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If I have 3G, why do I need Wi-fi?

Discussion in 'Android Lounge' started by duncan, Nov 29, 2009.

  1. duncan

    duncan Lurker
    Thread Starter

    I know this is probably a stupid question and shows my ignorance.....but what is the wi-fi for on my phone? Isn't the 3G enough? I'm confused....

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  2. Barbara

    Barbara Android Expert

    When my son was in Europe he couldn't always get on 3G but if he could find a hotspot, he could get on wifi. I know there was a place in South Dakota where I had no cell signal but I had wifi. It is kind of nice to have both.
  3. BlkBear

    BlkBear Newbie

    Well for you 3G where you use the phone is good for now, but what about those that travel or commute into areas without 3G coverage? For those trains and planes that have WiFi but no 3G access while in route through areas without 3G or Cell tower access? then what?

    So for you right now turn WiFi off, and you will have one less thing to drain the battery, and turn it on when or if you need it.
  4. UncleMike

    UncleMike Android Expert

    Advantages I see in having WiFi in addition to 3G (in no particular order):

    1. An alternative data connection if/when you have no Verizon signal

    2. Using WiFi in areas of weak coverage may improve battery life

    3. WiFi is generally capable of being MUCH faster than 3G

    4. With WiFi you CAN to voice and data at the same time

    5. Access to a LAN that may not be accessible from the Internet

    6. With the right app (they are available) you can do a rudimentary WiFi site survey

    With Verizon's 3G coverage being what it is, WiFi is not the selling point that it is on "other" networks, but it does have it's uses.
  5. mjschmidt

    mjschmidt Android Expert

    I'm surprised no one has yet pointed out, quite simply, that using 3G (or 2G) uses your data plan, and potentially costs you money (depending on your plan). WiFi (provided you are using your own or some other _free_ network) is FREE. :)

    Also, if you don't have a data plan, you can't use 3g/2g.
  6. nateo200

    nateo200 Android Enthusiast

    You shouldn't be wasting your carrier's bandwidth away if wifi is available, its not fair to others who don't have wifi, really I hate the thought of having crappy 3G speeds because 10 people are sitting at home watching youtube over 3G next to there wireless router.... If more people understood this we wouldn't have the mess that AT&T is. Seriously I actually get upset when I see people with smartphone's using 3G over wifi that's literally 10x faster. Do you know what would happen if you had everyone on one cell tower watched youtube at the same time? Yeah not a pretty picture....plus wifi with UMTS handsets (like the iPhone, Euro HTC Hero, etc.) eats less battery so it only makes sense since us smartphone users need to watch battery life. IMO carriers need to start offering non unlimited data plans in the US....
  7. IOWA

    IOWA Mr. Logic Pants

    Ok first off, we all don't have Verizon, and until Verizon's rather recent acquisition of Alltel, Verizon's network wasn't that great.

    Now, Next.

    If I pay for an unlimited Data plan, I'm going to use it. ATT's network is what it is because they are slow in the upgrading department, Not because of people watching You Tube. ATT has always been slower than everyone else when it comes to bandwidth, even on landlines. The ATT backbones servers are weak and antiquated. THAT is why ATT is slow, not it's users. And if you really need me to explain why thier backbone is so important, that's for another post.

    Now crowding a certain cell tower is very possible and happens more often then you think. That is often the reason for dropped calls in good coverage areas in large cities. Even medium size cities. Thats why ATT/Tmobile phones will be harder to use in large metro events than Sprint/Verizon phones. Why? GSM Towers cant hold as many calls as CDMA towers can, and have less broadcast range. That's also why CDMA coverage is better than GSM. That is also why ATT/Tmobile will be switching to future CDMA technologies in the future. They already started with UMTS, and yes, that is a CDMA tech.

    Now for the OP: Wifi can come in handy many many ways. On my WinMo phones, ( I don't suspect long before someone develops a similar application for the Android platform ) I could actually turn my phone into a WiFi hot spot to use with my laptop! Wireless tethering. Greatness. Also with WiFi, say your in a spot with shotty or bad coverage, you can use a VOIP client such as skype, or use other messenger services to communicate.
  8. lekky

    lekky Lover

    Already available for rooted phones.

    And to OP, my WiFi is a lot faster than my 3G, plus my unlimited data plan is capped somewhat :(
  9. nateo200

    nateo200 Android Enthusiast

    I'm well aware that GSM towers can't hold as many calls as well as atts backhaul issues b (its like me buying a brand new wireless n router with 300 mbs thruput and connecting it to my modem with a phone cable. But its very ignorant to asume that cell towers have infinite bandwidth for all. You don't need to talk to me like an idiot I'm well aware of the technology beehind all these fancy names far past what carriers would like. That said att imo should have been using UMTS from the time it was available.
  10. Aerimus

    Aerimus Well-Known Member

    This is just not accurate to my knowledge. Verizon is dumping CDMA for LTE 4G which is GSM based according to engadget, not AT&T dumping GSM for CDMA. This is sometimes confused because of the use of the term W-CDMA and UMTS together. The technology however is based on GSM, not CDMA.

