The next evolution of mobile connectivity will have a dramatic impact, bringing speeds far beyond those currently available to smartphones, laptops and tablet devices.
This was the main thrust of a recent report by analyst firm Business Insights looking at the future of 4G with regards to its impact and, crucially for those fed up with 3G connections that grind to a halt, its availability.
However, Richard Absalom, an analyst at Business Insights, warned that patience will be needed as there is unlikely to be any major 4G traction until 2013.
"We estimate there may be 10 million people on 4G worldwide by 2013. By comparison there are four billion people on 2G now. Network operators are rolling out this technology, but it will take some time until it's in widespread use," he said.
"In the US the Evo phone was launched recently with 4G capabilities, but the US has barely any 4G coverage, whereas countries like South Korea, Japan and Nordic nations like Sweden are more likely to be some of the first to use this technology."
Absalom added that the UK is around two years behind the curve for 4G, and that the technology will not really become noticeable until 2014.
"It will be a long time before 2G or 3G ceases to be used. The trouble is that, with growing numbers of mobile devices on 3G networks, the speeds are decreasing and it's only going to get worse before it gets better," he said.
However, the speeds and capabilities will be worth the wait, as a trial taking place in one of the UK's less glamorous locations reveals.
Slough, perhaps most famous for an unflattering poem by John Betjeman and the setting for The Office, is also home to a trial being carried out by O2 that is having some startling results, according to Andrew Conway, trial lead and head of radio engineering at O2.
"We have a select few employees taking part in the area getting access to speeds of 150Mbit/s through a dongle connection on their laptops, while we expect mobile connectivity could provide speeds between 30Mbit/s to 60Mbit/s," he told V3.co.uk.
"The connections we are seeing are even faster than connecting through a corporate LAN and, such is the capability of 4G, the test network we have in Slough could handle all the 3G traffic we see in our network nationwide."
Conway believes that Long Term Evolution (LTE) services could compete with fixed-line internet services and provide part of the solution for closing the UK's digital divide.
However, he repeated Absulum's warning that it will be some time before any fully developed services are available.
"It's certainly a question of years not months before LTE comes to market. The trial we are carrying out is very in-depth and being supplemented with lab tests to work out key issues," Conway said.
"This has revolved around learning about the practicalities of installing equipment and software, and then connecting this back to the main network."
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