4G on the way: Radio Shack ready to explain
By Mark Sherry

Dave Buda, Shana Lackershire, Jennifer Bartel and Nathan See (left to right) are the knowledgeable, helpful team at Radio Shack/U. S. Cellular in Chilton.

The next generation of mobile communications is expected to be available in the Chilton area before the end of the year.

Explaining 4G technology can get so technical that few people would be able to understand it. One of the great things about the staff at Radio Shack/U. S. Cellular inside Chilton’s Farm & Home is that customers know they can depend on them to obtain, understand and then explain in layman’s terms the advantages of the latest trends in technology.

“There’s definitely a lot of confusion with 4G,” said Nathan See, one of the longtime familiar and friendly faces at Chilton’s Radio Shack. Much of that confusion lies in the definition of what exactly qualifies as fourth-generation technology.

A 4G system provides mobile ultra-broadband internet access to laptops with USB wireless modems, to smartphones, and to other mobile devices. Conceivable applications include amended mobile web access, IP telephony, gaming services, high-definition mobile TV, video conferencing and 3D television.

Faster speeds, more capacity

If even that explanation is too much, See boiled down 4G to mean faster data speeds and more capacity for internet and broadband users. And with the mushrooming of smartphone users in the world, those advantages will be important if not critical.

The Long Term Evolution (LTE) standard of 4G technology is the version customers will be seeing soon at Radio Shack/U. S. Cellular.

That might be hard to believe for people who continue to be amazed that their telephone can now provide them with their e-mail, Web browsing, picture and video taking and viewing, and game playing, not to mention any number of other functions.

“All carriers are moving toward that technology,” See said of 4G. “The whole mobile evolution will be ongoing for some time.” See said Radio Shack currently has two devices which are 4G— the Samsung Galaxy S Aviator and the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1.

More than half are smartphones

See said more than half the cellphones his store sells these days are smartphones. The Motorola Electrify and the Samsung Galaxy II are among the most popular sellers right now, but See admits that can change in a matter of months. “There’s always new and better,” he said. “They are pretty much computers.” He added that the fast-paced adaptation to smartphones can be traced to the fact people want to be connected—whether it is for work for e-mails and contacts or personal use for e-mail, Facebook, Twitter, etc.

Android-based operating systems like

those sold at Radio Shack/U. S. Cellular in Chilton continue to enjoy the largest market share among smartphones, perhaps in part because of all the applications— many of them free—available to them. There are over 450,000 apps available offering literally something for everyone.

With the growth in the number of smartphone owners and the amount of data on these tools, security becomes an even greater concern. A lost or stolen phone can mean not just the loss of the phone but personal information falling into someone else’s hands. See said applications exist which allow a smartphone owner to remotely wipe out the data on their phone if it is lost or stolen.

Something else cellphone users should be aware of is U. S. Cellular’s Belief Project, which offers these advantages to U. S. Cellular customers:

¦ Sign an initial two-year contract and you will never have to sign another contract again.

¦ Upgrade your phone at a promotional price every 18 months—or even earlier with Belief Points—without signing a new contract.

¦ With Belief Rewards, get benefits such as free ringtones, faster phone upgrades, new phones and much more.

¦ If your phone is lost, stolen or damaged, get it replaced at no additional cost with any Premium or Premium Plus plan.

¦ With Belief Plans, choose the national voice, message and data plan which is right for you.

¦ An overage cap limits overage charges at $50 for a single line plan or $150 for a family plan if you go over your monthly minutes.

¦ Sign up for auto pay and paperless billing and get up to 5 percent off recurring charges.

¦ As a U. S. Cellular customer, get added benefits including the company’s free battery swap program, overage protection, backup of your contacts list, and free incoming calls, texts and pictures.

Beyond those benefits, people flock to Radio Shack/U. S. Cellular in Chilton because of the wide variety of products offered and the experienced staff which knows about them. “We definitely stay busy,” See said, adding that people appreciate the knowledge they have about everything from cellphones to toys and Kindles to TVs. “Seeing the same faces means a lot to people,” he added.