Just 10 Years Ago, You Could Get Your Email on a Cell Phone

Prairie Gleanings

Today, you can stream movies without a hitch on 4G LTE networks.

Published on: April 3, 2013

This spring, chances are you’ll be spending a lot of time in the tractor. I’d wager I’m with most young farmers when I ask, “What in the world did you do before tablets and smartphones?”

In all seriousness, this slideshow from Wired has boggled my mind. The article looks at “The 12 Cell Phones That Changed Our World Forever.”

The first BlackBerry doesn’t show up until 2003. At this point, savvy Wall Street types were able to be linked 24/7 to their email accounts.

For many, the idea of data plans, email and mobile web browsing took off with the original iPhone, launched in 2007. That was only six years ago, yet it seems the masses have been uber-connected for much longer.

At the risk of sounding like a commerical, everything really is better with 4G LTE. Even the FPS app is smoother and faster.
At the risk of sounding like a commerical, everything really is better with 4G LTE. Even the FPS app is smoother and faster.

If you just got used to touch screens instead of actual buttons, get ready, because things have taken another huge leap forward. It’s called 4G LTE. Since I switched to Verizon, I’ve noticed a significant portion of Illinois is blanketed in it.

If you have a 4G LTE capable device (like the iPhone 5, Samsung Galaxy SIII or HTC One), you can take advantage of these blazing speeds right now. Just how much faster is it?

At minimum, I’ve found it’s about five times faster. My 3G speeds were coming in around 1 – 1.5 mbps, when I had a good signal. Sub 1 mbps speeds were common. With 4G LTE, I’m seeing an average of 4 – 10 mbps.

So, what does this mean? Well, would you like to Tweet a pic of your new planter? Snap the shot, upload it … and it’s done. No more watching a little circle go round and round for 30 seconds or so while it shoots your pic over to the Twitter servers.

Web browsing is an absolute pleasure on LTE. You honestly don’t realize how long you wait for pages to load on 3G, until all the waiting is removed with LTE. It’s instantaneous.

Here’s the best part. With LTE, you can now stream video effortlessly to your tractor cab. Yeah, you could catch up on “The Walking Dead” if you feel so inclined. Just make sure you turn around at the end row.

If you’re ready to get up to speed with LTE, make sure you check your carrier’s coverage map. With Verizon, much of their LTE network is setup around larger cities (Springfield, Bloomington, Champaign, Chicago, Decatur, etc.). However, it’s also pretty common to find LTE along most major interstates.