What is 4G?

4G stands for ‘fourth generation’ – it’s the fourth generation of mobile phone technology. It follows on from 2G and 3G and was launched in late 2009.

2G was used for making calls and sending texts, and 3G allowed people to access the internet more effectively on their phone. 4G offers vastly improved browsing and download speeds, reduced latency, and clearer voice calls.

4G was well-received by mobile users as the download speeds for 4G networks were around 5-7 times faster than existing 3G networks. For example, an album which would take 20 minutes to download on 3G would only take 3 minutes to download on 4G.

This is based on average 3G speeds of 1Mbit/s, and average 4G speeds of 6Mbit/s.

Which phones have 4G?

There are several new devices which have been launched on 4G networks, including:

  • Xiaomi Redmi 9AT

When will 4G be phased out?

Even though 5G phones are becoming more and more popular, UK 4G networks won’t be shut down for a long time.

It’s estimated that the 4G network will become obsolete only after it’s been eclipsed by 5G, but this could take well over a decade.

Similar terms

2G | 3G | 5G