Casino gaming on smartphones is set to explode when 4G networks become the norm, according to online casino operator. The first of these new high-speed mobile data networks, provided by Everything Everywhere (a joint venture between Orange and T-Mobile) came on stream in 2012, and other network operators are expected to follow suit in 2013.

The new networks are claimed to rival the type of connection speeds that are associated with fixed-line broadband connections. This means that you can watch streaming video, view graphics-heavy websites and generally enjoy a much faster browsing experience.

From an online gambling perspective, it presents a number of interesting possibilities. First, it will make live dealer mobile casino gaming possible on smartphones without a Wi-Fi connection for the first time. A live casino game is much like a standard online casino game, except for the fact that the computer dealer has been replaced with a real dealer, filmed live in a small TV studio. The betting actions of the players are relayed to the dealer, and the results of the dealer’s actions are then digitized and relayed to the players via their betting consoles. Due to the high bandwidth required to stream video, it has not been possible to play these games on the slower 3G networks used by most smartphones, but this is all expected to change when 4G goes mainstream.

Second, it will make the whole experience smoother and more reliable, and allow for more elaborate graphics and animation. At the moment, mobile casino games are limited by bandwidth, which means that all but the most basic of games need to be downloaded in the form of an app in order to play them on the move. 3G connections can be inconsistent and experience frequent dropouts, which is far from ideal when playing online casino games. This is why many mobile gamers prefer to wait until they are within range of a Wi-Fi connection rather than risk losing their connectivity at a crucial moment when playing on sites. 4G promises to offer this type of connection quality in a much broader range of locations.

As you might expect for a brand-new technology, 4G connections are pretty expensive when compared to bog-standard 3G ones, and the data limits are comparatively miserly. Also, coverage is far from universal, with many areas of the U.K. unable to take advantage of the 4G capabilities of new smartphones such as the iPhone 5. However, as more networks enter the fray, and old 2G transmitters are taken down to make way for 4G ones, we can expect to see much better coverage – and much lower prices to boot.