Practical Technology

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CES: Here comes 4G for your Laptop


4G broadband technology has taken its own sweet time to reach users, and while a few would argue that we still don’t have 4G, the ITU has finally admitted that WiMAX, LTE, and HSPA+ do indeed deliver 4G speeds.

Call it what you will, T-Mobile’s Evolved High-Speed Packet Access (HSPA+) network supports simultaneous voice and data with download speeds in the 5-10Megabits per second (Mbps) range and upload speeds in the 5-7Mbps range. Verizon’s Long Term Evolution (LTE) answers this with 5 to 12Mbps downloads and 5Mpbs uploads. And, even Sprint’s troubled WiMAX network has download speeds in the 6-8Mbps range with 2-4Mbps upload speeds.

Of course, what you’ll see with your 4G smartphone depends on what the 4G infrastructure is like in your area. In some places at least, WiMAX is already fast enough to be considered a last-mile replacement for cable or DSL.

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