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4G/3G/WiFi

CTIA 2011: Famously FauxG

2:45 PM -- ORLANDO, Fla. -- International CTIA WIRELESS 2011 -- I had to laugh when I saw that Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S) CEO Dan Hesse told The Wall Street Journal on Tuesday that his company's WiMax phones were "4G not fauxG."

You see, I think I coined that term last year, in part to describe the rampant abuse of "4G" as a marketing term, with Sprint, Verizon Wireless and others in mind. At the time, the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) didn't class either WiMax or Long Term Evolution (LTE) as true fourth-generation (4G) wireless technology. 4G was supposed to achieve 100Mbit/s maximum downlink on the move and a whopping 1Gbit/s download when stationary.

I first used the term in a November 9, 2010 blog called "The Battle of FauxG" about wanting some more real-world data on wireless performance beyond the top download speeds possible if you're right next to a cell tower. I can't find an earlier usage. If you can I'll update the story.

I'm happy that the term has taken on a life of its own. The amusing thing is that the ITU loosened up its definition of 4G so much in the intervening months that what we might have thought of as fast 3G or an interim technology now counts as 4G anyway.

So, basically, we're all fauxG now.

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Light Reading Mobile

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