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Old 12-21-2012, 11:33 AM   #1
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Can someone explain 4g to me?

I have att phone but never did smart phone or texting. Do I want to change my account to be able to hook my computer to it?? Is that what 4g is? I have a phone and also has ability to hook it to the computer so when I am on the road I can have internet anywhere I have phone? Is it fast slow, expensive? Appreciate anyone that can enlighten and old fool??
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Old 12-21-2012, 12:09 PM   #2
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4g = 4th generation. It is a descriptor for the type of equipment used. It is the latest and greatest. A bit faster and a bit pricier.
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Old 12-21-2012, 12:14 PM   #3
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4g is fourth generation cell technolgy. it provides speeds up to 40 mps. ( have never acheived that speed with mine even with a strong signal in 4g covered arareas.)).

You also might see LTE, Long Term Evolution, This is 4g.

4g networks and phones are backward compatable and will work with 3g phones but of course at 3g speeds.



4g coverage is expanding but you may receive
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Old 12-21-2012, 12:17 PM   #4
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oh yes. most 4g phones have tether options so you can set up your own WiFi network.
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Old 12-21-2012, 12:24 PM   #5
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Cost?

I don't know what the speed figures mean. How is this compared to cable... Does my phone plug into my computer? Is the unlimited? Can I watch a movie on such a set up??
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Old 12-21-2012, 01:16 PM   #6
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If you buy the tether or 'wifi hotspot' plan, then yes, you can link your computer to it. And no, its not unlimited. Hit up attwireless.com to get the actual limits and prices.

for what its worth, amazon wireless has the Lumina 920 windows phone 8 for ATT on sale for $39.99 with new or extended contract.. free shipping.
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Old 12-21-2012, 01:21 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by homeless View Post
I don't know what the speed figures mean. How is this compared to cable... Does my phone plug into my computer? Is the unlimited? Can I watch a movie on such a set up??
Even cable has different speeds.. They start at 1.5Mb per sec (megabites, or million bits of information), then go to 3, 5, 10, 15 and maybe 20 and 30. The 40mbps quoted above for 4G would seem like the fastest, but in reality, its speed during use is more like the 5 to 10mbps cable. My boy on Denver gets 12mbps in some areas,, but mostly 5-6.

As for cost, if your stable in one area, cable would be your cheapest and you could bundle in TV. 3 is all you need to watch Netflix and is the national average, but 5 is a 'sweetspot' for 'bang for the buck' and watching a movie and downloading at the same time.

FWIW, I have 8mbps DSL (phone line) and can stream 2 netflix while someone is surfing and another is playing xBox Live..
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Old 12-21-2012, 02:24 PM   #8
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As I understand the OP requirement to have Internet on-the-go, so to speak. A 4g phone works great and even if you are in a 3g coverage area internet browsing works, just takes longer to load pictures and other large files. Streaming video also works on 3g but better on 4g however unless you have a lot of data in your plan, I would not stream a lot of movies. For example a non HD movie takes up to 1Gb (1000mb).

Many data plans only allow 1Gb without extra charge while others allow more, I depends on what you pay for.

You can do a reasonable amount of "light" surfing and a lot of Email with 1gb.

You mentioned texting. Normal texting does not use up your data plan except if you use Skype or some other text capable app. Do not need a data plan for regular text.

In order to connect your PC to your phone you need to set your phone to work as a WiFi hotspot. This enables you to use the WiFin on your PC to connect to the phone. You will then be using your Cell data connection, hence the cell data plan, to get to the Internet.

Use WiFi from GC or other sites and they are all over the place whenever you can. Just use your phone to search available Open WiFi sites and there are also apps you can get that tell you where hese sites are by address. Connect your PC to these sites without going through your phone.

I hope this and posts by others help.
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Old 12-21-2012, 02:59 PM   #9
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Here is a link to more info.


Alot of this may be a bit techie but good basic stuff here too.

Mobile Internet Options for RVers & US Travelers | Technomadia
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Old 12-21-2012, 04:06 PM   #10
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4G is one more than 3G and two more than 2G.

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Old 12-21-2012, 04:09 PM   #11
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4G speed... 4G speed per my phone's signal strength application is about 22Mbps (that would be around 2 Megabytes per second)

per one speed tester I tried, about half that, but... That may have been the compuer's fault it was acting like it needed some housekeeping.

With Firefox open, And some other programs, most of which are running in idle, MSIE running the speed test, I just got 900Kbytes speed, that is -high end DSL speed.

Cable, with other computers, I've seen about three times that.
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Old 12-21-2012, 04:14 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by homeless View Post
I have att phone but never did smart phone or texting. Do I want to change my account to be able to hook my computer to it?? Is that what 4g is? I have a phone and also has ability to hook it to the computer so when I am on the road I can have internet anywhere I have phone? Is it fast slow, expensive? Appreciate anyone that can enlighten and old fool??
You have many options. First, if you want to hook your computer to your phone, you essentially are using your phone as a wireless modem (tethering) via wirelessly or using your phone cable to the USB port of your PC. Here is info for AT&T tethering:

AT&T Wireless- An overview of device tethering*

As others have posted about 4G, it is simply the Internet at a faster speed. Kind of like DSL or High Speed Cable gives you options for how fast you want to surf the web, 3G is slower than 4G.

Just be careful about your usage as most carriers base their monthly plans based on usage. If you typically surf the Internet and check email then the lower priced plans should be more than enough but if you stream/watch videos (Hulu, Netflix, etc.) you may want to spend the extra money on a plan of 5GB or more. according to AT&T's and Verizon's calculator, streaming video consumes the most data by far, with streaming music as its hungry sidekick. Verizon's online tool calculates that 1 hour of 4G HD video streaming use--and nothing else--will cost you 2GB; so, 2.5 hours of streaming HD video will use up 5GB of 4G data. AT&T's online calculator presents wildly different results, suggesting 1,000 minutes (or 16.6 hours) of HD video streaming--as your sole activity--to reach your 5GB cap.
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Old 12-21-2012, 04:14 PM   #13
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I just upgraded to a "smartphone," with 4G. It is faster than my wife's iPad on 3G.

You stated that you have AT&T. Their first plan is $20 for 300 MB, then $30 for 3Gb. I opted for the 3Gb plan for only $10 more a month. From Dec 14, to Dec 21, I have used 5.11mb of data. I am not a heavy surfer, email, gps, or other data use programs. it's just one of those Nice Things for me - a toy if you will. My primary purpose is email, but I'm sure as we travel around touring cities it will be useful on the walking route.

Just remember that if you tether your computer you will be using a lot more data than just using the phone. If you presently have a data plan look at your billing to determine how much data you use in a month and try planning from that point.

Good luck.
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Old 12-22-2012, 08:40 PM   #14
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I have my ATT 4G iPhone set up for hotspot use--5 GB/month. It works wirelessly or wired to computer via the usb cable that is used to charge the phone. I only use it for email/web surfing--do not stream videos--and have never come close to the 5GB. It works well if the cell signal is strong and is 4G--if 3g/E service, will not connect.
Looking at my bill--$70.00 for FamilyTalk Unlimited (my wife's iPhone is also on this plan but not in the $70.00) $50 for the 5GB; $5 for 200 texts.
This plan allows for the tethering/hotspot. So I am at $125 + tax. This could be reduced with a little thought, but it is also a business use, so have to make sure I have plenty of use available.

Due to the many times the cell signal is insufficient to use, I am looking hard for a booster system.

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