4G will change the way we use the internet

Super-fast internet on the move means an end to the distinction between being at home, in the office, or out and about

Share

It has been too long coming. But with O2 and Vodafone now joining rival EE in the provision of next-generation mobile services, Britain’s internet habits are about to change out of all recognition.

Never mind such technicalities as spectrum allocation and peak bit-rates. What the nationwide availability of so-called 4G mobile networks will mean is simple enough. Just as the advent of broadband changed the home internet experience, 4G – at as much as five times current speeds – will do the same for the mobile.

Super-fast internet on the move means an end to the distinction between at home, in the office, and out and about. It means TV on the train, cloud computing in the park, gaming on the bus. And that is just the beginning. As high-speed mobile data becomes ubiquitous, it will spawn entirely new services – just as broadband did.

Despite all the promise, roll-out has been slowed by regulatory torpor, industry in-fighting and even, perhaps, company strategies aimed at pushing up prices. But with EE’s 4G in 100 towns, O2 and Vodafone set to have 13 cities covered by the end of the year, and Three committed to a launch before Christmas, there is progress at last.

If the experiences of trailblazers such as South Korea are anything to go by, mobile internet use is about to quadruple. There might be as much as a 1 per cent boost to GDP. Even with the networks in place, though, we are not there yet. Not only will it take time for smartphones, tablets and the like to catch up; consumers may also take time to be convinced. But we are on the brink of a technical revolution, nevertheless, and it will change our world.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Contract Manager

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This leading provider of refrigeration, mechan...

Recruitment Genius: Technical Support Manager

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This leading provider of refrigeration, mechan...

Recruitment Genius: 3rd Line IT Support / Senior Engineer / Support Analyst

£24000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An exciting opportunity has ari...

Recruitment Genius: Field Sales Executive - OTE £60,000

£25000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Recognised as one of the fastes...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

Daily catch-up: the endless and beginningless election campaign goes up and down

John Rentoul
Zoe Sugg, aka Zoella, with her boyfriend, fellow vlogger Alfie Deyes  

What the advertising world can learn from Zoella's gang

Danny Rogers
No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor