Will "5G" become a worthless term before the next generation of wireless communications technology is even defined?
Smart Communications Inc. , an operator in the Philippines, is being called out for marketing its newly launched LTE-Advanced service as "5G" in ads. Peter Bryer engagingly calls it "generation inflation" in a CCS Insight blog on the topic.
It's nothing new, of course -- LTE-Advanced was originally defined by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) as one of the first actual real 4G technologies. Many carriers, however, marketed everything from 3G HSPA+ to LTE and WiMax as "4G," and the ITU backpedaled on the definition (See The Battle of FauxG, 3GPP Stands Firm on LTE-Advanced, Why You Should Care About LTE-Advanced (Eventually) and ITU Backtracks on '4G' Definition.)
Fifth-generation (5G) wireless technology, of course, isn't even standardized yet. We're just starting to get a picture of some of the technical elements that might make up the eventual standard. The earliest operators are expecting to deploy the technology is 2020. (See Radio Revolutions on the Road to 5G and The 5G Landgrab.)
So, just remember: If a nice operator tries to sell you its new service as "5G," that just can't be so. It's even not close to 2020 yet.
— Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, Light Reading