Will 3G continue to outperform its fancy new cousin?

You’ve all heard about the launch of 4G, and how it’s going to be great for the country and every single one of us, and yes there is no doubt that it will be a significant step forward both economically and socially, but we aren’t all jumping for joy just yet!

Just last week the BBC ran a report entitled ‘4G tests reveal patchy urban coverage’, which seemed to point the finger at EE 4G coverage not living up to expectations in the first large scale test of its new network.

According to the report “Data collected by mobile coverage firm RootMetrics and shared exclusively with the BBC reveals just 40.2% of its test locations had access to the 4G network.”

Now let’s not get up in arms about this, in fact some other parts of the report showed just how well 4G is performing. Instead think of the 4G network taking its first baby steps…in fact…why don’t we all take a single step back and consider the continued benefits of 3G for the moment.

It’s interesting to note in the same online article, the chief executive of the Three network revealing that the firm was not solely focused on 4G, and is instead looking at upgrading its existing network by using a 3G/4G hybrid technology called DC-HSPA, which can offers speeds of up to 20Mbps (I have no doubt though it’s participating in the upcoming 4G auction).

Although the 4G network will deliver speeds far in excess of 3G, those same network improvements are also enhancing the 3G network, adding extra functionality and improvements to services and options you may not have considered before.

So how fast do we all really need or want to be connected?

Some have expectations of light speed travel…if you happen to like watching Star Wars on the go (a little insight into my own background there), that might just be enough to entice you to the 4G network.

But the benefits and stability of the 3G network actually have a lot more to offer than you might at first consider. In fact as a company that prides itself on bringing to the market leading-edge technology we have adopted a 4G way of thinking on one hand, but at the same time, we are continuing to look at innovations in 3G technology and products.

Just this week in fact we took delivery of our new 3G22WV from NetComm Wireless, a 21Mbps HSPA+ 3G WiFi router with support for voice calls.

So why have we ventured on this dual path you ask?

Well the 3G22WV is a great piece of kit. It looks quite similar to standard routers available from high street and out-of town retailers, and I don’t mid saying that they are all designed with a certain respect for ‘modern surroundings’, the 3G22WV sits very well alongside these off the shelf products. But it’s the functionality that really sets it apart. Looking at it laid out on my desk at the moment there is a plethora of connectivity options to enhance your mobile broadband experience.

Connectors for additional high-gain aerials should you feel the need to expand on the four in-built ones already. Four ethernet ports to keep everything connected, along with two USB slots for connecting devices like printers or external hard drives, those things that you wish you could use over a network but somehow don’t know how to connect them. The all-important SIM card slot to give you that mobile broadband 3G access, whether it’s a primary or secondary way of connecting to the inter-web.

Last, but by no means least, is the ‘voice’ option. You can connect a standard landline phone to the 3G22WV to make phone calls over the mobile network, making the device a true alternative to fixed-line connections. Think of those occasions when your fixed-line telephone fails just when you need it, followed by hours of waiting for testing and repairs whilst watching daytime TV with a cuppa and some digestives. Aside from the cuppa and digestives it’s not a great scenario.

So if you are working from home or in that office space you love to journey to everyday, this could be an ideal 3G router with 21Mbps download and 5.76Mbps upload. Don’t just think about yourself though, your family or colleagues can benefit too, connecting up to 16 wireless devices (laptops, gaming consoles, iPad’s and smart phones for example) simultaneously via the instant 300Mbps WiFi network.

Finally as it’s nearing Xmas, the 3G22WV would sit perfectly alongside a Xmas tree in your office or home, after all it does have all those fancy flashing LED lights on the front (sorry, but they’re blue and not festive red, you can’t have it all)!

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Westbase Technology

Westbase Technology is a leading UK and European distributor of 4G LTE and hybrid networking solutions.

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