Sunday, September 22, 2013

What is GPRS, 2G, EDGE, 3G, 4G or LTE ?

What is 4G or LTE?
LTE stands for "Long Term Evolution" It is a radio access technology to deliver Very high speeds. 4G is a Standard in Mobile Network Technology and stands for "Fourth Generation" the latest after 2G and 3G which gives you a faster and rich internet experience. With 4G LTE hi-speeds, you can notice a visible difference while downloading files, doing video-chat, playing multiplayer games or while viewing HD videos online.

What is the difference between GPRS, EDGE, 3G and 4G?
a) GPRS: refers to a service on the 2G network that provides basic data up to 56kbps (similar to dial-up speeds)

b) EDGE: It is a 2.5G technology. An enhancement of the 2G technology which provides higher data transfer rates compared to GPRS (the default on 2G).The speeds can go up to 144 Kbps

c) 3G: 3G technology provides faster / higher data transfer rates compared to the 2G network (EDGE & GPRS).This technology theoretically can offer speeds between 1-21 Mbps.

d) 4G: This technology rides on LTE platform and is the latest in the world of mobile data transfer. It is the next generation of mobile communications. Currently it is the most advanced technology available. Theoretical data downlink speeds range between 2-100 Mbps.

How is 4G better than 3G?
Being the latest platform of mobile communications 4G - LTE can enable real mobile (wireless) broadband experience. 4G provides up to 5 times faster speeds than 3G making it suitable for all type of high speed applications and services. 4G is also touted to be the fastest wireless internet service.

What can I do with airtel 4G LTE?
Airtel 4G LTE can be used at home or your office for :
a) Wireless internet access
b) Access rich content and multimedia applications e.g. Movies, HD videos, e-learning, HD content and much more.
c) Multiple downloads of heavy files, high definition multimedia content at the same time will be possible.
d) Higher uplink and downlink speeds.
e) Seamless online streaming – ZERO buffering.
f) High definition online gaming.
g) Access business applications that require higher speeds and last mile connectivity.
h) Face-2-face video chat seamlessly

What kind of speed can I expect in 4G LTE?
4G or LTE is going to bring fastest wireless Internet access in India. However, being a wireless technology-bandwidth is a shared resource, hence the delivered speeds depends on many network conditions like number of simultaneous users etc. 4G provides 5 times faster speeds than 3G.

What is the difference between wired broadband and wireless broadband?
Wired or Fixed broadband is a fixed place service requiring wired line connectivity up to the computer. On the contrary, wireless broadband is a wireless service which enables you to access internet anywhere, in the house or while on the move.

Where airtel has launched 4G or LTE?
Airtel is the 1st and only service provider to have launched 4G in India and you will be happy to know that airtel 4G LTE has been launched in Kolkata, Bengaluru, Pune & Chandigarh.

How can I use airtel 4G LTE? Or what do I need to use airtel 4G LTE?
a. You will require a 4G LTE enabled device and a USIM.
b. Airtel has developed an ecosystem of partners who have come up with multiple devices to suit your requirements.
1. Airtel 4G LTE USB Dongles
2. Airtel 4G LTE Indoor CPE ( ICPE)

Can I upgrade / exchange my 3G dongle to a 4G dongle?
Currently airtel don't have any such option available; you will have to purchase a 4G dongle.

What is the difference between a single and multi-mode dongle?
a. Subject to the availability of the services in the city:
1. A Single mode device will support airtel 4G LTE data network.
2. A Multimode Mode device will support 2G / 3G / 4G networks.

b. Please note that voice and SMS is not supported on 4G. In 3G & 2G your SMS and USSD along with Data Services will work.

Do I need a new or separate SIM or number for airtel 4G LTE?
Yes, you will need a new number for airtel 4G LTE, you will also need a USIM to be on the airtel 4G network.

What is USIM?
a. USIM stands for Universal Subscriber Identification Module, it is different than your current SIM since it is a 128 KB SIM.

b. A Universal Subscriber Identity Module or Universal Subscriber Identification Module (USIM) is an integrated circuit that securely stores the International Mobile Subscriber Identity (IMSI) and the related key used to identify and authenticate subscribers on mobile telephony devices.

