Mobile Computing, 4G Poised for Massive Growth Through 2012

ABI Research projects that WiMAX wireless communications will reach more than 1 billion people by the end of 2012, and that LTE will cover another 600 million by that time, marking a fast ramp up of the two technologies that fall into the "4G" category.

4G technology is focused entirely on the data transmission side of wireless communications, largely because the voice side is a mature technology. Whereas 3G has reached top speeds of 14 megabits per second on the downlink, that is rarely, if ever, achieved. In practice, 3G is lucky if it can hit one megabit per second.

4G, by contrast, can hit 100 megabits per second. The first vendor out of the gate is Clearwire, which offers speeds of three to six megabits in downlink speed per second, comparable to DSL and cable modems. Verizon Wireless,