Should you upgrade to 4G on your mobile?

4G has come to Thatcham so, seeing as that’s where I live, at last I’ve a real reason to upgrade my mobile tariff with Vodafone. I jumped at the chance just to see what I’ve been missing out on and the big question of course is “Is 4G worth it?”

Broadband Speed CheckerThe first question is “What sort of speed do I actually get to access the Internet at with 4G?” The answer according to Broadband Speed Checker is well over 10Mb/sec which is pretty darn good. It’s nowhere near the 36Mb/sec I get on my fibre broadband, but compared to copper broadband at 2Mb/sec it’s superb.

The second question is “Where do I get 4G?” and that’s where things start to fall down. At home upstairs and in the garden I get about 11Mb per second. In a local pub yesterday evening, I compared my mobile on 4G with my mate John’s mobile on the pub WiFi. He was getting about 2Mb/sec whilst I was romping away streaming HD video at 13Mb/sec.

However back home if I walk down the stairs into my living room I’m back to 3G most of the time and occasionally 2G. And it gets worse, today I had a meeting in Milton Keynes, one of the generation of “new towns” in the south-east of England. It might be a new town and hence fairly modern but currently Vodafone have no 4G in Milton Keynes and 3G coverage is patchy at best. In the end I resorted to a guest WiFi network to access the Internet.

One point worth noting however is that even when my mobile only shows 1 bar on the signal strength the 4G signal is way better than the 3G signal. The bandwidth that it uses is superb in comparison so when you can get 4G you get fast Internet even if your mobile signal is poor.

Should I tell you to upgrade to 4G having given it a test run? Beware of your mobile phone company ringing you up begging to upgrade the minute that 4G comes to your home town. If you’re like me when you’re at home you’ll be using WiFI so what’s the point in a 4G mobile signal?

However realistically you’ll spend most of your life in and around your home area and when you’re down town, in the pub, or walking the dogs 4G is great if it’s available. If 4G isn’t available where you live and where you work then you’ll only be able to use it when you travel in which case don’t waste your money.

Now that 4G is available in my area I’d say, that seeing as the mobile bill is a business expense, it’s worth every penny that’s knocked off my tax bill.