Will My 4G Phone Work with This Newest Cell Phone Technology?

Will My 4G Phone Work with This Newest Cell Phone Technology?
August 24, 2019 10 Comments Uncategorized Jack Stephens

As mentioned before, it will be a few years before 5G will spread to the majority of areas in the United States and the world. I hope you remember that the same thing was true when we were making the change from 3G to 4G, so similar adjustments and rollouts will take place this time too. Maybe even moreso, but let’s leave the problems of implementing and spreading the service to the tech gurus in all the companies with a stake in the game.

It might be that you are concerned about what to do if you find yourself in an area that already has this newest cell phone technology while you still have a 4G phone. Let’s say you are traveling from a 4G area to do business or visit friends or family and they are in a 5G area. What happens? Will you still be able to use your phone?

Good News!

The short answer is yes, you will still be able to connect using your 4G phone. In fact, due to the increased bandwidth spectrum involved, you will probably notice that your 4G phone is working even better than it was in your 4G area. And keep in mind that 4G itself keeps improving while 5G is developing and spreading. This makes the relationship between 3G and 4G different than the relationship between 4G and 5G.

The “G” in 2G, 3G, 4G and 5G refers to “Generation”. Each “G” is the next improvement level (generation) in cell phone efficiency and capability. Each “G” also has a “generation” span of about 10 years. I will not even go into 2G since by today’s standards it is archaic – kind of like talking about dialup internet versus high speed modems.

So, What’s the Diff?

3G was slowwwww compared to 4G and the two systems were not compatible with each other. The bandwidths used by 3G fall within 15-20 MHz. 4G’s bandwidth is within 700-900 MHz. LTE (Long Term Evolution) is actually an adaptation of 3G and is not true 4G. Its bandwidth is anywhere from 1.4 to 20 MHz. Nonetheless, you will often hear of LTE being referred to as “4G LTE”. It is not true 4G.

5G’s bandwidth is from 600 MHz to 6 GIGAHERTZ! This is due to 5G’s use of millimeter (very short) waves instead of centimeter waves. In terms of speed alone, it is up to 100 times faster than 4G. So 5G, with its tremendously superior spectrum of bandwidth will still be able to handle 4G while giving a tremendous boost to the speeds and operation of 5G capable devices.

What this means is that not only will your 4G device work in a 5G area, it will work even better due to the increased spectrum available. It is like the comparison between driving down a 4 lane highway (4G) versus driving down a 12 lane interstate. Lots more room for your cell phone signal to speed on its merry way without slowdowns or interruptions.

Wahoo!

So there is no need to be concerned about having a 4G cell phone in an area where the newest cell phone technology, 5G,  is being used. HOWEVER – keep in mind that the times, they are a-changin’ and with the huge advance this new generation is giving all sorts of devices, you can’t afford to be complacent or slow to change. You do have time to make a good, informed choice regarding your phone and your service provider. Just don’t put it off too long if you want to benefit from the superior features of 5G. Click here to see 5G cell phones that may be available to you right now!

 

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  1. 1

    Max

    Hey Jack,

    I was always curious about what the “G” in 3G and 4G meant, and now I know! I was also not aware of LTE being a sort of fake 4G. Get out of here LTE! We only want true 4G around here.

    I live in China right now, and the Chinese have not yet adopted 5G yet. But, I did visit the states where I am from about 3 months ago. My city had adopted 5G and holy shit was the speed different. My phone was lightning fast and it only worked in 4G. I am not sure if they increased internet speeds to 5G. Is that possible? I just remember being shocked at how quickly I downloaded a movie. Usually in China I download at speeds of about 1.2 MB/s.

    Back home in the states I downloaded a 2 gigabyte movie at 11MB/s and it took under two minutes. Do you happen to know if some internet also runs on 5G? I honestly don’t know. Thanks for the post!

    Cheers,

    Max

    Reply
    1. 1

      Jack Stephens

      Hi, Max. The fact that your 4G phone experienced faster speeds is a side benefit of 5G. No, you weren’t actually experiencing 5G itself, but as I mention elswhere on my site, 4G or 4G LTE as it is also called, does reap some benefit from the opening up of greatly increased bandwidth. Part of the reason for this is that some of the traffic that used to be your competition on 4G signals has been diverted to those who have upgraded to 5G. I am sure there is more to it than that, but without getting more technical, that is why you had better reception, speed, etc. when you were using 4G in a 5G area.
      Next, regarding the influence of 5G on internet speeds, the answer is yes, internet runs on 5G as well, but keep in mind that as with any new advances in technology, it will take some time to become the main or only source of internet. In fact, due to many extenuating factors, there may always be some need for multifaceted and cooperative systems to bring internet coverage to every conceivable location. So cable may always have a place. Signal that has to reach where wireless can’t reach is one example. But even there, fiber optic cable will maintain much of the speed and reduced latency that 5G offers. Thanks for your question. I appreciate your input.

      Reply
  2. 1

    Christopher Harvey

    Thank you for the information.  I hate to be that guy, but I have read some on the subject and some people are excited about 5g and some people are fearful of it.  What is your opinion on the subject that 5g may be harmful to humans and even animals?  I know this seems very tin foil hat, but the research (what little bit I have done) makes me wonder.  Thanks again!

