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4G or Not 4G?

Dan Jones

6:40 PM -- There's a debate on the Unstrung message boards at the moment about what exactly constitutes 4G technology.

We've been tending to err on the side of caution and refer to mobile WiMax and Long-Term Evolution (LTE) as "so-called 4G", "proto-4G," or "mobile broadband." The long and the short of it being that current technology doesn't yet meet the capabilities required of 4G required by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) .

Which just leaves us with a debate about what your favorite flavor of OFDM radio technology is -- LTE or 802.16e -- and perhaps misses the point slightly. Users don't really care what networks their devices work over, but they do like new services enabled by 2.5G, 3G, and 3G-plus, or whatever you wish to call it. Whether the network will let people do cool and useful stuff is really the bottom line in all this. Witness the angst over the problems with initiating 3G iPhones and Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL)'s MobileMe.

People want access and they don't really care how it works... as long as it works.

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Unstrung

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