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4G Connection: Data Usage and Cost, Is It Worth It?

People use their smartphones on a daily basis, and most people have a standard to which they use for any potential phones. Some people pick their phones based on qualities such as memory storage and the data plan that every network provides.

Data plans and usage is very important to smartphone users, like myself, since we like to open apps on the go. The problem is Wi-Fi. When there is no Wi-Fi available, people have to use their phone’s data to use it beyond the basics like making calls and sending text messages.

Because data is so important, many phone companies advertise their data plans which include 3G and 4G LTE. In fact, most phone companies always advertise how their 4g plans are faster and better than their competitors.

Many people swear by 4G and 4G LTE. It has many wondering if 4G is really better than 3G, and it has people wondering if 4G uses more data. It also has people wondering if 4g is worth the cost.

What is 4g and 4g LTE

Before we can decide if 4G is better than 3G, we need to understand the meaning of 4G and 4G LTE. 4G refers to the fact that it is the fourth generation of a phone’s wireless connection. LTE stands for Long Term Evolution.

4G is the next generation of wireless connection for mobile phones, especially for smartphones. 4G will eventually take over for 3G as the wireless connection that is standard with older phones. 4G is widely available with all networks although it is more expensive than a phone with 3G.

4G LTE is more advance than both 3G and 4G networks. The internet speed is faster, but the network is not as readily available as 3G and 4G since it is still in not accessible in some areas. Since 4G LTE means fourth generation long term evolution, the network is constantly evolving. Because of this, LTE does not have as big of a network range as the other two networks depending on the company.

While there is a difference between 4G and 4G LTE, some networks have phones that will work 4G LTE. For example, in the United States, AT&T does have a 3G and 4G network although it has a small LTE network. Meanwhile most smartphones, with the exception of the iPhone 4 and 4s, on Verizon’s network will work on a 4G LTE.

The Difference Between 3G and 4G/4G LTE

3G or the third generation wireless network connection that many smartphones still run on. There are many differences between the 3G and 4G networks. But the main difference between 3G and 4G is the speed of the wireless connection.

For example, if I were to watch a video on YouTube on a phone with 3G and then on a phone with 4G, the experience would be slightly different. While it is not a big difference but the video quality is worse on 3G than on 4G. Although it is not the fault of the phone, but rather something else.

The reason is videos on YouTube are usually set on auto for its quality. Said video quality is based on the wireless connection. When you are watching a video on a 3G phone, the quality will automatically no less than 360P, but it will most likely be on either 480P or 720P.

While 480P is not a terrible quality, some people like to watch videos on the HD settings (720P or 1080P). People that have a 4G connection have a different experience with streaming videos. On a 4G phone, you can watch YouTube videos on the highest setting, 1080P without any problems.

While the quality of the video is better, there is one similarity between the networks. Any time you watch a high quality video on any streaming app or site on your phone you use more data.

Does 4G Use More Data

While a 4G connection is faster than 3G, 4G does not necessarily use more data than 3G. The amount data that is used is dependent on what you are doing on your phone since all apps and websites use different amounts of data.

Going back to the YouTube example, when you use the app or the mobile version of the website, you will use more data. Even one video will use much more data than most apps. It is commonly known that streaming apps like Spotify and Netflix use more background data, but it also uses a lot network data too.

The reason why streaming apps and websites use up most of your data is very simple. Due to the nature of streaming, the apps and websites need to use more of the wireless network to work. YouTube is a very popular streaming app and website there is a way to use less data when on it. If you do not use the higher video quality settings, such as 720P and 1080P, you will use less data on a 4G network.

It seems that with most apps and websites, other than the streaming ones, will not take up your monthly data limits. However it seems that most people that have 4G are using the internet on their phones more than those who do not have 4G. It could be because the internet runs more smoothly in a 4G network that causes people to be on it more. This can eat up your data limit, if you use 4G.

There are studies in which researchers have found a link between a great experience involving an activity and people willing to do that activity again. An example of this is when you eat an amazing doughnut from a bakery that you have heard was great. You are more likely to return to that bakery because you liked that doughnut.

It is the same for network connection. Those who have 4G and 4G LTE are more likely to use their phone browser than those who have 3G since the connectivity is faster and smother. They are willing to pay more to have 4G and 4G LTE.

Is 4G Worth the Cost

There is a reason why 3G and 4G have different costs. Because 3G is older technology, it is cheaper than 4G and 4G LTE. It does not mean it is 4G is overpriced since you could use the same apps and sites on 3G. It depends on how you use your phone and whether you care about network speed and quality of streaming sites.

If you care about internet speed, you will get more use of 4G and 4G LTE (if you live in an area that has LTE available). The network speed is faster than 3G, which is good if you are always using various apps and the web browser. This allows you to use apps and the browser more quickly since you do not have to wait for them to load.

Streaming quality is also important to some people, and if you are one of those people then 4G would be great for you. As stated earlier, many apps that let you stream audio or videos have an auto setting that is based on the network connection. This means better the connection leads to better the quality.

4G is better for those who care about things like network speed and quality. Although it is perfect for anyone, 4G is slightly more expensive than the 3G plan that networks offer. Eventually 4G will replace 3G for many networks, but for those who cannot wait for the network to become cheaper. 4G is worth the price.


4G networks have many qualities that differentiate itself from the older 3G network. Internet speed and the quality of certain apps, like the ones that allow you to stream videos and audio, are better than it would be on a 3G network.

There are some similarities between 3G and 4G. Both networks allow people to use the internet and access apps when Wi-Fi is not available.

Data usage is not different between 4G and 3G networks for the most part. The only reason for someone to go over their data limit is if they constantly use any streaming app or website when you are not using Wi-Fi.

4G on average costs more than 3G. Before deciding if you should switch to a 4G or 4G LTE (if you live an area in which LTE is available), you should see how much your phone company charges for the data plan.

The reason is that certain apps that many use on their smartphones uses up data quickly. These apps, such as Spotify, can allow you to go over your data limit after a few uses. We all know that your phone bill is higher when you go over your data limit.

4G is better than a 3G network. Despite the fact that it more expensive than being on a 3G network, 4G is worth the cost.


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