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4G/3G/WiFi

ITU Says '4G' Isn't

1:40 PM -- WiMax and Long Term Evolution (LTE) are certainly faster than 3G, but they aren't fourth-generation wireless networks in the true sense of the term. The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) said today that only 802.16m WiMax 2 and LTE-Advanced are technically 4G -- and those won't be deployed until 2015.

Everything else gets air quotes.

Light Reading Mobile has been saying that since the term was coined, but the ITU makes it more official that the networks Telia Company , Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S), MetroPCS Inc. (NYSE: PCS), and others have rolled out are quite literally not up to speed. Those are only 3.9G, the ITU says. (See Las Vegas – Mobile Broadband Capital of the US and ITU Approves New 4G Specs.)

All that really means is that the carriers should stop using the term 4G in advertising or fall back to T-Mobile US Inc. 's favorite expression, "4G-like speeds." (See 4G World: Faster 3G in US – Charting HSPA+, 4G World: AT&T to Go to 21Mbit/s HSPA+ in 2011?, and T-Mobile's HSPA+ Rivals Clearwire, US LTE Speeds.)

Probably won't matter much as most consumers have no idea what "G" their phone is anyway.

— Sarah Reedy, Senior Reporter, Light Reading Mobile

kaps 12/5/2012 | 4:20:41 PM
re: ITU Says '4G' Isn't

Not to slight the very important standards work, but somehow I don't think marketing departments are going to take much notice of the ITU's definitions. Nor will most headline writers. Unless the ITU starts throwing free-beer bashes for the media at trade shows.

kaps 12/5/2012 | 4:20:41 PM
re: ITU Says '4G' Isn't

Not to slight the very important standards work, but somehow I don't think marketing departments are going to take much notice of the ITU's definitions. Nor will most headline writers. Unless the ITU starts throwing free-beer bashes for the media at trade shows.

sarahthomas1011 12/5/2012 | 4:20:40 PM
re: ITU Says '4G' Isn't

Yeah, none of the wireless operators are going to stop calling it '4G,' 'next-generation,' 'awesome,' or other adjectives. But technically, its gotta have peak data rates of 1Gbit/sec and none of the current deployments do.

Koda23 12/5/2012 | 4:20:38 PM
re: ITU Says '4G' Isn't

Also reminds me of the radio ads I've heard for ISPs who describe their bandwidth in MBPS, but just say it as letters of the alphabet, rather than "megabits per second."


I guess they figure the average consumer doesn't know what Mbps is, but just knows that they need a lot of them.


So the wireless carriers can talk about whose "4G-like" technology is the "4G-est."

sarahthomas1011 12/5/2012 | 4:19:45 PM
re: ITU Says '4G' Isn't

You can find the release on their site: http://www.itu.int/net/pressoffice/press_releases/2010/40.aspx

RussLarson 12/5/2012 | 4:19:45 PM
re: ITU Says '4G' Isn't

Sarah,


Do you have a link to the ITU announcement that WiMax 2 and LTE-Advanced are the only current true 4G solutions?


Thanks.

RussLarson 12/5/2012 | 4:19:45 PM
re: ITU Says '4G' Isn't

Thanks for quick answer!


Russ

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