Support Team
Support Team

What’s the difference between 3G, Next G and 4G?

Good question, subject of the post I’m currently writing! Every now and then in my travels around the internet I encounter some confusion on this subject, and since I’m trying to get my post count up, I figured it was as good a subject to post on as any. Plus (probably shouldn’t have started that sentence with plus) it’s always good to clarify things when possible with a nice long wall of text.

 

To that end 3G is a catch all term which in Australia is used mostly to refer to the last generation of mobile telecommunications technology which all major mobile service providers in Australia make available. It’s called 3G because it is considered the third generation of mobile phone telephony, 1G being analog mobile technology (early 80’s) and 2G being the first wave of digital mobile technology (GSM and so forth, which first debuted in the early 90’s). What’s the difference? As time has gone on we’ve gotten better at converting data and voice communications into signals, and so have been able to get faster speeds and enable video calling. Next G is our name for Telstra’s wholly owned 3G network, over which we try to give the best possible service.

 

Which brings us to 4G: There has been a lot of contention as to the definition of 4G, Put simply, it’s faster again than 3G and will provide a better experience browsing the web on your phone J. It’s the next generation of digital mobile phone networks.

 

In the future (feel free to read that as I don’t have a timeframe for this =) we plan to implement even faster technology with theoretical speeds ridiculousness and who knows?  We might even call it 5G. All you really need to know is that it’s faster than 4G.  

 

If you’ve any questions please comment away!

 

So there you go, I hope I’ve helped to explain simply, what this all means, an explanation of the differences between these terms. However if you feel I’ve skimped a little on the details I think you’re being very charitable and I commend you on your good manners. So here’s a little more meat on what I’ve said above. If you’re afraid of numbers or excessive use of parentheses please look away for the next few minutes (and then scroll down below this post).

 

Typical 3G speeds are between 550 kbps and 20 Mbps, and thanks to recent upgrades to eHSPA+ (enhanced high speed packet access plus, does everyone else enjoy the way we keep putting extra words on the ends of existing tech acronyms to denote better versions as much as I do?) Dual Channel technology, the maximum theoretical speed on our Next G network is now 42 MBps, with tested real world speeds of up to around 20 Mbps in all capital CBDs, airports and much of the associated metropolitan areas. 60% of the population are covered by these areas spanning 750,000 kilometres.

 

Next G uses the 850 MHz frequency band (most other 3G networks use 2100 MHz, and occasionally 900 MHz) to provide mobile connectivity (just because I like to throw this stuff around, the old analog TV channels used from 46 MHz up to 819 MHz, which is why once analog TV is shut off there will be a lot more spectrum around for things like mobile phones. Wifi uses a frequency range between 2400-2500 MHz). Our Next G network covers 99% of the Australian population over 2.1 million square kilometres. Interestingly this is only 28% of the country’s land mass, which just goes to show how big this country is and how concentrated our population is. You can view coverage maps here.

 

As I said above there has been a lot of contention as to the definition of 4G, so to line up with the terminology that other providers around the world are using, we use 4G and LTE almost interchangeably to refer to the next generation of mobile technologies capable of speeds up to around 100 Mbps. We have been trialling LTE technology since May 2010, and plan to upgrade Next G with LTE/4G technology by the end of this year. The planned upgrade will use the 1800 MHz spectrum to bring LTE/4G to areas where traffic demand is most concentrated (mostly the CBDs of capital cities, airports and some regional centres), which should help relieve congestion in these locations. Plans to roll out LTE/4G into regional areas are currently being finalised, with locations to be advised later on in the year most probably.

 

In time we plan to implement LTE-A (LTE Advanced) technologies eventually, with theoretical speeds of up to a brain fryingly fast 1 Gbps wirelessly, we may well even end up calling it 5G. Who knows?

____________________

Need help? Check out our Community Wiki or Support Portal || Looking for a new mobile? Order online today
Don't forget to tag answers as Accepted Solutions and give a Kudo to the member(s) who helped you out

All moderation actions are supported by the CrowdSupport Community Guidelines

Was this helpful?

  • Yes it was, thank you
  • No, I still need help
31 REPLIES
Level 22: Superhuman

Re: What’s the difference between 3G, Next G and 4G?

LTE= Long Term Evolution ( I had to look that up).

 

Question: If you choose or need to follow the technology tree, can you take your sim with you?

IE; take your 3G sim, and simply buy a NextG/ 4G phone?

