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pmv

Diamond Member
May 30, 2008
8,166
3,165
136
Why is it that some improvements in phone technology get all this hype and others don't?

I vaguely remember 3G being a big deal marketing thing, but I have no memory of a 4G or a 2G, or even, come to that, 1G. I suppose 1G phones were just cell-phones, but did they skip straight to 3G? Maybe they retrospectively defined some improvement in the original phone system as '2G' so the new models could be 3G? Then did they jump straight to 5G or was there a 4G hype campaign that I missed?

Why do they get labelled with these discrete G numbers, when surely the improvements are largely incremental and continuous? I mean, frequency and bandwidth are both continuous quantities. What's the reason for lumping them into 'generations'?
 

Red Squirrel

No Lifer
May 24, 2003
59,617
8,558
126
www.uovalor.com
I don't get it either why 5G is hyped. I mean sure it's faster, but 4G/LTE is fast enough for pretty much anything you'd want to do on a phone and even faster than a lot of people's home internet. But with small caps in the MB or single digit GB range, it's pointless having that speed. It's like having a fancy sports car but you're only allowed to use it in your driveway.

5G from a telecom provider's point of view has lot of interesting changes though, it's not just about the cell part but the entire back end as well. It's more like a big cloud. You don't have dedicated transport links, you plug the equipment in "the cloud" and everything just works. People's 5G devices can also act as repeaters for other people. So in that sense it's actually really cool.

But as far as an end user is concerned as long as they can text pictures or open facebook or stream a movie they don't really care about the other stuff. You can already do all that on LTE. Even 3G.
 

sdifox

No Lifer
Sep 30, 2005
84,127
8,983
126
Why is it that some improvements in phone technology get all this hype and others don't?

I vaguely remember 3G being a big deal marketing thing, but I have no memory of a 4G or a 2G, or even, come to that, 1G. I suppose 1G phones were just cell-phones, but did they skip straight to 3G? Maybe they retrospectively defined some improvement in the original phone system as '2G' so the new models could be 3G? Then did they jump straight to 5G or was there a 4G hype campaign that I missed?

Why do they get labelled with these discrete G numbers, when surely the improvements are largely incremental and continuous? I mean, frequency and bandwidth are both continuous quantities. What's the reason for lumping them into 'generations'?

Marketing.

There is also the whole Huawei fracas.
 

MrSquished

Diamond Member
Jan 14, 2013
9,970
5,978
136
Why is it that some improvements in phone technology get all this hype and others don't?

I vaguely remember 3G being a big deal marketing thing, but I have no memory of a 4G or a 2G, or even, come to that, 1G. I suppose 1G phones were just cell-phones, but did they skip straight to 3G? Maybe they retrospectively defined some improvement in the original phone system as '2G' so the new models could be 3G? Then did they jump straight to 5G or was there a 4G hype campaign that I missed?

Why do they get labelled with these discrete G numbers, when surely the improvements are largely incremental and continuous? I mean, frequency and bandwidth are both continuous quantities. What's the reason for lumping them into 'generations'?
Marketing over engineering. Similar to the Megapixel hype in cameras. That was all marketing over actual need. Marketers want an easily definable, whiz-bang sounding and measurable metric to push things to the masses, who won't be bothered to dig deeper into the actual science behind what they actually need.
 

Spacehead

Lifer
Jun 2, 2002
11,055
4,361
136
Why is it that some improvements in phone technology get all this hype and others don't?

I vaguely remember 3G being a big deal marketing thing, but I have no memory of a 4G or a 2G, or even, come to that, 1G. I suppose 1G phones were just cell-phones, but did they skip straight to 3G? Maybe they retrospectively defined some improvement in the original phone system as '2G' so the new models could be 3G? Then did they jump straight to 5G or was there a 4G hype campaign that I missed?

Why do they get labelled with these discrete G numbers, when surely the improvements are largely incremental and continuous? I mean, frequency and bandwidth are both continuous quantities. What's the reason for lumping them into 'generations'?
1st cell phone i owned was 2G. TracFone sent me a 3G phone several years ago when they were phasing out 2G. Works just fine as a phone.
 

spacejamz

Lifer
Mar 31, 2003
10,369
682
126
I don't get it either why 5G is hyped. I mean sure it's faster, but 4G/LTE is fast enough for pretty much anything you'd want to do on a phone and even faster than a lot of people's home internet. But with small caps in the MB or single digit GB range, it's pointless having that speed. It's like having a fancy sports car but you're only allowed to use it in your driveway.
My anecdotal experience with 5G service...

I got a S20 Ultra 5g capable phone on launch day last March but used it on Red Pocket's 4G service (using the ATT towers)...last month, I decided to try Red Pocket's 5g service (had to buy a $5 sim card to use their T-Mobile service which is their only plan that had 5g service)....

There is definitely a noticeable difference for me using my phone when I am out...I notice this especially when I am at Home Depot looking up stuff on my phone, the difference is pretty amazing...

