A comparison of 3G and 4G technology

3G and 4G are terms being used to characterize the wireless cellular service’s third and fourth generations. 4G is a relatively new innovation, and it generally provides faster speeds when compared to 3G.

If you want to know how #4G is precisely different from 3G, this article is for you. We have compared both of these generations so you will be able to spot how they’re diverse when it comes to availability, does, and the types of activities on the Internet you can do with them.


3G is a high-speed mobile broadband network. It uses wireless technology’s third generation. The technology for 3G fundamentally heralded the period of mobile data. It brought with it various enhancements from previous network standards such as the 2.5G. These enhancements include global roaming, advanced access to multimedia, and faster transmission.

The 3G network can have a maximum speed of 3.1 Mbps. Please note, though, that its speed is impacted by network traffic, location, and signal speed. 3G is also still being utilized in rural areas.

The 4G network, on the other hand, is a mobile high-speed network of broadband, which utilizes wireless technologies of the fourth generation. This is an advancement from the previous 3G technology.

The 4G network delivers speeds that are faster than the 3G by a tenfold. 4G, in other words, can do all the functions that 3G can—but faster. It can also support operations that are intensive on data, video conferencing, and mobile HD televisions.

Overall, the 4G network can deliver speeds at 50 Mbps at maximum. However, speed fluctuations may occur depending on how far you are from a network tower. When it comes to speed, the 4G network takes the cake, hands down.

A brief comparison of the 3G and 4G speeds

It is important to note that maximum theoretical speeds don’t always work in reality because of aspects like latency, here is a brief comparison of the speed requisites that an ISP must follow to achieve a connection that can be considered as 3G or 4G.

Starting with the 4G LTE-Advanced network, this delivers download speed of 300 Mbps and an upload speed of 150 Mbps. The 4G LTE network has 150 Mbps for its download speed and 50 Mbps for upload. Moreover, the 3G HSPA+ offers a download speed of 42 Mbps and an upload speed of 22 Mbps.

We have also checked out the 2019 report on Speedtest.net about 4G network speeds as well as the OpenSignal’s 2019 report on 3G network experience. This exhibits the differences in speeds of the four leading wireless providers in the United States.

With AT&T, it offers a 4G download speed of 24.6 Mbps, and 3.3 Mbps download speed for 3G. T-Mobile delivers its 4G download at a speed of 24.3 Mbps and 4.2 Mbps for 3G. Verizon has its 4G download speed at 23.8 Mbps and .9 Mbps for 3G. Lastly, Sprint delivers a speed of 21.1 Mbps for 4G downloads and 1.3 Mbps for 3G downloads.

You have to keep in mind that 3G or 4G can deliver maximum speeds only if you’re not utilizing applications that require an intensive amount of data. To put it simply, on a 4G network, for you to be able to pull up a video on YouTube very quickly, you have to exit apps that utilize the internet like Facebook.


When it comes to accessibility, both of these networks can be utilized for internet access.

The 3G networks deliver easy and quick access to various multimedia tools on the internet and require handsets that are compatible with 3G. This network also offers less expensive data prices when compared to 4G.

3G is typically used with mobile phones to be able to connect to the internet. Applications for regular activities on the internet like social networking, email, weather, and GPS, can function optimally using a 3 G connection.

On the other hand, the 4G network provides you with effortless access to the internet, including video calling, HD televisions, media streaming, social networks, and IM. To be able to take advantage of this, you need to have a device that 4G caters to or 4G-compatible.

While the 4G network’ data prices have higher prices than 3G, you most definitely can do all the functions of a 3G network—but faster. Again, it supports features such as applications that require an intensive amount of data, video conferencing, and HD televisions.


When it comes to availability, the 4G network’s reach has increased over time.

It is important to note that the 3G network standard is still utilized in rural areas. It serves as a backup of some wireless providers. However, the use of 3G has mostly been changed into 4G.

One of the advantages of 4G technology is it is prevalent and has already conquered the world. However, since the 5G wireless technology now exists, don’t be surprised if it makes present-day mobile communication more reliable and efficient.

Keep in mind that although you can be easily confused with the use of the 4G LTE and 4G terms, 4G LTE provides much-improved performance as well as speeds.


Both of these technologies enable users to connect their devices to the internet. These are ultimately advancements compared to the previous network generation standards.

With 4G being the newer technology, it is, therefore, safe to say that it is better than 3G with all things considered. However, the 3G network is still essential as it serves as a fallback or backup connection for wireless providers, as well as it is accessible in rural areas.

Emil S.

Emil is a Data & Design Specialist with a degree in BS Information System, specializes in Admin Support & Creative Design.

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