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Is 4G too Expensive?

15 November 2016

4G or the 4th generation mobile network is definitely taking the mobile phone industry by storm. With handsets that have the appropriate hardware to support this technology, more and more users have begun to use 4G instead of 3G data. Carriers claim that you can get up to 5 times more speed with 4G technology. With the increase in bandwidth, you can expect faster transfers and shorter download time. So video chatting and conferences can be uninterrupted for most business people. But, if you look at the big picture, is 4G really as big an advantage as they make it seem?

If you are someone who is constantly out on field work, struggling to stay connected through the internet, yes. However, if most of your work happens from home or from your office, Wi-Fi or even 3G is a much better option for you.

The issue with 4G is that most carriers will charge you an additional fee for these services. You will have to shell down anything between £20 and £25 for 500MB of data. Now let us assume that you spend about 15 minutes each day on social media and make a meagre 5 uploads, you will consume 30MB of data in a day. With 4G, you are bound to play online games and also indulge in Netflix downloads. That is 5MB and 1GB per hour respectively. Essentially, you will need a lot more data if you really want to make good use of your 4G mobile data.

The truth is that 4G technology has reached the palms of several people through recently launched handsets that are compatible. However, the usage itself is still a thing of the future provided that the costs of using these services reduce to a large extent. There have been positive steps in this direction with mobile companies slashing costs just to make sure that they are better than their rivals.

If you want to exploit the speed of 4G, you first need a handset that is 4G compatible. You may also have to switch to a 4G SIM from your current 2G/3G SIM. If not, you will not be able to use the network. Following that, you need to ensure that you keep an eye on the data that you are consuming every day. Unless you want to go over your monthly allowance and incur unreasonable monthly costs, make sure that you turn your 4G data on only when you are really in the need of it. Even a simple tethering to your laptop for work can end up being very expensive if you are not careful.

In addition to all this, 4G data network is limited. So, you are forced to switch to either 3G or Wi-Fi from time to time. So, most experts will advise you to refrain from upgrading to a 4G service until this issue is resolved. In fact, it is a good idea to wait until you are able to get good coverage outside the bigger cities. Even bigger cites do not have 4G coverage everywhere. This issue may take a couple of years more to get sorted. However, it is definitely worth the wait when you think about how much you will be saving.