The first day of school has come and gone, so let’s move on to more serious matters! Hey, you there, at the back of the class. Yes, you! Can you tell me the difference between LTE, WiMAX and Satellite? “Uhh, are they the names of three new Pokémon!?!

Better understanding these three types of high speed Internet coverage will give you a bit of a clearer picture of the flood of Internet packages available to you.

First of all, it’s important to make a distinction between the terms “broadband,” “DSL” (Digital Subscriber Line) and “wireless”. These three terms refer to different types of high speed Internet “connections” offered by a good number of Internet Service Providers (ISPs). However, the availability of each type of connection depends on where you (or your business) is located.

Almost all Internet connections could be considered “broadband”” (cable, satellite, DSL, fiber optic, wireless).

 

ABOUT DSL

DSL is a connection established via a telephone wire, where download speeds fall between 256 kbit/s and 24 Mbps. The connection speed depends in particular on your type of subscription, the quality of the telephone lines, and the distance between your location and your ISP.

If your location already has telephone wiring, in most cases, installation of a DSL connection won’t require the drilling of holes or additional outlets. All you have to do is connect a DSL modem, and that’s all there is to it!

 

ABOUT WIRELESS ACCESS

The term “wireless ” refers to many things with regard to the various types of Internet access.

Basically, a “wireless network ” is what gives you access to the Internet through a wireless router, which receives its signal from a modem provided by your ISP. The scope of this type of Internet coverage is local (e.g. a house, a business, an airport, etc.), thus relatively small.

As for “wireless broadband network ”, it is characterized by its vast range of Internet coverage. There are several types of high speed Internet coverage that fall into this category (e.g. 3G, 4G, LTE, Satellite and WiMAX).

 

ABOUT 3G AND 4G NETWORKS

From a technical point of view, although 3G networks are considered wireless connections, they are designed for mobile platforms which are not demanding on bandwidth (e.g. tablets, smartphones). These networks offer data transfer rates ranging from 2 to 42 Mbps.

Fourth generation networks, or 4G (e.g. LTE Advanced, WiMAX Advanced), meanwhile, are becoming the new standard in wireless broadband networks. These networks include different rates based on the way information gets processed.

  • Voice over IP: This means voice calls do not move across the telephone network like they once did, but instead travel directly over the Internet.
  • Multiplexing: This means that various types of data from different sources are simultaneously transmitted through the same channel, which allows an increased amount of information to be transmitted.

Compared to its third generation counterpart, 4G networks offer rates of 100Mbps or higher for users in motion, and 1Gbit/s for fixed stations.

The 4G network, in addition to needing fewer antennas to cover the same area, is also differentiated by its ability to cope with interference (lower frequencies), which allows these networks to provide better coverage inside buildings and widens the area that can be covered – which are undeniable advantages in rural area coverage.

Essentially, every heavy consumer of games, videos, movies, and music streaming would benefit from the 4G network’s impressive performance for downloading and browsing, which provides near-instantaneous response times.

Although LTE high-speed Internet and WiMAX coverage are based on similar technologies and can both serve broader urban areas, there are a few notable differences between these two options.

WiMAX technology means better transfer rates, less wait time, better availability, and more efficiency, but it is not compatible with 2G and 3G systems, a major stumbling block. Plus, the switchover from a 3G network to a 4G network is often difficult, and sometimes problematic.

Given the lower installation costs, WiMAX technology is a better choice for developing countries looking to replace Digital Subscriber Lines (DSL).

LTE technology, far more popular and used than WiMAX, is not only compatible and better integrated with existing mobile technologies, it offers faster and more energy-efficient transfer rates for mobile users. Also, switchover from a 3G network to a 4G network, and vice-versa, is an easy and very fluid process.

Another interesting comparison between WiMAX and LTE Standard and Advanced are the download and upload speeds:

WiMAX Standard

  • Download: 128 Mbps;
  • Upload: 56 Mbps;

WiMAX Advanced

  • Download: 1000 Mbps or 1 Gbps;
  • Upload: 500 Mbps;

LTE Standard

  • Download: 100 Mbps;
  • Upload: 50 Mbps;

LTE Advanced

  • Download: 1000 Mbps or 1 Gbps;
  • Upload: 500 Mbps;

It’s worth mentioning that only LTE Advanced (or LTE-A) is considered a true 4G technology. And although WiMAX technology rivals LTE Advanced technology in terms of download and upload speeds, the fact is that LTE Advanced beats it in many other ways, and remains the best choice today. However, it’s clear that we haven’t heard the last of WiMAX technology.

In rural areas, WiMAX is the technology of choice; in urban centres, it’s LTE. As for Satellite, although it doesn’t offer all the above mentioned advantages, it remains a choice solution should neither of these other technologies be available where you are.

At the end of the day, Skynet is able to meet your needs, whatever they are, offering all three options: LTE, WiMAX and Satellite. Now, it’s up to you to choose the best service at the best price, while enjoying a package without any surprises!

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