    Reply
    1. 1

      Jack

      I have already answered this inquiry in another post answer, but I will repeat my opinion. I have no worry about 5G having any proven evil effects on our health or wellbeing. 4G had to go through the same kind of scare tactic by its naysayers. Yet here we are today. If our cell phones were giving us cancer, we should see an uptick in the number of cases directly connected to cell phone use. There is none. All concerns are purely anecdotal and unproven.

      Additionally, since 5G utilizes a much higher frequency in the millimeter range, the waves are far less able to injure  the human body since the waves are shorter and are unable to penetrate skin. You have much more to fear from the rays of the sun than you do from 5G. You can find fearmongers on YouTube and in online articles, but there are no authoritative studies or experiments that prove any of the suppositions of some critics. If you are not convinced, I guess you will just have to forego the onrushing advance. Somehow.

      Reply
  3. 1

    Peter

    Hi Jack, in terms of 4G LTE, what is the time frame between advancements from say 4G to 5G? It seems you make a decision to catch up with the times and go the next big thing, in this case 4G only to find out that 5G has arrived and you haven’t caught up at all. This is probably technology in general, but you see it time and time again. 4G TVs seem to the rage at the mo, how long will it be before they are superseded by 5G TVs?

    It doesn’t seem that long ago 4G was new, it does get somewhat concerning you are not getting the latest and greatest for long without something else arriving on the scene.

    Reply
    1. 1

      Jack

      I know sometimes we forget how much time passes between events. In regard to the upgrading of cell phones, it is fairly accurate to say that each “G” advance has lasted about ten years. The difference this time is that 5G is inherently different than its predecessors. 

      Imagine you are riding a boat down a river and every ten years you upgrade to a more powerful boat. Maybe the first boat is a rowboat (1G, 1980s). Then comes a bass boat with an outboard motor (2G, 1990s)..After that, in your ride down the river, you switch to an inboard powered boat (3G, 2000s).  Next, you switch to a speedboat (4G, 2010s). 

      But next, instead of just moving to a bigger, more powerful boat like a jet powered hydrofoil, you also find yourself guiding your boat out of the confines of the river onto the surface of an ocean. That is a general approximation of the dissimilarity between this latest change and all that came before. Now, don’t take the analogy too far, but the point is we are not just looking at more of the same when it comes to 5G.

      Instead of mostly dealing with cell phone performance, 5G will alter virtually every form of electronics, computers, industry, data storage, robotics, medical advances, and on and on. With the manifold changes to reducing latency, expanding bandwidth, efficiency of transmission and more, it isn’t even a fair “apples to apples” comparison. 

      As for 5G television, the whole secret is how 5G enters in to the transmission and reception of signals. One of the main advances is the ditching of cable reception. The 5G signal will be more directly utilized by the set, or possibly to a wireless router.

      The research I have done indicates that we may not be looking at a future “6G”. Perhaps one might come along. But right now, it appears that 5G will be around until at least 2035. So at this point, I wouldn’t worry about a 5G cell phone being superseded any time soon.

      Reply
  4. 1

    Fred

    Thanks for the info Jack. I am not one to buy brand new phones and I was curious if my Iphone 7 would still be ok on 5G. When phones cost so much these days, I can’t really afford the best brand new phone; especially when I have two kids with phones as well. Is there any talk in increase to cost to use 5G service? I would assume that there would be no cap on data since 5G is suppose to be able to handle much more data, but who knows what the big cell companies plan on doing with the new technology. Thanks for sharing. 

    Reply
    1. 1

      Jack

      Hi, Fred. Thanks for writing. No, your iphone 7 is not 5G capable. If you read other pages and posts of my site, you will find that although your 4G phone will still work in 5G areas, it will not carry 5G. But it will be around 10 to 15 years before significant new improvement beyond 5G will arise, so if you are not in a 5G service area, you have some time. I am not sure at this point if there is an improvement that will supersede 5G even then. 5G is so different from anything before. It will affect so much more than just our cell phones. 

      I have not heard what the cost for 5G service will be or what packages will be offered, but check first with your service provider regarding when 5G will be available. It is coming sooner than earlier predictions implied, but will still take a few years to roll out in most areas. One estimate I read says that by 2023 there will be about one billion 5G devices. I am guessing that is a worldwide figure, but it could be national (U.S.A.) So keep a check on the timing for your area. Then consider the investment.

      Reply
  5. 1

    Love Yourself

    I am so glad I read your article. Very interesting indeed.  I am due an upgrade soon, but I see that France is only upgrading to G5 in 2020 – not too long to go then!  I love the look of the LG V50 ThinQ 5G.  Wow!!  I currently have a relatively old, outdated version of the LG.  Up to now I have been happy with it, but was thinking of changing – well until i saw the LG on your website.  What a stunner.

    Thank you for such in-depth information.  I can now make an informed choice.

    Renée

    Reply
    1. 1

      Jack

      I am glad you found my information helpful. I invite you to share it and all my other pages and posts with others. The sooner people understand and look forward to this new technology, the better. Different countries will adopt 5G at different times, and various service providers will roll it out as they build the needed infrastructure, so the effective dates will vary from place to place. By the time it is available in France, Apple should have their 5G phones as well. And I am sure other manufacturers who provide products for France will also join in. The LG V50 ThinQ 5G will be an excellent choice from a great company. Thanks for writing.

      Reply

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