Mobile 301 – Part 3: Multimode 3G/4G
In the last section, we explained how 4G LTE is able to provide you a rich data experience without delay. In fact, 4G LTE is the fastest, most efficient wireless network technology ever created.
Because of this amazing performance, operators are rapidly expanding 4G LTE coverage areas, and mobile broadband users are quickly making the jump to 4G LTE services. However, all technology transitions take some time. In today’s world only a fraction of the nearly seven billion wireless subscribers worldwide have made the switch to 4G LTE.
That said, in today’s world, 3G provides the world’s broadest, most established wireless coverage for both data and voice services, taking advantage of the extensive infrastructure already in place that supports billions of connections, and is growing every day. And thanks to continuous improvements in 3G networks, users can get an excellent mobile broadband experience virtually anywhere they go.
But the only way to truly get an exceptional mobile experience is if your device supports both networks: 4G LTE for the Capacity boost to provide the fastest data rates, and 3G to enable reliable voice services and a consistent broadband experience outside 4G LTE coverage. And the way to do that…is with Multimode devices that support both 3G and 4G LTE.
With Multimode, users can enjoy the capacity boost of 4G LTE while they’re in coverage areas, but when they leave, the device switches back to 3G for a consistent broadband experience, without any disruption or lag. And with Multimode, users can continue to enjoy the reliable voice services that 3G networks deliver.
It might sound simple, but there are two obstacles that must be overcome for Multimode to be successful:
One: Seamless Connectivity. When we talked about coverage, we said that in order to provide a great mobile experience, signals must be able to pass from tower to tower as users move in and out of range, without dropping.
The same thing is true of Multimode. When devices move in and out of 4G LTE coverage areas, 3G coverage needs to fill in the gaps instantaneously, without any delays or drops.
Two: Consistent mobile broadband experience. As we’ve already covered, 4G LTE provides an incredibly fast data experience. So it might be logical to assume that, when a Multimode device transitions from 4G LTE to 3G, the data speeds would greatly suffer as a result.
This would not be good enough for today’s users. Luckily, 3G is up to the challenge. As we have stated, even after 4G LTE was released, 3G networks continued to evolve and improve, using some of the same innovations of 4G LTE to boost its own data rates.
For example, 3G networks have aggregated the available spectrum in much the same way as 4G LTE, to help it deliver information faster.
Although 4G LTE remains the faster connection, the steady evolution of 3G has not only provided continually faster data rates for billions of users all around the world, but it has also enabled a consistent mobile broadband experience for customers with multimode devices. So now, when a multimode device switches from 4G LTE to 3G, users can continue to enjoy their mobile broadband services.
As you can see, to get an exceptional mobile experience no matter where you go, you need the capacity boost of 4G LTE, working in tandem with the vast coverage of 3G. A device that enables Multimode operation will give you both, but is even that enough to ensure you get the best possible broadband experience? Not quite. There’s one more thing to consider…and that’s what we’re going to talk about next.
Publish Date: May 14, 2018