Droid Bionic: Understand the Digital Wireless Networks
The Droid Bionic needs a wireless network to access the Internet. Though you can’t see it, wireless communication is going on all around. No need to duck ― the wireless signals are intercepted only by items such as cell phones and laptop computers. The Droid Bionic uses these signals to let you talk on the phone and communicate over the Internet and other networks.
You pay your cellular provider a handsome fee every month. The fee comes in two chunks. One chunk (the less expensive of the two) is the telephone service. The second chunk is the data service, which is how the Droid Bionic gets on the Internet. This system is the cellular data network.
There are several types of cellular data networks with which the Droid Bionic can communicate. Regardless, you see only three status icons, representing the various networks:
4G LTE: The fourth generation of wide-area data networks is comparable in speed to standard Wi-Fi Internet access. It’s fast. It also allows for both data and voice transmission at the same time. The only downside is that the 4G LTE network isn’t everywhere. Yet.
3G: The third generation of wide-area data networks isn’t quite as fast as 4G, but it’s moderately tolerable for surfing the web, watching YouTube videos, and downloading information from the Internet.
1X: The slowest data connection comes in several technical flavors, but only one icon appears on the phone’s status bar. The 1X network is actually the second generation of cellular data technology. It’s a lot slower than 3G, but it’s better than nothing.
Your phone always uses the best network available. So, if the 4G LTE network is within reach, it's the network the Droid Bionic uses for Internet communications. Otherwise, the 3G data network is chosen, followed by 1X.
Accessing the digital cellular network isn’t free. Your Droid Bionic most likely has some form of subscription plan for a certain quantity of data. When you exceed this quantity, the costs can become prohibitive.
The data subscription is based on the quantity of data you send and receive, not on its speed. At 4G LTE speeds, the prepaid threshold can be crossed quickly.