are precursors to true 4G, but approach its speed and capabilities-
LTE – an advanced version of 3G is the better of the two technologies -being both faster and cheaper.
Wimax – a scaled-down version that originated in Korea, has picked up some adoption but seems to be have less long-term potential than LTE.