About 4G

4G is the fourth generations technique for mobile network.

Before 4G

The mobile network today is far from where it was when it was first launched. Several versions have been released over the years to meet increased need for speed and capacity for more users. Each new version has a number, followed by a G, which stands for generation. 1G was thus the first generation mobile network and was launched during the 1980s. 1G was a completely analog system, only when the second generation (2G) came the system became digital, during the 1990s. 2G is still used today by certain payment terminals and alarm systems. 3G came in 1998 and did so we got faster surfing and now we could start surfing with our mobiles.

The launch of 4G

With 4G units with a 4G receiver (a SIM card) can reach internet, telephony and text in a speed of 100 mbit/s to stationary units. To stationary units the max speed is 1000 mbit/s. For mobile units the max speed is 100 mbit/s.

The first commercial mobile network with 4G was introduced in Oslo and Stockholm in 2009. Thereafter it spread to large parts of the world. 4G was however not as big and revolutionary as the update from GSM to 3G. 3G is 40 times faster than GSM while 4G is only 10 times faster than 3G.

The quality of calls with 4G is much better than 3G. To be able to stream content such as podcasts and videos directly in your phone is no big deal with 4G because the speed allows much faster buffering of the content. Today’s mobile phones are developed to offer energy saving for 4G.


  • 4G is the fourth generations mobile network for mobile units.
  • The first commercial 4G networks were introduced in Stockholm and Oslo.
  • 4G+ was introduced in Sweden during the summer of 2016.
  • 4G requires units that have a receiver for the 4G network.
  • The best use of 4G is for mobile broadband.
  • Sweden has one of the most expanded 4G networks.
  • 4G offer among others better sound quality in calls.

4G for mobile broadband

To be able to connect to 4G it requires a unit that has a 4G receiver. The service that you’re subscribed to also needs pertain to 4G. The mobile users that stream podcasts, videos and other content directly from internet are those who will have utility of 4G.

4G has therefore had its’ breakthrough in mobile broadband because the speed is faster and of more use than in your mobile. In addition, 4G will be upgraded so that the speed and technique become more reliable. The expansion of 4G in Sweden is relatively big, outside of big cities.

4G+ is a further expansion of the fourth generation’s mobile network. In the summer of 2016 it was released in Sweden for the first time and means an improvement in form of quality and reliability. It’s mostly the connection that will improve. However, not all 4G receivers can connect to 4G+.

Soon to be surpassed by 5G

4G was a huge step from 3G in regards to downloading large amounts of data as fast as possible. It did however take a while until 4G mobiles and 4G reciprocal units were launched on the market. The same goes to say for the 4G expansion but today the majority of Sweden’s population have access to 4G networks.

The development of 5G is meanwhile really caught speed and is expected to launch year 2020 in Sweden – If not earlier in Stockholm. This means that 4G as established technique for the mobile network will soon be obsolete because 5G will be 100 times faster than the theoretical max speed for 4G (that doesn’t even exist commercially).

4G will however still coexist with 5G for a long time due to the restricted use of 5G during the transition period. It’s moreover just advanced things such as self-sufficient cars that will need to connect to the 5G network for the time being. Therefore 4G will soon completely replace 3G.

What makes 5G better than 4G?

Okay, so 5G is a newer generation of the mobile network than 4G. But what’s upgraded in this generation? 5G is created for IoT (internet of things). When more devices are connected to the internet to be able to collaborate, it simply requires more of the network to handle the load. 5G will be able to give us significantly higher speeds than 4G could. But things like reduced delay and higher frequency will also help. Imagine driving in a self-driving car and the delay is one second. This can mean death if something unexpected turns up on the road. 5G should reduce the delay to as little as one millisecond. MIMO and better throughput will also be able to help 5G become a big step forward in technology.

Want to read more about 5G? We have written a blog post about everything you may need to know about 5G. There we explain things like MIMO, throughput and whether 5G can be dangerous for you.