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What's the difference between 3G and 4G LTE?

If you're like many cell phone users out there, you've probably wondered at some point, what is the main difference between 3G and 4G LTE in the cell phone industry?

Before we get started, the first thing we should address is that the "G" in 4G stands for "generation", while LTE stands for "Long Term Evolution". So 4G LTE is short for "Fourth Generation Long Term Evolution", while 3G is short for "Third Generation".

Now that we've cleared that up, there are a few important things to know about these network technologies before you've become an expert. 

4G LTE is the most popular network speed offered by the top four major carriers in the United States.  The major difference that separates these two technologies is the handling and transmission of high-speed data packets. 4G LTE expands network size and speed by using a redesigned network structure which can produce fast and powerful communication speeds. Depending on what carrier you've elected to use, you could see 4G LTE download speeds of anywhere between 20Mbps up to 100Mbps. 

3G or "Third Generation" mobile technology was extremely popular with its voice coverage and increase in data speeds. 3G data speeds were massively increased compared to 2G which allowed for download speeds of up to 25Mbps. This opened the doors for heavy data users as speeds were fast enough to stream major video sites. 

To sum it all up, 3G network speeds were great for voice and data, while having some of the fastest download speeds available today.

4G LTE offers voice and data just like 3G, however, the download speeds are known to be almost twice as fast and also reach much further than the earlier 3G.

You need to check the coverage in your area to see what speeds are available from your carrier, all carriers have a section on their website with a Network Coverage map.

Here are a couple of links to our Cellphone Search comparison to give you an idea of pricing to see the difference between 3G and 4G phone costs

iPhone 4 3G phone prices

iPhone 6s 4G phone prices

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