4G vs 3G: What’s the difference?

    The main difference between 3G and 4G is speed – 4G brings broadband to your phone. If you want to future-proof your mobile communications and entertainment, you need 4G, with speeds of up to ten times faster than 3G.

    The ‘G’ in 3G and 4G stands for ‘generation’. With 4GEE, EE has the latest and fastest phone network in the country, enabling you to watch live TV, stream a film or try multiplayer gaming on your phone.

    Our 4GEE network is the biggest in the UK and it’s still growing. Why not check your coverage now?

    And there’s also double speed 4GEE, already available in 20 towns and cities.

    Rent the latest films from our Film Store and watch them on your phone, tablet or laptop. With double speed 4GEE, a film from the EE Film Store can now take just three minutes to download instead of 20 minutes on 3G.

    With Deezer, our mobile music add-on for your phone or tablet, you get access to a catalogue of over 30 million tracks. 10 million people already use Deezer every month, so, whatever you're into, you'll find what you want on Deezer. With 4GEE and Deezer, downloads are far quicker and streaming is so much smoother than before.

    The technical bit

    Average speeds on EE’s 4G network are 12-15Mb/second. The UK average for 3G is 1.5Mb/second.

    We're rolling out a new enhancement to our 4G network, so average speeds will be twice as fast as today – 24-30Mb/second. And top speeds are up to 60Mb/second.

    Upload speeds will also be doubled to 11Mb/second. We can do this because we have sufficient portions of 1800 spectrum to upgrade our customers to 2x20 MHz from the current 2x10 MHz they use today. It's like adding two additional lanes of traffic to a road and changing the speed limit, meaning you can get more cars travelling on it, at faster speeds.

    Newer generations of phones are usually designed to be backward-compatible, so a 4G phone can communicate through a 3G or even 2G network.

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