 

__________________

If I've helped in some way, a Kudos would be appreciated.
Any opinions I express or advice I give are purely my own, and don't represent Telstra.


Support Team
Support Team

Re: What’s the difference between 3G, Next G and 4G?


Wanglese wrote:

LTE= Long Term Evolution ( I had to look that up).


Doh! There were a lot of edits =) Thanks for pointing that our.

 


Wanglese wrote:

Question: If you choose or need to follow the technology tree, can you take your sim with you?

IE; take your 3G sim, and simply buy a NextG/ 4G phone?

 



Good question! I don't know but I'll have a hunt around and see what I can dig up. What I do know though is getting a new sim for your account is really easy, so even if you don't get your hypothetical future 4G phone directly through us, if it needs a special 4G sim card as long as everything stays the way it is now you should be able to walk into a T-Life and ask to be switched over there and then.

 

As for 3G/Next G, that's not such a big thing since whenever you create a new Telstra account we give you a new sim card anyway. I wasn't here before the Next G network was created so I can't remember if we used different sim cards on the old 2100 MHz 3G network we used to use, but I do know we refer to the current ones as 3G/Next G sims so at the very least the current ones don't discriminate =)

 

-Dylan

____________________

Need help? Check out our Community Wiki or Support Portal || Looking for a new mobile? Order online today
Don't forget to tag answers as Accepted Solutions and give a Kudo to the member(s) who helped you out

All moderation actions are supported by the CrowdSupport Community Guidelines

Emissary
Level 10: Junior Detective

Re: What’s the difference between 3G, Next G and 4G?

The SIM cards were the same, However the serial numbers were a different string. 

 

As such those within certian strings were on 3G and those on different strings were NextG. 

 

So when a customer had a problem with the network you would just check there SIM serial number and then just send them out a new card to make it NextG (Provided there phone supported it)

Will update with something clever when the brain starts working!
bobbo
Level 1: Cadet

Re: What’s the difference between 3G, Next G and 4G?

Will the HTC Sensation and/or Galaxy S II be fully compatible with the Telstra 4G network when it is deployed later in the year?

Emissary
Level 10: Junior Detective

Re: What’s the difference between 3G, Next G and 4G?

Both phones are able to recieve the 1800 MHz that Telstra is using to roll out the 4G.

 

Weather or not they will im not sure, as im not that technical. 

 

However to quote Mike Wright, executive director of Telstra network and access technologies:

 

"If we can negotiate compatible handset availability at the time of launch, then we would offer these. This will be up to the device manufacturers."

Will update with something clever when the brain starts working!
bobbo
Level 1: Cadet

Re: What’s the difference between 3G, Next G and 4G?

Thanks Emissary

Support Team
Support Team

Re: What’s the difference between 3G, Next G and 4G?


bobbo wrote:

Thanks Emissary


Hate to go off topic but I couldn't help but notice you said that but didn't give kudos (it's the icon that looks like a sun coming out from behind a cloud). The whole idea of kudoses (or whatever the plural is... kudii?) is for situations like this: so you can uprate a comment that you find helpful/insightful. It also helps us work out who is being helpful and insightful so we can shower them with gifts* etc.

 

Also I agree that the post is helpful, so a kudos to you Emissary!

 

*actual gifts may consist only of kind words

____________________

Need help? Check out our Community Wiki or Support Portal || Looking for a new mobile? Order online today
Don't forget to tag answers as Accepted Solutions and give a Kudo to the member(s) who helped you out

All moderation actions are supported by the CrowdSupport Community Guidelines

Level 17: Bureau Chief

Re: What’s the difference between 3G, Next G and 4G?


thedylan wrote:

The whole idea of kudoses (or whatever the plural is... kudii?) 


There is no plural. And there is no singular. It's an abstract noun meaning Honour, Glory or Acclaim. In modern vernacular you might use the word "Props". In more common usage, it's similar in grammar to congratulations or respect. It just happens to end in an "s" making it feel like a plural. 

 

So, you can't give one and you can't give more than one. You can just give. The weirdness comes in putting a number next to a person or a post. We naturally read it as receiving that many "things", and "kudos" looks like the plural of that thing. But, given the meaning of the word, the best way to read it is "This person/post has got kudos X times". 

--
Kevin
[ I am a Telstra Employee however my posts here are done in a personal capacity.]
Emissary
Level 10: Junior Detective

Re: What’s the difference between 3G, Next G and 4G?

