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    fgkay's Avatar

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    Default Signal strength 4g vs 3g

    Since the same towers are used, does 4g provide a wider, or stronger (or less strong) signal compared with a 3g signal coming from the same tower? 3g coverage is weak where I live and I'm curious if it will be the same when I get my EVO.
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    Two different signals and two different radios being used in the device.
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    Yes, but since 4g uses a completely different frequency than 3g, does it's signal penetrate buildings better or carry farther when compared with a 3g signal coming from the same tower?
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    Quote Originally Posted by fgkay View Post
    Yes, but since 4g uses a completely different frequency than 3g, does it's signal penetrate buildings better or carry farther when compared with a 3g signal coming from the same tower?
    And for that matter, does an up-to-date technology phone's 3g antenna pick up otherwise identical 3g signals better or worse than 4g devices pick up 4g signals. The reason I ask is that it's obviously not just the sending towers, it's the receiving phones.
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    Digital signal is digital signal. Either it's being received, or it's not. Example: A satellite dish receiving a signal strength 0f 90% is no different than another only receiving 49%.
    The picture quality is identiical.
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    ah I see what you're saying scary! He's right too. The big change that happened when over the air TV broadcasts went from analog to digital a couple years back was that you wouldn't have the "static" anymore. You either got a signal or you didn't. Good point.
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    I'm a little slow on the uptake, but I thought WIMAX (4g) is broadcast on an entirely different frequency band than EVDO (3g). And that because of this, 4g signals suffer less from attenuation and, therefore, provide improved range and better coverage within buildings (btw, that's the extent of my radio tech knowledge ). So... theoretically, if I'm standing still in an area where Sprint has both 3g and 4g coverage, and have a 3g phone in one hand and a 4G phone in the other hand, shouldn't the 4g phone receive a stronger signal?
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    Quote Originally Posted by atomicdog21 View Post
    ah I see what you're saying scary! He's right too. The big change that happened when over the air TV broadcasts went from analog to digital a couple years back was that you wouldn't have the "static" anymore. You either got a signal or you didn't. Good point.
    It was June 12th, 2009. I remember cuz it was my birthday.
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    Quote Originally Posted by fgkay View Post
    I'm a little slow on the uptake, but I thought WIMAX (4g) is broadcast on an entirely different frequency band than EVDO (3g). And that because of this, 4g signals suffer less from attenuation and, therefore, provide improved range and better coverage within buildings (btw, that's the extent of my radio tech knowledge ). So... theoretically, if I'm standing still in an area where Sprint has both 3g and 4g coverage, and have a 3g phone in one hand and a 4G phone in the other hand, shouldn't the 4g phone receive a stronger signal?
    Wimax is for data only so don't overlook that. Both 3G and 4G are subject to interference and obstacle instruction (building penetration) as well as tower location. Signal strength, in essence, varies more by what's stopping the signal from reaching you than the actual signal. And though it's already been pointed out, a reduced stregnth in signal may not affect what you see/experience, reduced signal can mean data interruptions. That's why calls drop and digital pictures have hiccups and freezes. So it's not entirely true that a low signal would result in no performance reduction - only that a reduced signal reaches a point where it no longer becomes a continuous signal.

    Wimax towers generally are much higher than traditional 3G cell towers because the site emits a much higher radiation footprint and is therefore usually code-required to be further removed from people (higher). The height is one reason you don't see Wimax towers more than you do - local codes usually have height restrictions.
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    Quote Originally Posted by scaryhumor View Post
    It was June 12th, 2009. I remember cuz it was my birthday.
    You don't get static, but you can still have signal gaps/drops even with digital transmission.
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    Quote Originally Posted by fgkay View Post
    I'm a little slow on the uptake, but I thought WIMAX (4g) is broadcast on an entirely different frequency band than EVDO (3g). And that because of this, 4g signals suffer less from attenuation and, therefore, provide improved range and better coverage within buildings (btw, that's the extent of my radio tech knowledge ). So... theoretically, if I'm standing still in an area where Sprint has both 3g and 4g coverage, and have a 3g phone in one hand and a 4G phone in the other hand, shouldn't the 4g phone receive a stronger signal?
    EVDO / 3G is in the 1900 MHz range
    WiMax / 4G is 2.3 GHz, 2.5 GHz and 3.5 GHz

