Over the last decade or so, mobile computing has taken a place on the forefront of nearly every facet of American life. Whether your business is public safety, field service, manufacturing, transportation, or construction the ability to quickly access the internet and use connected devices is indispensable. That means we need access to the latest in network technology. That’s where 4G LTE comes in, and while it’s been around since about 2010, it’s still being improved upon. LTE stands for “Long Term Evolution”, and true to the name, it’s still evolving. According to the International Telecommunication Union, 4G technology is supposed to reach download speeds of 100 Mbps. That’s what 4G LTE networks are “evolving” toward. While they may not quite be there yet, they are the fastest mobile networks on the commercial market today — 4G LTE provides some significant benefits for mobile computing. Sierra Wireless offers a comprehensive portfolio of wireless devices, including 2G, 3G, and 4G embedded modules and gateways which are seamlessly integrated with our secure cloud and connectivity services.
Today, 96.2 million people work using mobile, and according to International Data Corporation (IDC), “the U.S. mobile worker population will grow at a steady rate over the next five years — to 105.4 million mobile workers in 2020. By the end of this projected period, IDC expects mobile workers will account for nearly three quarters (72.3%) of the total U.S. workforce.” 4G LTE networks, combined with increasingly powerful mobile devices, enabling platforms, and enterprise applications, allow employees to work almost anywhere and make decisions much faster, resulting in significant productivity improvements.
Here are four benefits of 4G LTE:
Speed might be the biggest benefit of 4G LTE networks. The last generation 3G networks had a download speed that capped at about 200 Kbps or 0.2 Mbps, which is 1/500th the max speed that 4G LTE networks can potentially reach. Even if they don’t, however, just half of 4G LTE’s possible 100 Mbps is leaps and bounds ahead of what 3G could put out at its absolute peak.
The benefits of this speed increase are obvious. It allows us to get more done, enjoy more entertainment, or work more efficiently. Essentially, the speed of 4G LTE allows us to get much more out our time and our laptops and rugged tablets than we ever could have hoped to before.
While the titanic boost in speed might be the most obvious benefit of 4G LTE networks, it’s not the only one. Until the advent of 4G LTE, most cellular networks were circuit switched. To avoid getting too technical, let’s just say that circuit switched networks were far less efficient than the “Internet Protocol” or “IP” based networks that 4G LTE uses.
Better Audio/Visual Quality
One of the most common uses of mobile computing devices involve communication of some sort. Along with text communications like IM or SMS, phone calls and video calls are also some of the most common uses for mobile devices. 4G LTE allows for far better quality sound and video. This is the result of the switch from circuit switched networks to IP based networks.
The reason that circuit switched networks cause lower quality audio and video is because they only offer narrowband communications. This is what caused voices to sound echoed over older phones, and also why mobile video chat was chopping and pix-elated until the advent of 4G LTE. Basically, narrowband is just a type of telecommunication that carries voice on a narrow band of frequencies. It’s specifically the band that is set aside for radio services by the FCC. It works well enough if all you need to do is talk on the phone, but it can’t keep up with today’s more technologically demanding mobile computing needs especially for industries such as law enforcement where data communications must be at its finest.
If you’re on the business end of mobile computing, then you’re probably pretty concerned with the financial benefits. Luckily, they are numerous. With circuit switching networks, once a phone call is established, the circuit stays connected whether or not anyone on the call is speaking. On the other hand, IP networks are much more flexible and can share resources far more efficiently. This, along with the vastly improved speed means there are significant financial benefits to using 4G LTE networks.
For more information on mobile computing contact one of Group Mobile’s industry leading technology experts.