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Saturday, December 2, 2023

How to Identify If your Mobile Network Supports 4G LTE?

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Have you ever wondered why your supposed 4G smartphone doesn’t support your favourite mobile network? Have you tried switching mobile networks, change environment just to be certain that your smartphone connects to a 4G mobile network?

Well, i was once naive about the whole tech thing to a point where I wanted to get a brand new smartphone. let’s go back to the main reason for this article.

What is 4G LTE network?

According to Wikipedia, 4G is the fourth generation of broadband cellular network technology, succeeding 3G. A 4G system must provide capabilities defined by ITU in MIT Advanced.

Potential and current applications include amended mobile access, IP telephony, gaming services, high-definition mobile tv, video conferencing, and 3D television. With a peak download of up to 1000mb/sec and peak upload of over 500mb/sec.

And according to GSMarena, 4G is the fourth generation of mobile phone communications standards. It is a successor of the 3G and provides ultra-broadband internet access for mobile devices.

The high data transfer rates make 4G networks suitable for USB wireless modems for laptops and even home internet access.

While LTE stands for “Long Term Evolution” and is short for a very technical process for high-speed data for phones and other mobile devices. As the world awaits the 5G network to get to various part of the world, we are still stuck with the 4G network.

Let’s come back to our area of concentration, Nigeria.

The problem might be that there’s no 4G coverage in your area which you can find out on your provider’s website and the second might be that your smartphone does not support their 4G frequency band.

Every smartphone has a network antenna for receiving certain frequency band for different telecommunication network (MTN, GLO, 9mobile, NTel, Spectranet, Smile, Airtel etc.) and you can say they work the same way your radio work.

Use your radio as an example. Your radio is the smartphone, and it can be tuned to receive different frequency bands (88.6, 97.2 etc.), those are bands for different radio stations. Now those radios stations signify our various network bands.

Frequency Bands of the 4G LTE Network in Nigeria

4G capabilitiesLTE 700 (28), LTE 800 (20), LTE 900 (8), LTE 1800 (3), LTE 2300 (40)

What are the advantages 4G LTE has over 3G?

Based on the fact that 4G LTE is a successor of 3G so it’s expected that 4G LTE would have a higher data transfer rate and this can only be possible with the right amount of spectrum and a good network engineering.

And as stated above, a good LTE network will have a potential download speed of 1000mb/s and upload speed 500mb/s. Again, it depends on the spectrum and engineering behind it.

The same way it has its advantages, it also comes with some disadvantages, which are;

Some internet service providers charge a higher fee for a 4G LTE data plan It covers fewer locations than 3G, especially in developing countries.

Your battery life will suffer if you are using 4G LTE in an area with weak coverage. 3G consumes lesser and 2G consumes the least.

4G LTE Supported Networks in Nigeria: Which Device is the Best for the 4G LTE?

You should first check up on the 4G frequency bands that are supported by your smartphone or any other internet device.

This will help you narrow down the device you’d want to get because not all 4G smartphones support all 4G mobile network.

Or better still, you can call your service provider to get more details about the smartphone or device you have in mind. It is very important for you to know the specifications of your desired phone before you make a purchase.

MTNBand7 (2600 MHz), Band20 (800 MHz)
GLOBand28 (700 MHz)
9MobileBand3 (1800 MHz)
NTelBand3 (1800 MHz), Band8 (900 MHz)
SpectranetBand40 (2300 MHz)
SwiftBand40 (2300 MHz)
SmileBand20 (800 MHz)
AirtelBand3 (1800 MHz)

For me, things are easier because I have a 4G smartphone and a mobile WiFi (MiFi) because the fastest 4G provider in my area is not supported by my 4G smartphone. Which helps me a lot to have access to more than one 4G service provider.

How to get the 4G Frequency band support of all Brand-name Smartphones?

Most people follow major brands, I mean those manufacturers that are a well-known example of such is Samsung, Huawei, Apple.

These manufacturers are already known because they have made a stand in the market worldwide. They are not limited to a particular region or market.

So, if you are looking for a place where you can get the 4G LTE bands and specifications of your favourite brands, then you visit here you would come across something like the screenshot below.

Alternatively, you can visit the manufacturers’ website to look up the specification of your device.

Does your area Supports 4G LTE Network in Nigeria

4G LTE is not available everywhere in the country but in a few cities and locations. But Airtel has the widest coverage while others are working hard to increase their coverage. Below is the list of locations where 4G LTE is available all over the country:

MTNLagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt, Warri, Asaba, Ibadan, Enugu, etc
GLOLagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt, Warri, Asaba, Ibadan, Enugu, etc
AirtelLagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt, Warri, Asaba, Ibadan, Enugu, etc
9MobileLagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt, Warri, Asaba, Ibadan, Enugu, etc
SpectranetLagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt, Asaba, etc
NTelLagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt, Asaba, etc
SwiftLagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt, Asaba, etc
SmilePort Harcourt, Lagos, Abuja

How to activate or migrate from 3G to 4G LTE Network on your Smartphone?

For service providers like Airtel, MTN, Glo, you will need to visit their offices to upgrade your sim to 4G LTE but for 9Mobile, there are steps you need to follow before you start using their 4G LTE, these steps are stated below;

  • Get a 4G LTE capable device or smartphone… Checkout our mobile specification database
  • Have your 4G LTE device settings on auto settings (4G LTE/3G/2G)
  • Get a preferred 4G data plan of your choice and start blazing, you can carry out a speed test to see your upload and download internet speed in details.

For the networks not mentioned above, endeavor to visit their office to make your request known to them. Tell us what you think about this article and how we can improve our articles by using the comments section below.

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