    Typically the higher the frequency, the better the penetration, and less attenuation.
  12. #12  

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rigmaster View Post
    You don't get static, but you can still have signal gaps/drops even with digital transmission.
    Absolutely! I'm on Clear's 4G as I'm typing this. Happens frequently here.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rigmaster View Post
    Wimax is for data only so don't overlook that. Both 3G and 4G are subject to interference and obstacle instruction (building penetration) as well as tower location. Signal strength, in essence, varies more by what's stopping the signal from reaching you than the actual signal. And though it's already been pointed out, a reduced stregnth in signal may not affect what you see/experience, reduced signal can mean data interruptions. That's why calls drop and digital pictures have hiccups and freezes. So it's not entirely true that a low signal would result in no performance reduction - only that a reduced signal reaches a point where it no longer becomes a continuous signal.

    Wimax towers generally are much higher than traditional 3G cell towers because the site emits a much higher radiation footprint and is therefore usually code-required to be further removed from people (higher). The height is one reason you don't see Wimax towers more than you do - local codes usually have height restrictions.
    Actually WiMax is the only "4G" Service that can do Voice... LTE is the one that can't hence the long wait VZW AT&T customers will have for LTE...
    I understand Data works just fine on LTE right now with up to 10 MB/s Download speeds but its still not a usable solutions for mobile voice and data

    And to answer an original question WiMax should be a building penetrating signal... a decent broad signal in the cities... Also considering the small scale in equipment needed for a WiMax Station there should be tons of "Towers" per say in my area at least being NY

    Check out this Video it explains some more how 4G and WiMax works

    How WiMAX Works
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    Quote Originally Posted by scaryhumor View Post
    EVDO / 3G is in the 1900 MHz range
    WiMax / 4G is 2.3 GHz, 2.5 GHz and 3.5 GHz

    Typically the higher the frequency, the better the penetration, and less attenuation.
    Yes, but all frequency transmissions eventually yield to physics. If a distant signal is coming to you on the back/far side of a building or around a corner, you still may not get the signal you need for continuous transmission. It's also the reason why signals fade with distance. It's a combination of strength, type of signal, and even the minute obstacles that air has.

    Wimax's real advantage is that theoretically it's signal is at such a high frequency that it is fades less.
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    Quote Originally Posted by scaryhumor View Post
    EVDO / 3G is in the 1900 MHz range
    WiMax / 4G is 2.3 GHz, 2.5 GHz and 3.5 GHz

    Typically the higher the frequency, the better the penetration, and less attenuation.
    No, you have that entirely backwards. As frequencies go up, building and object penetration becomes worse. For example, militaries need to use extremely low frequencies (ELF, 3 to 30 Hz) to communicate with submarines---those are the only frequencies that can penetrate so far through the earth and sea. Higher frequencies can't penetrate.

    WiMax signals have worse penetration (more attenuation) than 3G. On my EVO, I lose the 4G signal within about 2 steps after entering a building. The 4G signal seriously only penetrates about 3 feet (at least given the radios in the EVO).
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rigmaster View Post
    Wimax's real advantage is that theoretically it's signal is at such a high frequency that it is fades less.
    Again, this is backwards. As frequencies increase, object penetration decreases. WiMax is at a disadvantage as compared to 3G.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rigmaster View Post
    Wimax's real advantage is that theoretically it's signal is at such a high frequency that it is fades less.
    Perhaps I'll clarify a bit.

    Higher frequencies:
    Advantage: carry more data per unit time.
    Disadvantages: greater attenuation, lesser object penetration.

    Lower frequencies:
    Advantages: lower attenuation, better object penetration.
    Disadvantage: carry less data per unit time.

