Most Shared

The Real Deal

The Real Deal

text size

The Real Deal: Do you need 4G?

Updated: Thursday, April 10 2014, 01:52 PM EDT

ALBANY - Pre-sales for the iPhone 5 sold-out in less than an hour and there is no doubt, the lines at Apple stores will be out the door when the phone hits shelves.  You've likely seen the ads pushing the "4G" technology but what does that actually mean? What more do you get from "4G" than you're getting from "3G"?

Some cell phone users don't know and don't care but others like David Barrett fully understand, "I have a real frustration with 3G on my current iPhone, when I'm out it's just not acceptable, especially when you compare it with your wifi at home and that is actually quicker," he says.  As an avid Apple fan, Barrett has pre-ordered the iPhone 5 which is the first Apple product to offer 4G service, "I just like to have something really quick and if I'm constantly waiting, waiting, waiting it just takes up too much time," he says. 

So, what exactly does 4G coverage get you?  "If you do a lot of streaming video or audio or large downloads on your phone, then you will benefit.  But most people who are just doing things like email, twitter or facebook, that's not exactly going to be a huge improvement for things like that," says Justin Azoff a Senior Network Analyst at the University of Albany. 

A user has to be within range of a 4G network to actually get the service.  Verizon and T-Mobile upgraded technology in the Capital Region about a year ago in order to offer 4G coverage. Most Android phones now have 4G compatible technology.  Independent testers have shown that Verizon's network is the strongest in the area.  AT&T just launched its 4G network in the Capital Region a few months ago.  "I am worried that the infrastructure is not there with AT&T but I think it's going to follow and I'd rather be waiting and have the equipment when it does come," says Barrett. 

If you are connected to 4G, something to keep in mind: the quicker you're able to download data, the more of it you'll likely use and if you don't have an unlimited data plan, it could get expensive quickly.  "You get this 4G phone and after a couple of days, you've already totally blown through your monthly quota for data transfer and you might find it gets a lot slower after that or you get an unexpected $300 phone bill that month," says Azoff.

The Real Deal: Do you need 4G?

Advertise with us!

Related Stories

Hello and thank you for stopping by The Real Deal web-page! I'm hoping you'll find some useful information here. I (Jennifer Lewke) will be updating this page daily to bring you the latest news on anything and everything that may impact your wallet. Whether it's a bad business trying to rip you off, a contractor who took your money and ran, the government wasting your tax dollars, or a telemarketer who just won't stop calling, my goal is to uncover it and hopefully prevent it from happening again!

On the right-hand side of this page, you'll see a section labled "Links" --these will all take you to websites for organizations that help protect consumers. Most of the groups have the authority to fine or shut down bad businesses so it's important to file the proper complaints to get some action.

I'm happy to look into any issue you have to get you the Real Deal. You can reach me anytime at (518) 381-4992 or by email at I hope to hear from you soon!

Top Stories

Advertise with us!


  • New York State Attorney General's Office
    Consumer complaints against a business or service in New York state

  • Federal Trade Commission
    Consumer complaints against a nation-wide company

  • New York Public Service Commission
    Consumer complaints about utility companies

  • Consumer Finanical Protection Bureau
    Consumer complaints about a bank, credit card company, or loan company

  • New York State Division of Consumer Protection
    Identity theft and scam protection

  • Phishing Scams
    How to protect yourself from phishing scams

  • Free Credit Reports
    Everyone is entitled to one free copy of a credit report from each of the three credit reporting bureaus once a year

  • Unsolicited Emails
    To check out unsolicited emails

  • Legal Aid Society of Northeastern New York
    Free legal advice