Early Adopter Update: It's Time to Hurry Up and Wait for 4G

It's the CES this week (the Consumer Electronics Show) and the industry is buzzing. Standards are being solidified. Convergence is taking place. It's a good time to be a geek. One of the major announcements is 4G.

If you've read the NetLingo definition, you know what 4G is :-) If you haven't, go read the 4G definition and come right back because Roy Furchgott of the New York Times tells us that the refrain from the cell phone industry at CES has been “4G, 4G, 4G.”

As NetLingo explains and Roy confirms, "Just what constitutes 4G at this point is debatable. But this week T-Mobile announced it would double the speed of its 4G network, AT&T vowed to have nationwide 4G LTE coverage by 2013 and Verizon is stumping its LTE build out." (LTE is also in the 4G NetLingo definition :-)

So here's the thing early adopters, "If you are leaning toward 4G, you certainly will have plenty of cell phones to choose from. Verizon said it would have 10 4G devices, from phones to tablets to wireless hotspot cards. Sprint announced three. AT&T announced two and promised five to seven more. T-Mobile announced two tablets and promised more devices." And on and on... that's CES. It's these kinds of advancements that make early adopters happy.

If you still don't quite get it, try looking at 4G from this point, "It’s the same problem that faced TV buyers when televisions with 1080p screens first came out. You could spend extra for a premium set, but what are you going to watch on it? There were no 1080p shows and practically no DVDs at the time (and when there first were, selection was small and very expensive). Yet people snapped 1080p TVs up. They wanted to be ready with 1080p when shows became available." Did someone say first-mover advantage?

In the end, Roy fesses up, "I live in the first city in America to go 4G, that was in 2008. I still don’t get reliable service. If your carrier charges you extra for 4G service, don’t buy it yet... if you don’t get charged extra for 4G service, consider it but make sure the phone works well on both 3G and 4G."

It's good advice. If you're not entirely certain about exactly what 3G is, be sure to read the NetLingo definition of 3G too! It'll only take a moment and you will learn something about the amazing technology that powers your cell phones and handheld devices! You know those little things you can't imagine living without, also known as your life?

Meanwhile at CES, it's all about convergence. This time it's merging television sets with the power of the Internet... but, there's nothing really to blow you away, not even Google TV, we're just not there yet.
Until next post, see you online,