We can access the internet from (almost) anywhere these days. With our computers, laptops, phones and tablets. Can you believe that it was only the late 90s that mobile phones became popular? The fast moving mobile technology world is evolving faster than a lot of us can keep up with.
Now we can make video calls to the other side of the world with Skype on our iPads, we can download music onto our iPhones, we can take photos and paste them onto Facebook from the beach. We really have come a long way in the last decade.
How does it work? Telecom companies in Australia set up Wireless networks which span large portions of inhabited Australia. You have probably seen mobile towers around cities or on hills as you travel through the country. These towers traditionally used as voice hubs now also transmit and receive data, i.e your internet and emails to and from your mobile internet device and your computer.
You should not confuse mobile internet with a home wireless network. Mobile internet is where you are provided a SIM card for your device and can connect to the internet through a Telecom provider such as Optus or Telstra almost anywhere. A home wireless network is generally a router that sits in your house and creates a small wireless network for people in your house to connect to the internet.
You may have heard the term 3G or 4G before, this term refers to the groups of technology used to run the wireless network e.g. 3rd generation or 4th generation. 3G and 4G are essentially marketing terms which simplify groups of advanced technologies which most customers do not want or need to know about.
The difference between the 3G and 4G network is that the 4G network uses newer technologies. faster and a more robust connection.
At the moment, the only Telecom country to have an active 4G network is Telstra. Their LTE (Long term evolution) network is active and being used by the general population.
The LTE network is not true 4G however it does offer customers 4G speeds and that is all we need to worry about.
Telstra claim download speeds on their 4G network between 2Mbps and 40Mbps, although it appears to be rare to be getting speeds at the top end of that claim. Still, it is a significant increase on Telstra's 3G speeds which generally around an average of 2Mbps. These wireless network speeds can vary dramatically subject to changers in distance from tower, volume of use and your device configuration.
The coverage for the 4G wireless network is currently small, you will only get 4G speeds in capital city CBD's and selected regional areas. This is expected to expand dramatically as Telstra tests and rolls out the new network.
If you are not in a 4G enabled area, your device will automatically switch back to the 3G network.
With Telstra's 4G network, the quality and experience of mobile broadband has increased dramatically and will continue to do so as it's competitors launch their own 4G networks and Telstra improves it's own network.
Mobile internet has come along way in a short amount of time. If you havn't used it in a while you will be impressed.