How is that for a sensationalistic headline? Please don’t get this twisted, all 4 major carriers are either in the process of implementing some kind of newer, faster network called “4G” or “4G Speeds” however the International Telecommunications Union Radiocommunication has denounced both “Wimax”, the 4G carried by Sprint and Clear, and LTE, the next generation for Verizon and AT&T as NOT 4G.
The standards board for the ITU-R has stated once again that “4G” needs to have benchmarked downstream speeds of 100mbps, yes that’s super fast and not even close to what is offered by the current versions of both Wimax and LTE. In their current state both Wimax and LTE offer speeds of 1-3 mbps downstream on an average. We’ve seen faster speeds out of WiMax but a far cry from 100mbps. T-Mobile’s current higher speed offering is HSPA+ is more of a 3.5G and was never truly considered 4G. In a post over at Androidandme.com Taylor Wimberly explores that a little more in depth.
Wimberly’s story titled “Rumor: T-Mobile to Call The Other Carriers Bluff”, is further substantiated by the news from the ITU-R
True 4G will be found in the next generation of wireless networks called “LTE-Advanced” and WirelessMAN-Advanced”. WirelessMAN-Advanced is also known as IEEE 802.26M. A lot of this information was highlighted in the World Wireless Congress’ 4G Summit held in San Francisco earlier this year
The ITU- Standards Board’s ruling highly discourages the use of the moniker “4G’ on these networks that are not true 4G, obviously it may be a little too late. A Clearwire representative said “WiMax, and the LTE products that are coming out, are all sufficiently advanced past the 3G networks to indicate that they’re moving forward.” A spokesperson for Verizon Wireless, America’s largest and most reliable 3G network echoed the same message stating “The ITU’s current technical definition in no way affects our plans to launch the world’s first large-scale LTE network later this year. We’re all about real people using actual products and services.” Basically saying that LTE is faster and that the general public won’t really care what it’s called.
T-Mobile may actually have the safest marketing in regards to “4G” by putting out the message “4g Like speeds”