AT&T Has FauxG Too
In an otherwise impressive Developers' Day, AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) touted the 20 4G devices it would unveil this year, only saying they are a mix of HSPA+ and Long Term Evolution (LTE) devices. It brings to mind the question, if HSPA+ is 4G then why is AT&T bothering to upgrade from 4G to 4G? (See CES 2011: AT&T Accelerates LTE Push.)
Since even the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) backpedaled on the definition of 4G after T-Mobile US Inc. began perpetuating the myth, all the carriers have adopted the moniker in their marketing. AT&T was the last to join the fray. (See ITU Backtracks on '4G' Definition, ITU Says '4G' Isn't and The Battle of FauxG.)
Consumers are beginning to notice too. According to a recent The Nielsen Co. survey of 2,100 U.S. wireless consumers, 83 percent of people are aware of 4G, but only 51 percent understand what it means.
That being said, three out of 10 indicated they'd buy one of these elusive 4G devices in the next 12 months. Who says expensive purchases have to be informed decisions? (See CES 2011: Verizon Takes 10 With LTE and CES 2011: HTC 4G Phones for All!.)
It would've been nice to see AT&T stay out of the marketing fray, but you can't blame them when no one else will. Plus, with consumers planning FauxG-phone purchases and having a wide array of pretty sweet new devices to choose from, the "G" distinctions become less important -- although no less annoying.
— Sarah Reedy, Senior Reporter, Light Reading Mobile