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4G: Everything You Need to Know About Its Standards

What is 4G?

4G, short for the fourth generation of cellular data technology, represents a significant advancement in mobile connectivity, enabling a wide range of data-intensive applications such as gaming and high-definition (HD) video streaming. It stands as the successor to 3G and serves as the predecessor to the currently dominant 5G technology. Within the realm of 4G, there exist various standards that facilitate its functionality, with notable ones including LTE, IEEE 802.16m, and 3GPP LTE.

Evolution of 4G

Long Term Evolution (LTE), in particular, stands out as a commonly employed 4G standard. It is essential to note that while LTE is widely recognized as 4G technology, there has been debate regarding its adherence to the originally stringent technical criteria for "true 4G." Some argue that LTE may fall short of these criteria, albeit by negligible differences in speed, especially in major locations.

One intriguing aspect of 4G and LTE is that, in everyday usage, many individuals use the terms "4G" and "LTE" interchangeably, despite their technical distinctions in terms of speed and specific technological attributes.

In addition to LTE, another notable 4G standard is IEEE 802.16m. Approved in 2011, this wireless broadband standard was initially conceived with the aim of achieving peak speeds of up to 100 Mbps, contributing to the diverse landscape of 4G technologies.

Furthermore, 3GPP LTE plays a pivotal role within the 4G domain. It serves as the foundational framework upon which LTE technology is constructed. Notably, 3GPP LTE was introduced as version 8, signifying an initial step in the evolution of LTE technology. Subsequent iterations within the 3GPP framework have yielded robust cellular technologies, including version 15, which marked a phase 1 specification for the rapidly expanding 5G technology.