Hell im going to give Kudii for that Smiley Tongue (Yea i know, it's wrong, but sounds fun Smiley Happy )

Will update with something clever when the brain starts working!
Support Team
Support Team

Re: What’s the difference between 3G, Next G and 4G?


KrayzeeKev wrote:

There is no plural. And there is no singular. It's an abstract noun meaning Honour, Glory or Acclaim. In modern vernacular you might use the word "Props". In more common usage, it's similar in grammar to congratulations or respect. It just happens to end in an "s" making it feel like a plural. 

 

So, you can't give one and you can't give more than one. You can just give. The weirdness comes in putting a number next to a person or a post. We naturally read it as receiving that many "things", and "kudos" looks like the plural of that thing. But, given the meaning of the word, the best way to read it is "This person/post has got kudos X times". 


Kudos!

____________________

Need help? Check out our Community Wiki or Support Portal || Looking for a new mobile? Order online today
Don't forget to tag answers as Accepted Solutions and give a Kudo to the member(s) who helped you out

All moderation actions are supported by the CrowdSupport Community Guidelines

J-Bellav
Level 2: Rookie

Re: What’s the difference between 3G, Next G and 4G?

I am travelling from Darwin to Sydney. I want to buy prepaid mobile broadband when I arrive in Darwin from Canada. I have a notebook what else will I need?

Telstra (Retired)
Telstra (Retired)

Re: What’s the difference between 3G, Next G and 4G?


J-Bellav wrote:

I am travelling from Darwin to Sydney. I want to buy prepaid mobile broadband when I arrive in Darwin from Canada. I have a notebook what else will I need?


G'day mate,

 

Hope you have a safe flight down under! Smiley Very Happy

 

I bet you must be excited to see the Australian scenery? First and foremost, thanks for expressing your interest in the Telstra™ Next G™ network.

 

I understand that you want a reliable Pre-Paid Mobile Broadband service, and would like to know what else is needed, aside from your notebook? 

 

Well, to make it simple I have provided you with a below link of all the information you need regarding our Pre-Paid Mobile Broadband service, and devices.

 

http://ow.ly/6a7j9 

 

When you touch down in Darwin, I suggest getting your supplies and visiting the nearest Telstra™ store at, Casuarina Square Shoppipng Centre.

 

For your convenience I have provided you with their address via the link below;

 

http://ow.ly/6a7AW

 

or, Casuarina Square Shopping Centre, 247 Trower Road, Casuarina, NT, 0811

Our helpful Telstra Store staff will be happy to help you in selecting the best solution for your needs.

 

I hope this information is helpful and if you need direct help feel free to contact us via;

 

http://twitter.com/#!/telstra and http://www.facebook.com/Telstra

 

Cheers, and enjoy your stay.

Need help? Check out our Community Wiki or Support Portal || Looking for a new mobile? Order online today || Don't forget to tag answers as Accepted Solutions and give a Like to the member(s) who helped you out.

All moderation actions are supported by the CrowdSupport Community Guidelines

Level 21: Augmented

Re: What’s the difference between 3G, Next G and 4G?

this is all the difference I need

 

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Statistically, three out of five people are not the other two
Dcrow
Level 1: Cadet

Re: What’s the difference between 3G, Next G and 4G?

 

Emissary wrote:

Both phones are able to recieve the 1800 MHz that Telstra is using to roll out the 4G.

 


The 1800MHz on those devices is for GSM (2G) only.  True they are reuseing the 1800MHz Spectrum for LTE ("4G") however you will unfortunetly need a totally new handset for LTE.  The intial plans are for Data Devices only (i.e. Mobile Broadband and Bigpond) however Handsets and Tablets will follow (probably Tablets first).

 

It's also worthwhile mentioning that LTE is just the start and is not actually true 4G from a standards perspective.  LTE+ is the true 4G experience with downloads of 100Mbps+

zac
Level 1: Cadet

Re: What’s the difference between 3G, Next G and 4G?

Hi does anyone no if I can reprogram my HTC 7 windows  phone to work on next g network my contract is with next g but my new phone is unlocked any help will do thanks.

LIZ
Level 1: Cadet

4G for mobile phones

When will 4G be available for mobile phones? And will it be compatible with the iphone 5?

Support Team
Support Team

Re: 4G for mobile phones


LP1366 wrote:

When will 4G be available for mobile phones? And will it be compatible with the iphone 5?