What is the difference between normal SIM & USIM?
a. Normal SIM supports 2G & 3G Network, but USIM Supports 2G, 3G, 4G Networks as well as JAVA Applications.

b. Memory of normal SIM is 64KB whereas memory of USIM is 128KB

Is Airtel giving any warranty on the dongles?
The dongles will come with a 1 year manufacturer's warranty.

Where is your dongle service center?
There are service centers in 4G cities who will provide hardware support.

How can we activate airtel 4G LTE?
a. You can visit airtel ARC / airtel store for an exclusive experience of airtel 4G LTE services and leave your contact details. Airtel Sales executives will visit you at your home or office for a sales consultation and product demonstration before collecting the order.

b. Alternately you can leave your contact details on the airtel official website or at airtel customer care 18001030405. They will get back to you soon.

c. You will get a new airtel 4G LTE number.

d. Airtel would require your Proof of Address & Proof of Identity along with photograph & an alternate mobile number. The later will allow us to communicate through SMS.

I already submitted documents when I bought my existing airtel no, why do airtel need it again?
Since this is a new number, airtel will need these details from you. They can however link this new connection to your existing number so that you get one airtel bill.

Why do you need an alternate no?
a. 4G network cannot be used to make / receive voice calls and SMSs.

b. They would like to get in touch with you and also keep you informed of various activities related to your 4G number. They will use this alternate number, as the 4G number on the 4G network cannot be used to make / receive voice calls and SMSs.

Can I change my alternate no?
a. You can do it yourself, when connected to the Internet through airtel 4G dongle, click on the "Check Usage" option on your Connection Manager.

b. On the page which appears, you will see your current alternate number mentioned.

c. To change it, overwrite your new number and click on "Update" button.

How do I know that I am on airtel 4G LTE network? / is airtel 4G LTE active on my number?
When you have connected your dongle to the laptop; on the connection manager screen you will find "LTE" written beside the signal bar on the bottom left corner of the window. This mean you are on 4G.

Will be I able to use airtel 4G LTE on roaming?
Since this service is currently launched only in Kolkata, Bengaluru, Pune & Chandigarh airtel 4G LTE will only work in Kolkata, Bengaluru, Pune & Chandigarh. Airtel will inform you through their website and relevant media channels regarding their future launches.

Will be I able to play online games on airtel 4G LTE?
Yes, airtel 4G LTE provides a high speed broadband internet access; you can even play HD games on the internet. Airtel have Games on Demand service which provides unlimited access to amazing games. The Games on Demand service comes free with Rs.999 and above plans for 6 months.

Will be I able to make / receive voice calls or send / receive SMS on airtel 4G LTE?
Currently voice and SMS are not supported on 4G. However, they are working to bring these services as part of their offering sometime soon.

Can I do a video call on airtel 4G LTE?
Yes Video Call based on IP platform such as Skype, Google hangouts etc. can be used.

Which other Operators are giving airtel 4G LTE services in India?
Airtel is the first operator in India to launch this kind of 4G services in Kolkata, Bengaluru, Pune & Chandigarh.

I already have an existing Postpaid/Prepaid number, will I get a separate bill for my 4G number?
Airtel can link your 4G number to your existing airtel phone number so that you get one airtel bill for both these numbers.

What are the recharge options available for 4G or LTE?
There are attractive recharge options for 4G LTE. Please visit tariff section on or call 1800 1030405 for more details.

How do I recharge my prepaid number?
Airtel can link your 4G number to your existing airtel phone number so that you get one airtel bill for both these numbers.

How do I check my usage?
a. When your dongle is connected to your Laptop, on the Connection Manager, click on the "Check Usage" option available on the top left (below the menu bar).

b. The window which appears will give you a graphical representation of your usage

I have forgotten my dongle number, where do I get it from?
When connected to the Internet through airtel 4G dongle, click on the "Check Usage" option on your Connection Manager.
That was all about airtel internet. I hope you have enjoyed a lot and finded this article useful, if your need more help please use the comment box.
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