4G refers to the Fourth Generation of cellular wireless standards. It is a successor to 3G and 2G standards, with the aim to provide ultra-broadband (gigabit-speed) internet access to mobile as well as stationary users.
4G is expected to support broadband speeds that will rival wireline connections such as fiber optic cable, with the advantage of complete mobility. 4G wireless broadband technologies include WiMAX and Long-Term Evolution (LTE) networks. Both are based on TCP/IP, the core protocol of the Internet.
Estimates of how much spectrum is needed for national coverage with 4G technologies vary but several experts have estimated that 40 MHz is a minimum requirement per network, and 100 MHz of spectrum bandwidth might be needed for a network to meet demand for projected growth.
- The amount of capacity (MHz) needed is primarily a function of the size of the a technology used, and the desired levels of speed and reliability. At an FCC workshop on spectrum, on September 17, 2009, 100 MHz was frequently cited as the likely increase needed for mobile broadband networks in five years time.(full-text)
- 4G Americas (full-text)
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