You may as well forget 4G until reception on the trains is up to speed

Why switch to 4G now? Despite the hype, it won’t initially be able to deliver much

Share
Related Topics

For Everything Everywhere, the euphoria of its 4G spectrum licence land-grab could be short-lived if it cannot quickly show the benefits that high-speed data offers for watching video on the move. It does face problems, chief among which is its flagship 1800Mhz frequency.

When rival operators launch their 4G services on the 800Mhz frequency next year, iPhone-holding EE customers could find themselves locked onto a frequency with more variable coverage – with 24-month contracts.

Which does beg the question: why switch to 4G now? Ofcom says it's to bring the UK into line with the rest of the high-tech world; others claim it means remote areas will be able to get usable broadband. Cynics say it's an opportunity for the Government to get more revenue from the sale of radio spectrum licences and for mobile operators to sell new handsets and contracts.

The selling point of 4G will be being able to get TV and play computer games on the move, which sounds uncannily like the promise of WAP at the turn of the century and the launch of the 3G licences whose purchase crippled BT with debt.

Despite the hype, 4G will not initially be able to deliver much. The Government wants it to reach 98 per cent of homes by 2017, but EE has gone to only 11 cities at launch. Its early-adopters will get a good service in the city centre and while in sight of the mast, but it will fall off quickly towards the outskirts of town.

Initially mobile companies will be bulking your service with Wi-Fi by piggy-backing on to public hotspots that you could have used anyway. Without Wi-Fi back-up, the service will be no better than the current 3G experience until something is done about modern communications on the train network.

Bright, high resolution screens playing films also mean that batteries will drain fast – so if you were going to invest in 4G for the telly on the way home, don't hold your breath.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Guru Careers: Software Developer / C# Developer

£40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...

Guru Careers: Software Developer

£35 - 40k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Software Developer (JavaS...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant / Resourcer

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: As a Trainee Recruitment Consu...

Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, AngularJS)

£25000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, JavaScript, HTML...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Yvette Cooper campaigning in London at the launch of Labour’s women’s manifesto  

I want the Labour Party to lead a revolution in family support

Yvette Cooper
Liz Kendall  

Labour leadership contest: 'Moderniser' is just a vague and overused label

Steve Richards
Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine