ITU Backtracks on '4G' Definition

5:10 PM Perhaps it was swayed by T-Mobile's 'HSPA+ as 4G' marketing?

Sarah Thomas, Director, Women in Comms

December 13, 2010

1 Min Read
ITU Backtracks on '4G' Definition

5:10 PM -- The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) kicked off an all-out marketing war in October when it proclaimed that Long Term Evolution (LTE) and WiMax were not, in fact, 4G. Hence, the term FauxG was born and the term "4G" rendered meaningless. (See ITU Says '4G' Isn't and The Battle of FauxG.)

But, now, it appears the ITU is backpedaling on its definition. Buried in an ITU press release from last week, ABI Research analyst Philis Solis noticed that it said that the term 4G is designated for LTE-Advanced and WirelessMAN-Advanced, although "it is recognized that this term, while undefined, may also be applied to the forerunners of these technologies, LTE and WiMax, and to other evolved 3G technologies providing a substantial level of improvement in performance and capabilities with respect to the initial third-generation systems now deployed." (See ITU Ratifies LTE-Advanced.)

So, essentially, the ITU is claiming that even HSPA+ is "4G," whereas before it said not even LTE was worthy of the moniker.

The new definition doesn't change anything. It's still the network speeds, bandwidth, and latency that matter more than marketing, but the messaging is getting watered down.

It's all just fauxG to us now.

— Sarah Reedy, Senior Reporter, Light Reading Mobile

About the Author(s)

Sarah Thomas

Director, Women in Comms

Sarah Thomas's love affair with communications began in 2003 when she bought her first cellphone, a pink RAZR, which she duly "bedazzled" with the help of superglue and her dad.

She joined the editorial staff at Light Reading in 2010 and has been covering mobile technologies ever since. Sarah got her start covering telecom in 2007 at Telephony, later Connected Planet, may it rest in peace. Her non-telecom work experience includes a brief foray into public relations at Fleishman-Hillard (her cussin' upset the clients) and a hodge-podge of internships, including spells at Ingram's (Kansas City's business magazine), American Spa magazine (where she was Chief Hot-Tub Correspondent), and the tweens' quiz bible, QuizFest, in NYC.

As Editorial Operations Director, a role she took on in January 2015, Sarah is responsible for the day-to-day management of the non-news content elements on Light Reading.

Sarah received her Bachelor's in Journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia. She lives in Chicago with her 3DTV, her iPad and a drawer full of smartphone cords.

Away from the world of telecom journalism, Sarah likes to dabble in monster truck racing, becoming part of Team Bigfoot in 2009.

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