Enjoy 4G coverage when travelling abroad
As was the case with previous revolutionary technologies, telecom operators do the best they can to upgrade their networks and provide 4G coverage (speeds up to 100 Mb/s) to their customers. The stakes are high as more and more customers start using their smartphones for video streaming, VoIP calls or data devouring apps. If you’re not offering 4G and your competition does, you are on the highway to serious market share loss!
If you’re a telecom player you can’t afford this to happen, even though the investments that need to be done are huge, especially for large countries with a lot of territory. Unfortunately, some states (like the ones in the EU) make it even harder for operators to launch 4G by squeezing a lot of money for the radio spectrum. Neelie Kroes, European Commissioner for Digital Policy, pointed out in a press release on July 25th that EU is lagging behind in terms of 4G coverage even in comparison with individual companies like Verizon or AT&T in the US. Have a look at the graph we published in a previous post.
How spread is 4G in the world after all?
Since the first implementations of 4G (LTE not Wimax) were done in Sweden and Norway back in 2009, we’ve gone a long way so now we have at least 44 countries that have operational 4G coverage. Worldtimezone.com published a map of the worldwide 4G coverage (see below).
We mentioned that competition is high and 4G is an important competitive advantage for telecom operators. Well, that’s also becoming a reality for companies that rent mobile WiFi routers for tourists. Traditional international players like Tep, XCom Global or Cellular Abroad are facing increasing competition from smaller, national players that use home-country market knowledge and speed as their main weapon. This allowed them to introduce 4G routers faster and at better prices than the bigger players which is a great thing for international travelers.
The difference from 3G to 4G is not huge, but it is significant and it can make a difference if you want to use VoIP (Skype, Nonoh and others) and call your family that’s thousands of miles away or if you’re a digital nomad that needs fast & secure Internet that would allow you to work from anywhere.
So, when booking a portable WiFi device for your next trip, have a look at the list of countries with 4G coverage , see if they have it and then find a MiFi provider that’s offering it. Our MiFi directory might be just the tool you need!
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