Technically it's available right now, we just don't offer any phones that can use 4G yet. That will change when we launch the HTC 4G, and you can register your interest in getting updates about this at our keep informed page here: telstra.com.au/htc4g .

 

As for the iPhone 5: we'll just have to wait for the announcement I guess =)

 

-Dylan

____________________

Need help? Check out our Community Wiki or Support Portal || Looking for a new mobile? Order online today
Don't forget to tag answers as Accepted Solutions and give a Kudo to the member(s) who helped you out

All moderation actions are supported by the CrowdSupport Community Guidelines

t0xicsn0w
Level 2: Rookie

Re: What’s the difference between 3G, Next G and 4G?

As far as I know sim cards for the next g network all start with 5 and above . I have one of the orginals and still got it after all these years !
les02jen17
Level 3: Gumshoe

Re: What’s the difference between 3G, Next G and 4G?


thedylan wrote:

*actual gifts may consist only of kind words


I laughed my heart out at this comment. (^_^) You have a way with words, @thedylan.

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________

"Although I am Telstra staff, any views I express are my own and don't necessarily reflect those of Telstra."
les02jen17
Level 3: Gumshoe

Re: What’s the difference between 3G, Next G and 4G?


jokiin wrote:

this is all the difference I need

 


I can only hope with my fingers crossed for an internet connection with that speed to hit the Philippines soon. Smiley Sad Currently, the fastest we have here is 10mbps and it'll cost us a fortune. A Php 4,000 plan (about $90 in Australia) but the difference is, we're not restricted with any data allowance. It's unlimited all throughout the month.

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________

"Although I am Telstra staff, any views I express are my own and don't necessarily reflect those of Telstra."
lemon
Level 4: Private Eye

Re: What’s the difference between 3G, Next G and 4G?

Is there a coverage map that shows/includes the new LTE1800 service?

I only see the 3G DC-HSPA+ service, ie:  "4G typical download speed 2 to 40 Mbps" shown on

telstra mobile coverage broadband
Or even a list of Geo locations of Towers that have been upgraded to 4G LTE 1800MHz.
Is this extremely important info available?

 

Also an interesting point I'd like clarified:
@thedylan
"Next G uses the 850 MHz frequency band (most other 3G networks use 2100 MHz, and occasionally 900 MHz) to provide mobile connectivity"
So nextG never uses 2100MHz, only 850MHz. Is that correct?
Is 2100MHz only used for Telstra Mobile Phone service?

 

Great Forum by the way.

TechnoIdiot
Level 1: Cadet

Re: What’s the difference between 3G, Next G and 4G?

Hi TheDylan

 

Tx for a very informative forum. I hope you can assist - I am so non-technology oriented (hence "Techno-Idiot") it's not funny. I am looking to eventually get a smartphone but am increasingly confused by the techno-speak. I have finally found something that is a great starter if one has never had a smartphone before. It's not 4G compliant but is 3G complaint ... hoewever it does not mention NextG so does that mean I can't use it on Telstra's 3G network? My current mobile is NextG. The specs state:

 

  • "Network Band : GSM 850, GSM 900, GSM 1800, GSM 1900, 3G 900 (Optus YesG/Vodafone 900), 3G 1900, 3G 2100
  • Recommended Networks : Optus 2G, Optus 3G 900, Telstra 2G, Telstra 3G 2100 (Metro Only, ends 2012), Vodafone 3G 2100, Optus 3G 2100, Three, Vodafone 2G, Vodafone 3G 900
  • 3G : Yes"

Any assistance appreciated.

From Techno-Idiot

 

Ben_F
Community Alumni (Retired)

Re: What’s the difference between 3G, Next G and 4G?

Hi Lemon,


lemon wrote:

Is there a coverage map that shows/includes the new LTE1800 service?


You can get an idea of 4G coverage by going to the 4G Coverage page on Telstra.com, which will overlay the 3G and 4G networks together. Your looking for the really dark Blue which provides 4G typical download speed 2 to 40 Mbps

 


lemon wrote: 

So nextG never uses 2100MHz, only 850MHz. Is that correct?
Is 2100MHz only used for Telstra Mobile Phone service?


NextG doesn't use 2100Mhz. There is an older Network (3GIS/3TELSTRA) that is being decommissioned on the 31st of August, and I believe there is a 2G service (1800Mhz 2G). After the 31st of August, Telstra will no longer use 2100Mhz 3G.