    Lower frequencies are coveted due to their transmission advantages; this was the reason behind the push to abandon analog TV broadcast in the US. Part of the reason why WiMax is at a high frequency is that lower frequencies were not available. By evicting analog TV broadcasts from the frequency spectrum, the FCC has freed up lower frequencies for technologies like cellular data.

    To get around the problem of reduced data transmission rates at lower frequencies, there's talk of building phones that can receive data on multiple frequencies simultaneously. A data signal will be split across multiple frequencies and sent in parallel, leading to high data rates (due to parallel transmission) with good building penetration (due to low frequencies).
  18. #18  

    Default Re: Signal strength 4g vs 3g

    Disagree, you can put all scientific facts and book theories you want into this, but fact is actual use. I used 3G phone where I live, and in areas where I lose 3G, I still maintain 4G, I have some areas where i receive 1 bar maybe of 3G, and can receive 3 to 4 bars of 4G and use voice and data service. I have others in same area with exact same results.
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    Default Re: Signal strength 4g vs 3g

    Run for your lives!! It's a zombie thread, back from the dead!! Ahhhhh, we're all doomed!!
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  20. #20  

    Default Re: Signal strength 4g vs 3g

    I just received the Verizon s4 yesterday. I am having a difficult time picking up a 4G signal at my home with it (If I set it on a counter and don't touch it I get a signal). I also have a Verizon Jetpack 4620. The Jetpack pulls in a 4G signal at -112/-113 db (and shows two bars). When I get a signal on the s4 it shows -114db. Otherwise, the 3G signal is strong at -89db.

    EDIT: I should add that the Speedtest.net app reports between 5.5 and 11.5 Mbits download and between 300-400Kbits upload.
  21. #21  

    Default Re: Signal strength 4g vs 3g

    Quote Originally Posted by skinut424 View Post
    I just received the Verizon s4 yesterday. I am having a difficult time picking up a 4G signal at my home with it (If I set it on a counter and don't touch it I get a signal). I also have a Verizon Jetpack 4620. The Jetpack pulls in a 4G signal at -112/-113 db (and shows two bars). When I get a signal on the s4 it shows -114db. Otherwise, the 3G signal is strong at -89db.

    EDIT: I should add that the Speedtest.net app reports between 5.5 and 11.5 Mbits download and between 300-400Kbits upload.
    Why are you posting this in a Sprint thread? And what is a jet pack?

    Sent from my SPH-L720
  22. #22  

    Default Re: Signal strength 4g vs 3g

    Quote Originally Posted by scaryhumor View Post
    Digital signal is digital signal. Either it's being received, or it's not. Example: A satellite dish receiving a signal strength 0f 90% is no different than another only receiving 49%.
    The picture quality is identiical.
    That's not quite accurate. I have 4G in my house, but I can't get a usable data stream unless the phone is held bottom up and/or in certain spots. Sometimes it behaves like 1X but usually it only has enough quality to not kick back to 3G. In those specific locations and positions, it's fast and fairly consistent.

    Oh and it's faster in a nearby city than in my town...4 times faster in fact.

    So no it's not all or nothing.
  23. #23  

    Default Re: Signal strength 4g vs 3g

    It is with TV digital signal, all or nothing. I don't know with phone. There is microwave signals and LTE etc. Depends on what kind of "4g" we are talking about? HSPA, LTE, wimax etc.

    Sent from my SPH-L720 using Tapatalk 4 Beta
  24. #24  

    Default Re: Signal strength 4g vs 3g

    Quote Originally Posted by dchawk81 View Post
    I have 4G in my house, but I can't get a usable data stream unless the phone is held bottom up and/or in certain spots.
    Steve Jobs' spirit says you're holding it wrong...
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    Default Re: Signal strength 4g vs 3g

    I just ordered a 4g xlte mifi, I don't know the connection here on 4g but with a 3g phone i get 2 bars outside, even with a crappy 3g connection its possible to get 4g on a 4g device? I checked verizons coverage maps & I am like 1/2 a mile from the 4G LTE but I am in the 4G LTE Extended
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