4G is the 4th generation of mobile technology.
4G makes using the internet quicker than ever before, even when you're out and about. With 4G, you no longer have to be sitting at home to download your favourite film or TV show, enjoy multiplayer online gaming, or stream live coverage of the big footie match. You can do all this even when you're on the move.
4G gives you:
3G launched in 2003 and gave us the power to do more advanced things on our phones than just making calls and sending text, like browsing web pages and making video calls.
3G is still used widely throughout the UK. It's fine for checking emails, browsing Facebook and watching videos on YouTube, but it can sometimes take a while to load. This isn't the case with 4G.
4G came along in 2012 and is around five times faster than 3G. 4G is brilliant for watching videos, streaming music and downloading apps at lightning fast speeds!Back to top
Your phone will show '4G' next to the signal bars if mobile data is switched on. 4G won't appear if WiFi is switched on though, so switch this off before checking.Back to top
All of our plans are 4G-ready. However, to get the most out of 4G you need to be in a 4G coverage area and have a 4G-ready phone. You can check whether your phone is 4G-ready by reviewing its technical specs, and you can check the 4G signal in your area using our coverage checker above.
If your handset is only 3G-ready it'll still work on our network, but you won't be able to get the full data download speeds that come from using 4G.Back to top
The 4G network we use is continuing to grow. It already covers many parts of the UK, and we're aiming to cover 98% of the UK's population by the end of the year. In the meantime our 3G network already covers 97% of the UK population, and our Advanced 3G speeds are the fastest in the UK.
Our 4G rollout page shows which towns we're hoping to reach in the near future.
You can also use the coverage checker above to see if 4G is already available in your area.Back to top
Advanced 3G is half way between 3G and 4G and allows you to download data at much faster speeds than normal 3G. Advanced 3G uses DC-HSDPA (High Speed Downlink Packet Access) technology to increase data speeds dramatically depending on the coverage in your area, and if your handset is compatible (you can find this out by referring to your phone's technical specifications). You can use the coverage checker above to see if Advanced 3G is available in your area.Back to top
A lot of things can affect the strength of your signal. Your distance from the nearest phone mast can make a huge difference. Large obstructions like trees and buildings (especially ones with lots of metal) can make your signal worse too.
If you're having signal problems here's a few tips to try and make it better: