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
SPONSORED FEATURES
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + competitive: SThree: Are you looking to take your ...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £40000 per annum + competitive: SThree: Exciting career prospect for ...

Recruitment Genius: Account Manager / Media Sales - OTE up to £30,000

£20000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This award-winning company, whi...

Recruitment Genius: Senior Software Developer

£40000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a unique & exciting opp...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

Daily catch-up: Ancient Labour rivalries – Bevan versus Morrison

John Rentoul
Labour leadership hopefuls, from left, Yvette Cooper, Liz Kendall, Andy Burnham and Jeremy Corbyn on the BBC  

If you’re thinking of voting for Jeremy Corbyn, here are my promises to you

Andy Burnham
A groundbreaking study of 'Britain's Atlantis' long buried at the bottom of the North Sea could revolutionise how we see our prehistoric past

Britain's Atlantis

Scientific study beneath North Sea could revolutionise how we see the past
The Queen has 'done and said nothing that anybody will remember,' says Starkey

The Queen has 'done and said nothing that anybody will remember'

David Starkey's assessment
Oliver Sacks said his life has been 'an enormous privilege and adventure'

'An enormous privilege and adventure'

Oliver Sacks writing about his life
'Gibraltar is British, and it is going to stay British forever'

'Gibraltar is British, and it is going to stay British forever'

The Rock's Chief Minister hits back at Spanish government's 'lies'
Britain is still addicted to 'dirty coal'

Britain still addicted to 'dirty' coal

Biggest energy suppliers are more dependent on fossil fuel than a decade ago
Orthorexia nervosa: How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition

Orthorexia nervosa

How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition
Lady Chatterley is not obscene, says TV director

Lady Chatterley’s Lover

Director Jed Mercurio on why DH Lawrence's novel 'is not an obscene story'
Farmers in tropical forests are training ants to kill off bigger pests

Set a pest to catch a pest

Farmers in tropical forests are training ants to kill off bigger pests
Mexico: A culture that celebrates darkness as an essential part of life

The dark side of Mexico

A culture that celebrates darkness as an essential part of life
Being sexually assaulted was not your fault, Chrissie Hynde. Don't tell other victims it was theirs

Being sexually assaulted was not your fault, Chrissie Hynde

Please don't tell other victims it was theirs
A nap a day could save your life - and here's why

A nap a day could save your life

A midday nap is 'associated with reduced blood pressure'
If men are so obsessed by sex, why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?

If men are so obsessed by sex...

...why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?
The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3

Jon Thoday and Richard Allen-Turner

The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3
The bathing machine is back... but with a difference

Rolling in the deep

The bathing machine is back but with a difference
Part-privatised tests, new age limits, driverless cars: Tories plot motoring revolution

Conservatives plot a motoring revolution

Draft report reveals biggest reform to regulations since driving test introduced in 1935