Even if you're not in a 4G area
4G is the new and improved version of 3G. Internet speeds are five times faster, and the internet connection is stronger so your internet won't suddenly slow down. There are already loads of phones available that can connect to 4G networks, while all the big new smartphones of the future will be compatible.
|Web pages load instantly||Streaming live TV anywhere is as instant as turning on the TV.|
|Downloading a song takes seconds. An entire album less than a minute.||Downloading a full length HD movie takes around five minutes.|
|Any picture you upload to Facebook will appear as soon as you hit share.|
Download a 20MB game
|Up to 3 minutes.||Less than 25 seconds.|
|Streaming tunes||Up to a 10 second wait for songs to start.||Songs start playing in less than a second.|
|Stream an HD video||Up to a 5 minute wait for movies to begin.||Any HD movie will start in playing less than 30 seconds.|
|Post a pic to Facebook||Up to 25 seconds.||Less than a second.|
|Watch a YouTube video||Up to a 20 second wait before videos play.||Videos start playing in less than a second.|
If you change networks you might find your reception quality changes for calls and texts. Otherwise it will stay the same. However, whether you change networks or not, switching to 4G is likely to improve your internet data reception, even giving you stronger data reception indoors.
4G tariffs can cost a few more pounds than a 3G tariff, but you're likely to get a higher data allowance, free benefits such as free video and music streaming, and faster internet. A 4G tariff can be much more cost effective, giving you more for your money.
If you already have a 4G phone, it's possible to just upgrade your current tariff. But if your phone doesn't support 4G, you'll need to upgrade it too.
No. You will not lose reception when you go out of a 4G area. You will instead connect back to 3G until you are back in a 4G area. Calls and texts will always work as normal.
No. 4G doesn't use more data than 3G, so streaming the same video with equivalent quality on YouTube using 3G uses as much data as it would on 4G. However, because 4G is faster and more practical, you may use it more and want to stream content in higher definition and, therefore, view more content and use a bit more data.
Yes and yes! Independent tests have shown that 4G networks are delivering fives times faster speeds than traditional 3G, when in 4G areas. The extra speed is noticeable straight away, and when coupled with the extra data and inclusive benefits of a 4G tariff, 4G is definitely worth that little bit extra.
In the next year 98% of the UK population will be covered by the biggest 4G networks. In fact, more than 80% of the population now has 4G coverage. If you'd like to know exactly when 4G comes to your area, visit our network coverage checker page and select your network to view your local 4G coverage.