    Here's an engadget story that discusses this change a bit. You can specifically see that it says UMTS is GSM based.LINK

    For those that don't want to follow the link:

  11. Michaelad

    Michaelad Newbie

  12. big_z

    big_z Android Enthusiast

    I'm going to use whatever is easiest. If I'm at home and my phone has decided that my wireless is what it's going to use, that's what I'll use. If it gets stupid and doesn't seem to want to work within 10 seconds, wireless is going off and 3G it is. I've found on my phone that its just easier and more reliable to use 3G even if I'm at home. I'd never turn the damn wifi radio on in the first place except that Locale incessantly whines about it being off.

    Also, with the exception of people's houses, and certain hotels, free wireless internet leaves something to be desired in my book. Either I get pelted with redirections to a "Welcome to <airport>/<bar>/<restaurant> ! We hope you're enjoying our free wireless!" every 5 minutes, or the connection sucks, or the bandwidth sucks.
  13. nateo200

    nateo200 Android Enthusiast

    I can understand that for sure. The hotel example is a good one but many a times I'm sitting in an area with 10MB/s down while 3G gets 2MB/s down on average.
  14. IOWA

    IOWA Mr. Logic Pants

    Actually no, one, Verizon is actually going to be leasing WiMax from Clear. That's right. I have that on inside sources. I know a higher up in Sprint and he's right... well always. Two, GSM is based on TDMA, which is being PHASED OUT, which means OBSOLETE, so no, LTE is not a GSM technology. engadget, BGR, and other "tech" sites are far often wrong than they are right.

    Also, both WiMax AND LTE are based on OFDM Technology.
  15. nateo200

    nateo200 Android Enthusiast

    I thought only Sprint was using WiMax...?...You sure you got your sources in order. I like WiMax and all but everyone knows Verizon isn't that cheap....I mean Sprint is like a stuck pig right now and using WiMax as "4G" (even though by allot it is 4G) is pretty much a poor mans solution. To me thats like If I blanketed a city with wifi and called it 4G. Does WiMax even have an protocols to support voice other than VoIP? Or is it yet another EVDO where 1x is the only way to call? Anyways I KNOW verizon is going to use LTE and its about damn time all cellphone carriers for the most part are going into the same direction, what will the 3GPP2 do now....Also LTE is a GSM technology in that it is the natural path of where GSM and UMTS is going, while it is supperior to GSM in every way (thank God) it DOES have TDD, and FDD and all that fun stuff from BOTH CDMA2000 systems, GSM and UMTS sytems. I'm concerned though because the specifications for it are very broad in the sense of no specific spectrum slices/bandwidths, no specific details for how TDD and FDD are going to be implimented in once technology and God help us all on this last one, NO specific frequency standardization throughout the world....the last one is just going to kill me with GSM you have 4 different frequencies and with UMTS you have 3+..you would think they would get this right on UMTS. Can't wait for my 2 hour battery life because my phone has to have an octo band radio just to be sold/work worldwide (lets see quad band GSM, tri/quad band UMTS and dual band LTE and we don't even know what frequencies LTE is going to be on other than 700 and 1700mhz).
  16. Crude

    Crude Android Expert

    Sprint = wimax
    Verizon = LTE

    I'm surprised no one has mentioned wardriving for wifi? Or in my case I use my phone to locale AP's when I'm working on other peoples problems with a signal strength-o-meter. ;)
  17. IOWA

    IOWA Mr. Logic Pants

    Wow. How many times do I have to spell this out. Ok first, GSM and UMTS are UNRELATED Technology wise. Just becuase the GSM Carriers are USING UMTS doesnt make UMTS a GSM Technology, UMTS is CDMA Technology, or more specifically W-CDMA. GSM is merely an ENCODING, and not a real BROADCAST TECHNOLOGY. GSM uses TDMA(Time-Division Multiple Access) Broadcast Technology, GSM is merely an encoding, like an MP3. Like iDEN for Nextel, it also runs off of TDMA.
  18. nateo200

    nateo200 Android Enthusiast

    Yes I know all this...did you even read my post? Jeese you don't seam to get anyones posts.
  19. takeshi

    takeshi Android Expert

    More people would probably read them if you bothered to use paragraphs.
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