You've heard it on TV commercials: "our network is the largest 3G network in the United States" and "Which network would you trust, when you really need to trust your network?" The advertisements are extolling the virtues of 3G networks.
But while many of us are just growing comfortable with our 3G smart phones, which let us access the Internet, all the major mobile operators in the United States are moving to build out 4G networks.
Why? And is 4G better than 3G?
Let's go back and look at where we came from: 1G. The first generation of mobile phones transmitted sound using an analog signal, a continuous signal able to reflect the variations in loudness of a person's voice.
The signal lacked range, however, required huge batteries, were susceptible to interference and were unable to accommodate security encryption codes, meaning anyone could listen to your phone call with the right equipment, or worse, clone your telephone number and run up your phone bill.
The second generation, or 2G, of mobile phone was introduced in 1991, representing a significant leap forward in technology because they used digital signals. These are discontinuous signals that transmit voice information as electrical pulses representing ones and zeros.