Advice: 3G v 4G: Should you be upgrading?

Matthew Riley, CEO at Daisy Group , discusses the impact of 4G connectivity and whether there is any reason for mobile users to stick with 3G

Last year was a big one for the mobile industry, especially in terms of connectivity. The roll out of superfast internet for mobile devices has given businesses the opportunity to progress to the next level. Network giants Vodafone, O2 and Three have all joined EE as recognised 4G suppliers, ensuring more of the UK is beginning to realise the potential of the next generation of mobile connectivity.


The main reason to upgrade ultimately comes down to speed. If you are constantly surfing the web, or utilising hosting solutions such as cloud computing, then you really should be upgrading. While 3G was the first service offering high speed mobile data, its speeds now pale in comparison to 4Gs, with networks offering average speeds up to five times faster.

The average download speed for 3G is a miserly 2Mbps (Megabytes per second). In comparison 4G can theoretically deliver speeds over 100Mbps – although this is an extremely unattainable figure so the average is nearer 15-20Mbps.

Upload speeds also dramatically differ. 3G speeds languish at 1-2 Mbps while 4G can offer closer to 12Mbps, ensuring it’s easier to upload any important files, helping you to maintain business continuity. There’s no doubt that 4G wins this round and is a necessity for those of you who use massive amounts of data.

Upgrade to 4G.


Most of the UK has access to 3G connectivity – admittedly signal strength varies dependent on location – but nearly everyone has it. In comparison, approximately 70% of the UK currently has access to 4G. Driving the roll out has been EE who have predicted that over 90% of the population would have access to 4G connectivity by the end of 2014.

At the moment, though, there’s no point in purchasing a 4G phone if you don’t have access to the network. Therefore it’s worth checking on the respective provider’s sites whether you can actually receive it. That said, most 4G phones are backward compatible, allowing you to still connect to 3G when 4G isn’t available. For the time being at least, 3G wins this round.

Stick with 3G.


Naturally people have started to gravitate towards the newer form of technology. If you plan to use your phone to aid remote working, or use lots of data and applications, then the logical choice would is to upgrade to 4G. The improved connectivity allows you to conduct more business on the go. However, there is still a lot of people for whom 3G works just fine. Personally, I’d advise those who use their mobile primarily for voice purposes that the upgrade isn’t worthwhile. In fact sticking with 3G will actually ensure that you can save money and also have a longer battery life.

Upgrade to 4G.

 So there you have it. If you’re only bothered about coverage, you may as well stick with 3G. But for using your phone for much more than just calls, I’d highly recommend that you upgrade to the fourth generation of mobile connectivity.

Want to know more?

If you would like to know more about mobile connectivity and how it can help benefit your business, please feel free to call us on 0800 040 8888 or visit to discuss your options further.