What is 4G and when does it arrive

Mobile communication infrastructure standards are typically measured as *G - where * represents progression from the previous "G" standard.

For example 2G, or 3G.

Mobile infrastructure - includes masts, relay stations, and even your mobile handset.

2G, 3G and 4G is a variety of standards all brought together under a single title

2G is the Second Generation of mobile phone communication standards, and 3G the Third Generation.

Each generation typically provides the standard in relation to peak speeds that can possibly be obtained.

The speed of call connection, and speed of data downloads - including the speed at which internet (web) pages download to your mobile device as well as the time it takes to download mobile phone applications.

As an example, 3G provides download speeds of up to 50 Mbps (Megabytes per Second).

4G will reach speeds of up to 100 Mbps with potential speeds of up to 375 Mbps when using Wi-Fi.

The current standard is 3G.

4G is going to bring all of the standards up to the next level from 3G, as 3G did when replacing 2G.

Perhaps we might be able to liken the progression something like this: Baby > Infant > Youth >  Adult.

Downloading will see a great benefit: as an example, if you chose to download a game of 135 Mega Bytes using 3G - this could take up to 15 minutes or slightly more.

Using 4G to download the same size (135Mb) game could well take less than one minute - giving you a quicker time to enjoy playing the game.

Video Call Quality is also affected by the level of Mobile Communication Standards being utilised . . .

. . . When using 3G, video images might appear a little grainy, and there may be some "lag" between when you say something and when the person you are talking to actually hears what you have said.

4G will go quite some way to leaving the grainy image quality and voice lag in the past - giving you clear and lag free video calls.

Signal - we often hear (or not - depending on how you might want to look at it !) - about poor reception - and poor reception areas.

4G - being an improvement over 3G will give better signal strength and coverage - this will give an improved signal coverage and strength - assisting with voice calls, texts, and of course internet access.

So, when will 4G be available ?

There is quite a lot of progress being made right now - preparations have been progressing well over the last few weeks and months.

OfCom - the Office for Communications which licenses mobile phone networks, has given Everything Everywhere (business resulting from the merger of Orange and T-Mobile) the go-ahead to launch 4G, this year (2012).

Ofcom issued Everything Everywhere licenses from September 11, 2012.

Everything Everywhere is believed to be considering forming an Everything Everywhere 4G brand.

Everything Everywhere is believed to be working on providing 4G cover to approximately one-third of the United Kingdom population by Christmas 2012, in the following major cities: Belfast, Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Derby, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Hull, Leeds, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Newcastle, Nottingham, Sheffield and Southampton.

More areas will be added with anticipated 70% coverage in 2013 leading up to 98% coverage in 2014.

What devices will be 4G compatible ?

4G is fine - but you will need compatible devices to use it.

Mobile phone handsets that are 4G compatible include the recently announced Apple iPhone 5, as well as the Nokia Lumia 820 and 920 handsets, HTC One XL, Samsung Galaxy SIII, Samsung Galaxy Note II.