The technology to improve our mobile wireless data network is here, but it is just taking time to implement fully. Currently most of us are using 3G, but this takes time to download music videos onto our smartphones – this is where 4G LTE (Long-Term Evolution) comes in. This will be the wireless standard by 2011, which could force cell phone carriers into offering a variable pricing model for its customers.
4G is about to become huge over the next year, no we are not talking the iPhone 4G – this will still use the current 3G network. Both Sprint and Verizon are working hard on LTE and already have a number of test areas.
All the networks working on 4G promise much faster speeds, but we are not certain by how much compared to 3G. WSJ claims that a number of skeptics say that we should not pay attention to early speed claims – the more people who use it, the slower it will get.
Once carriers do make the permanent switch from 3G to 4G then they will have to put in place a new pricing structure – those who use more data will have to pay more. This is seen as the fairest way, but not one shared by those who overuse the data network.