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Is 4G worth the extra cost?

Is 4G just an expensive con

If you’re a bit of a techno geek or afraid to let your mobile phone leave your side, then you’ve probably heard all the recent chatter about the new 4G networks and the benefits it will offer consumers.

But the question this article poses is, will 4G really make that much of a difference to our lives and will we be missing out if we stick with our supposedly snail like 3G handsets.

I for one, was disappointed to discover that the Motorola Atrix 4G handset I bought last year, isn’t actually a 4G enabled phone so I can’t even connect to EE’s new network (and can’t upgrade either for another 12 months). At first I was angry that some trade descriptions act might have been broken and I felt strongly that I should be entitled to an early and free upgrade to a 4G handset. But then I actually took the time to look at the new tariffs announced for 4G on the Everything Everywhere (EE) network – currently the only UK network to provide 4G.

To say I was stunned is an understatement – here’s a run down:

£36 per month for just a measly 500mb of data

£56 a month for bumper data packages of eight gigabytes a month

If you’re a businessman, constantly on your phone 8 hours a day, making calls, sending emails, making online video calls, then maybe you can justify the expense of this new network. But for the average Joe, surely the network providers should be offering the same low cost monthly charges we’ve been used to (£10.50 per month) with the cost of the 4G packaged into the price of the handset itself?

My own situation with my non-4G, Atrix 4G handset has made me ask the question of “Would I really feel the benefit of a faster connection?”, considering I do most of my web browsing when I’m at home and the phone is connected to my wireless broadband router.

It has also made me ask what will happen in 12 months time when the only phones you can buy are 4G enabled ones; will you be forced into a 4G contract or will you be able to opt for a 3G connection and tariff? I suspect that it’s much more likely to be the former, and anyone renewing their contract towards the end of 2013 (e.g. ME) will be forced to accept an overly expensive contract that offers no benefits other than the ability to stream movies on my way to work – Which I can’t do because I drive to work, and when I do occasionally take the train it’s across countryside with poor signal and frequent tunnels!

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This entry was posted on October 29, 2012 by in blogging, technology, Trends and tagged .

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