 

Thanks for your questions, hope you stick around Smiley Happy

 

B

----------------------------


New Users - Click Here!

Ben_F
Community Alumni (Retired)

Re: What’s the difference between 3G, Next G and 4G?


TechnoIdiot wrote:

Hi TheDylan

 

Tx for a very informative forum. I hope you can assist - I am so non-technology oriented (hence "Techno-Idiot") it's not funny. I am looking to eventually get a smartphone but am increasingly confused by the techno-speak. I have finally found something that is a great starter if one has never had a smartphone before. It's not 4G compliant but is 3G complaint ... hoewever it does not mention NextG so does that mean I can't use it on Telstra's 3G network? My current mobile is NextG. The specs state:

 

  • "Network Band : GSM 850, GSM 900, GSM 1800, GSM 1900, 3G 900 (Optus YesG/Vodafone 900), 3G 1900, 3G 2100
  • Recommended Networks : Optus 2G, Optus 3G 900, Telstra 2G, Telstra 3G 2100 (Metro Only, ends 2012), Vodafone 3G 2100, Optus 3G 2100, Three, Vodafone 2G, Vodafone 3G 900
  • 3G : Yes"

Any assistance appreciated.

From Techno-Idiot

 


Hi Techno-Idiot (I feel bad writing that, I don't think your that bad for getting the specs).

 

As the device you are looking at is int 3G 850 compatible it will not work on the NextG network or 3G network after the 31st of August.

 

B.

----------------------------


New Users - Click Here!

opalwanderer
Level 1: Cadet

Re: What’s the difference between 3G, Next G and 4G?

Coverage 99% of Australians vs 28% land area! It is a big country. There great steps in speeds and capabilities but what is happening in extending the range. We are regular travellers with Blue Tick and 9db (broomstick) on the motorhome. Would gladly trade speed and data for simple voice contact with grandkids when travedlling in the outback!
Bruce (retired RFDS wireless mechanic)
Ben_F
Community Alumni (Retired)

Re: What’s the difference between 3G, Next G and 4G?


opalwanderer wrote:
Coverage 99% of Australians vs 28% land area! It is a big country. There great steps in speeds and capabilities but what is happening in extending the range. We are regular travellers with Blue Tick and 9db (broomstick) on the motorhome. Would gladly trade speed and data for simple voice contact with grandkids when travedlling in the outback!
Bruce (retired RFDS wireless mechanic)

Interesting.... I understand that the spectrum for 2G is being "reframed" to provide additional support to 3G/4G, but I see your point. I don't think NextG was ever designed to cover the barren deserts where there is absolutely no-one.

 

B.

----------------------------


New Users - Click Here!

Discogold
Level 1: Cadet

Re: What’s the difference between 3G, Next G and 4G?

Hi Telstra
Can you enlighten me on a couple of topics. If another provider claims to run from Telstra 3G does it run on the 850mhz next g? Also if the 4g upgrade to 1800mhz comes about will the 3G still work?
amp-qld
Level 2: Rookie

Re: What’s the difference between 3G, Next G and 4G?

So does that mean that if a phone is compatible with 3G 850 mHz, it's compatible with Next G?

Community Manager Community Manager
Community Manager

Re: 4G for mobile phones

Hi amp-qld,

That's correct Smiley Happy




 

____________________

Need help? Check out our Community Wiki or Support Portal || Looking for a new mobile? Order online today
Don't forget to tag answers as Accepted Solutions and give a Kudo to the member(s) who helped you out

All moderation actions are supported by the CrowdSupport Community Guidelines

2015
Level 2: Rookie

Re: What’s the difference between 3G, Next G and 4G?

The term "NextG" is used by Telstra for marketing. Telstra's network uses the same technology as other 3G networks. Telstra use 850MHz whereas other carriers in Australia mostly use 2100MHz. Operating at a lower frequency allows a more consistent performance across the network and better in-building coverage.

 

In short: NextG is 3G.

BiTz
Grummangy
Level 1: Cadet

Re: What’s the difference between 3G, Next G and 4G?

lemon,

 

The folowing site has all of the information you need. Carriers, frequencies and it's very easy to use. Click the link that says to open in a new page. Once in the form select Active Only, the carrier you want to check and your postcode..

 

https://www.telcoantennas.com.au/site/mobile-phone-wireless-broadband-tower-locator

 

 

Regards,

 

G

Want a Big Gigaboost?

Get a Massive 10GB Bonus on Select Lease Plans.

Find out more