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What is 3G and 4G for Mobile Video Phones?

Dr. Z gets this question everywhere he goes.  A lot of deaf and hard of hearing people out there are confused by what is meant by 3G and 4G and they sometimes confuse it with the product such as the Apple iPhone 4.

First–3G and 4G refer to the speed of the network the phone is connected with.  It has nothing to do with wifi.  Wifi is a totally separate network from 3G and 4G.

Second–3G refers to the speed of the network.  3G for AT&T is not the same as 3G for Verizon.  AT&T and T-Mobile use a different network (GSM) from that of Verizon and Sprint (CDMA).

Third–4G is faster than 3G.  All the phone companies use a different variation of 4G or 3.5G,  such as HDSPA, LTE, Clearwire.

Will 4G enable better video communication?  The answer is yes and no.  A good 3G connection is a better for video than a poor 4G connection.  You can tell the quality of the connection by looking at the number of bars on a smartphone.  4 bars is better than 1 bar.

Sometimes a 3G gets you good video, sometimes 4G gets you better video.  You can get better 3G in one spot and walk 50 feet and the connection gets worse.  It is never the same everywhere. The best way to answer is where you use the phone the most is where you should see which is better 3G with more bars or 4G with more bars.

3G is almost everywhere. 4G is still growing and it not everywhere yet.

A good wifi connection will get you a better video communication situation more than a 3G or 4G ever will for the most part.

Some Android phones have 4G enabled.  None of the Apple iPhones have 4G yet.  But both the Android and Apple phones have wifi.

It is Dr. Z’s hope that this information is useful.

Dr. Z cares about your communication access.

Disclosure: Dr. Z is a employee with CSDVRS, currently its Vice-President of Marketing.

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