Do you live in a 4G LTE area?

Evan Selleck
Contributing Editor from Arizona
Published: November 13, 2012

I can still remember a time when 3G was cool. Back then, I had to compare 3G and EDGE-connectivity, and somehow come up with a reason why someone would want the latter, instead of the former. (I had to do this because the carrier I was selling phones for didn't have 3G in the area, while the main competitor did.) It was interesting, and daunting sometimes, but in the end it worked itself out. Back then, while some people did indeed care about the download speeds on their phone, it paled in comparison to the other features a phone had right on board.

That's changed, too, over the years. We're seeing a harder push to get phones on the fastest network possible, while carriers try their hardest to get their fastest network speeds out to as many people as possible. Speeds mean quite a bit to people, which you can gauge based on the lack of LTE support within devices like the new Nexus 4 from LG. Some would call that a deal breaker, or at least a glaring flaw in the design decisions for the device.

For me, it wouldn't much matter. I'm not in a 4G area. Or, to be more precise, I'm not in an LTE-covered area. My phone, as I look at right now, says that I'm in a 4G area, so I guess I should take that for what it is. At face value. However, I know that I'm not getting "real" "4G" speeds. Still, the phone says it, so there it is.

Hey, at least I'm not on EDGE anymore.

Each carrier has their own 4G network out there in the United States right now. Some carriers would suggest they've had it the longest, simply due to branding; while all carriers would like you to believe that they've got the largest one. It is interesting, to think that the four major wireless carriers here in the States all have the largest 4G network. According to marketing, of course.

For as long as I can remember, my town has always been in the "between" place. Between faster network speeds, or even coverage in general. Up to the North and down to the South there are major universities and colleges, and a bigger population in general, which calls for a more direct focus from the carriers as they pick where to place their towers. So, over the years, I've watched as 4G and LTE, or 4G LTE, or whatever you want to go with, has launched in those other places, while my town gets the silent treatment.

I've been lucky enough to use 4G LTE in those other areas, and I will admit that it's super quick. Which is great if you really, really need to download something important while away from a WiFi signal. But, to be honest, I'm not sure I'm all that excited to finally get LTE-connectivity. Twitter loads just fine for me already on my "4G" network, so making it load faster doesn't really seem all that important to me. Sure, it'd be cool to look at *PhoneDog* a lot faster on my phone, but luckily I have patience in spades.

Or, maybe it's just because I've been without it for so long, while I've watched repeatedly as other locations across the US have been lit up. Maybe I've been inexplicably weened off of it, even before I ever truly had it. So when the day comes that my phone gets upgraded to LTE on the display, I'll be like a kid at Christmas, just jumping for joy in place while I load web pages over and over again.

So tell me, Dear Reader. With all the major networks working tirelessly to launch LTE in more places, have you been blessed with the faster network speeds? Do you relish in the joy of super-fast downloads? Or are you like me, and have yet to truly, fully experience the wonder that is the next-generation of data connectivity? Let me know!

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