I am on Red Pocket's annual plan, so I pay about $18/month for 8GB of data with unlimited voice/texts so I am pretty happy...

when running speedtests on my phone, I get anywhere from 100-200 mb/s down and 10-30 mb/s up...when I was using the 4g service, it was probably 10-50 mb/s down...
 

Red Squirrel

No Lifer
May 24, 2003
59,617
8,558
126
www.uovalor.com
My anecdotal experience with 5G service...

I got a S20 Ultra 5g capable phone on launch day last March but used it on Red Pocket's 4G service (using the ATT towers)...last month, I decided to try Red Pocket's 5g service (had to buy a $5 sim card to use their T-Mobile service which is their only plan that had 5g service)....

There is definitely a noticeable difference for me using my phone when I am out...I notice this especially when I am at Home Depot looking up stuff on my phone, the difference is pretty amazing...

I am on Red Pocket's annual plan, so I pay about $18/month for 8GB of data with unlimited voice/texts so I am pretty happy...

when running speedtests on my phone, I get anywhere from 100-200 mb/s down and 10-30 mb/s up...when I was using the 4g service, it was probably 10-50 mb/s down...
But in all reality, those speeds are kind of useless with only 8GB cap. It's not like you're going to torrent off of it or start doing tons of streaming. Streaming a couple TV shows would pretty much go over. Though that's an insane cheap plan to be able to get 8GB for only $18/mo. The cheapest data plan I know of here is $25/mo for 500MB. That's the one I'm on as I see no point in paying in the hundreds just for a few gigs.
 

MrSquished

Diamond Member
Jan 14, 2013
9,970
5,978
136
My anecdotal experience with 5G service...

I got a S20 Ultra 5g capable phone on launch day last March but used it on Red Pocket's 4G service (using the ATT towers)...last month, I decided to try Red Pocket's 5g service (had to buy a $5 sim card to use their T-Mobile service which is their only plan that had 5g service)....

There is definitely a noticeable difference for me using my phone when I am out...I notice this especially when I am at Home Depot looking up stuff on my phone, the difference is pretty amazing...

I am on Red Pocket's annual plan, so I pay about $18/month for 8GB of data with unlimited voice/texts so I am pretty happy...

when running speedtests on my phone, I get anywhere from 100-200 mb/s down and 10-30 mb/s up...when I was using the 4g service, it was probably 10-50 mb/s down...
So basically it feels like latency is lower and all the things you normally would use on mobile data just load up faster like google searches and web pages?
 

spacejamz

Lifer
Mar 31, 2003
10,369
682
126
So basically it feels like latency is lower and all the things you normally would use on mobile data just load up faster like google searches and web pages?
Like I said, it my anecedotal experience...I don't torrent anything or watch full length movies on my phone...I barely use 2-3GB of mobile data a month...
 

spacejamz

Lifer
Mar 31, 2003
10,369
682
126
But in all reality, those speeds are kind of useless with only 8GB cap. It's not like you're going to torrent off of it or start doing tons of streaming. Streaming a couple TV shows would pretty much go over. Though that's an insane cheap plan to be able to get 8GB for only $18/mo. The cheapest data plan I know of here is $25/mo for 500MB. That's the one I'm on as I see no point in paying in the hundreds just for a few gigs.
So how much torrenting/streaming do you do on your mobile data plan a month?
 

Red Squirrel

No Lifer
May 24, 2003
59,617
8,558
126
www.uovalor.com
So how much torrenting/streaming do you do on your mobile data plan a month?
I don't, that is kind of my point though, that those speeds are kind of useless because of the caps. You can't really do anything that would take advantage of those speeds because you'll run your cap in minutes.
 

MrSquished

Diamond Member
Jan 14, 2013
9,970
5,978
136
Like I said, it my anecedotal experience...I don't torrent anything or watch full length movies on my phone...I barely use 2-3GB of mobile data a month...
That's why I was asking. I don't do any of that either, but I might be interested in 5G if it just makes everything noticeably faster in general.
 

spacejamz

Lifer
Mar 31, 2003
10,369
682
126
That's why I was asking. I don't do any of that either, but I might be interested in 5G if it just makes everything noticeably faster in general.
my bad...I completely mis-understood your post....

For me, I wished I would have pulled the trigger sooner on jumping to 5G....it has been a very pleasant surprise for me...I was a bit leary of Tmobile's signal but it is very strong in the Dallas area...

If you wanted a cheap way to see how well it might work in your area, you could do a one month plan on Red Pocket (just use a new number so there are no porting hassles)...that way you would know if this would be good for you or not...
 

spacejamz

Lifer
Mar 31, 2003
10,369
682
126
I don't, that is kind of my point though, that those speeds are kind of useless because of the caps. You can't really do anything that would take advantage of those speeds because you'll run your cap in minutes.
I would disagree...just browsing in general has been a much quicker experience for me...i didn't realize how long I was waiting for pages to load in the past...granted we are talked 3-4 seconds instead of 5-10 seconds...but I noticed it right away....but definitely YMMV depending on the services in your area and probably your device...
 

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