Tech gurus often say, albeit humorously, that there are two great things about standards: for every standard, there’s an exception, and standards always change.
Though such sentiments might not qualify as laugh-riot material outside an engineering lab, there’s some deep wisdom in the observation. An easy example: Over the past several years, we experienced several different cellular technology changes from 1G to 2G to 3G and now 4G!
All of this is confusing and even unnerving when we, in the alarm industry, simply want a cost-effective and future-proof solution for alarm communications. ipDatatel has an answer.
What is 4G all about
4G refers to ‘fourth generation’ wireless data speeds which is faster than 3G, which is faster than 2G. 2G data is around 128 Kbps to 256 Kbps while 3G is typically 1 to 1.5 Mbps. 4G would be anything faster than that and is typically 4.7 Mbps and greater, however true 4G LTE is capable of up to 300Mbps down and 75 Mbps up.
It’s important to note that 4G is a standard, not a communications protocol such as LTE.
LTE stands for Long-Term Evolution and is the cellular communication standard that presupposes the need to evolve.
A version of LTE based on the true 4G standard is now ready for prime time. It brings increased speeds and capacities over early 4G generations and can use more of the frequencies allotted for cellular communications. Though all agree that this latest iteration of LTE makes it a legitimate 4G network, there was some controversy over what to name it. The ITU (International Telecommunications Union) and cell phone vendors obviously couldn’t go back and say “This is a real 4G network.” Besides, LTE had caught on as a name in the preceding 10 years.
Thus, the true 4G cellular network was born. Its name is LTE-Advanced.
In the U.S., Verizon Wireless was the first carrier to aggressively upgrade their network to LTE and today has the largest LTE network. When Verizon first began building out LTE several of their competitors were using other 4G technologies such as WIMAX, HSUPA, HSDPA, HSPA, and HSPA+. The slowest of these competing 4G technologies was around 4.7 MBps, the fastest around 21 MBps, but all were being marketed as 4G and several carriers were claiming to have the largest, fastest, best, or widest 4G network.
With LTE capable of 300 Mbps, then these other standards in the 4.7 – 21 Mbps range are more like 3.5G, but were being marketed as 4G however we call this ‘Faux’ G.
Verizon is breaking away from the pack by branding their solution as “4G LTE” in order to differentiate their true 4G LTE data from other 3.5G solutions.
How to Future-Proof Your Systems with ipDatatel
ipDatatel offers industry-unique alarm communicators that leverage this latest 4G LTE standard from Verizon along with Dual-Path communications when utilizing Ethernet or WI-FI connections. ipDatatel devices are compatible with most alarm panels and with Dual-Path communications which utilize the latest cellular technology, you can offer your customers the latest in alarm communications technology for the best solution for future-proofed alarm transmissions.
Other ipDatatel offerings connect as pure-IP network devices through Wi-Fi or cabled Ethernet connections. Any path you choose to follow, you’re future-proofing your systems against the rapid pace of change when you go with ipDatatel.
Standards will continue to change, and there are always bound to be exceptions. But ipDatatel can give you an advantage in dealing with the standards as they affect life for the alarm operator. It’s here to make it easy. Contact ipDatatel today for more information.