Are 4G And LTE The Same?

A 4G cell tower that could be used with a cell signal booster.

4G and LTE are the symbols we see on our smartphones. They indicate the generation that the network you are using belongs to. Are 4G and LTE the same? Let us find out through this article. 

What Is 4G?

The basic parameters used by the International Telecommunications Union-Radio communications sector (ITU-R) to classify networks into generations are connectivity, speed, and reliability. 4G stands for the fourth generation of telephone service and the standards were developed in 2008. The predecessor of 4G was 3G which had slower speeds when compared to 4G. The arrival of 5G will definitely affect the user base of 4G but it will still be around for a while. 

What Is LTE?

LTE is the technology that drives 4G. It is the abbreviation for Long Term Evolution. LTE was developed as a standard at the same time when 4G was designed to allow communication between cell towers, phones, and other devices. LTE wasn’t the only standard developed at that time. Other standards like WiMax and UMB (Ultra Mobile Broadband) were also developed around the same time as LTE was developed but LTE is the global standard technology used in cellular communications. 

All major smartphones operate using LTE. 4G was defined as the ideal standard but LTE was defined because no phones could actually reach the 4G standard. This indicates that even if our phones are advertised as 4G, they may most probably be using the LTE technology. 

LTE offers high-speed telephone service, mobile, and broadband service and proves instrumental in public safety functions. The public safety network is assigned a frequency exclusively for it on the LTE spectrum. 

LTE manages the network by using special features or tools. Firstly, it assigns priorities for customers. Emergency calls are assigned a higher priority than other calls. If there are many people using the network, the priorities decide the call that will be connected first and the call that can be dropped. 

LTE is a self-organizing network. In case there is an outage, the calls will be rerouted to a different path automatically and after the restoration of the service, the network will get back to the optimal path. 

What Is LTE-A?

LTE-A/LTE-Advanced/ LTE+ is an upgraded version of LTE that has better stability, speed, and higher bandwidth availability when compared to regular LTE. The peak download speeds and upload speeds are 3Gbps and 1.5Gbps respectively. The speeds are about 2-3 times faster than the speeds promised by regular LTE. In fact, LTE-A offers the closest speeds to 4G although it cannot get exactly there. 

Although 5G offers much better speeds than 4G, it is not fully operational globally and 4G is still being used widely around the world. If you have issues with 4 G reception in your area, you can always use a 4G signal booster to get rid of the problem.