I found a question on Android Enthusiasts that was off topic for that site. It was about mobile networks (3G and 4G).

Does excellent 4G coverage imply excellent 3G coverage?

Is the primary benefit of 4G LTE speed, and not signal strength?

I want to sign up on T-Mobile with a Moto E, which is not an LTE enabled phone. Of course 3G is passe, so 3G coverage isn't clearly indicated on the coverage map. Do areas with 4G coverage always have 3G coverage, just slower?

Would such a question be on topic on this site? Or is there any other site (in the StackExchange network) where such a question would be on topic?

  • A phone could support only 4G in theory. Of course if there is no 4G signal that would mean you have no cell reception. No; The quality of the 4G signal has NOTHING to do with the quality of the 3G/2G signal at all. Questions about mobile phones unless its about connecting them to a computer are not on topic. In reality its more complicated. The base towers support multiple signal types, as they are upgraded, LTE coverage for instance is increased. There are still areas around the US that don't even have 3G.
    – Ramhound
    Sep 25, 2014 at 19:54

2 Answers 2


Per the help centre:

Super User is for computer enthusiasts and power users. If you have a question about …

  • computer hardware,
  • computer software, or
  • personal and home computer networking

Mobile phone networks may be built on computers exchanging data using various wireless (microwave) and wired links, but the actual technology used to communicate with a mobile phone (GSM/CDMA) is not relevant to personal and home computer networking, or specific computer hardware.

Mobile phone dongles are more common, and we would allow discussion of them insofar as they are used to connect to the internet so discussion of 3G/4G benefits might be on-topic but without the question being made very specific then it could very easily be closed as simply being too broad as random has mentioned. It could easily be too specific at the same time.

The reasons why I would want this clarified would be:

  • Almost every country uses different frequency bands for 3G and 4G transmissions. Indeed a lot of different providers use different bands for the same type of signal.
  • Different frequency signals propagate differently through (and around) various materials, this means that you can get vastly different performance between frequency bands depending on whether you are in an "urban canyon" or out in the middle of a field.
  • How far you are from the base station can mean that you get a very poor 4G signal but an excellent 3G signal, or an obstruction in the way could mean you get an excellent 4G signal but awful 3G signal.
  • There are multiple 3G and 4G technologies, and it is highly dependant on what both your device and provider supports as to how good a signal you will get.

Why I say it is too specific? There is only one good answer to your question:


*(Depending on where you are, who your provider is and what device you are using)

WiFi can easily be nailed down, we have only two frequency bands and range is not as much of an issue as it is designed to be used within a home.


That particular frame of question is subject to your location, the way marketing has pushed the benefits, other things, many things. It's too broad and may also fit being of a opinion-based conjecture. It would not be in scope.

If you had a question that was about connecting to the networks, that may be on topic, but still depends on what is being asked.

  • The question is not opinion-based. The question has a clear scope and a simple answer. If you follow the link then you would see that I answered the question and the answer is simple and fits into a Q&A format. I do not see where there is an opinion in this question.
    – Uwe Plonus
    Sep 25, 2014 at 14:30
  • 1
    Depends. Who is the network provider? How much is loading the network? Are they trying to push you to use one or the other? Does your phone have the capabilities? Do you really need it?
    – random Mod
    Sep 25, 2014 at 15:30

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