The 4G Dilemma

Posted: Nov 4 2010, 4:03am CDT | by , Updated: Nov 4 2010, 8:11pm CDT, in News | Mobile Phones


The 4G Dilemma
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All 4G currently available networks are not 4G

T-Mobile raised the awareness again around the definition of what a 4G network is for mobile devices yesterday with their launch of the new advertising campaign. T-Mobile's message is that they have the largest 4G Network in America. T-Mobile markets their HSPA+ network as 4G, which some say is wrong and LTE or WiMAX networks are 4G. As BGR points out, HSPA+, LTE and WiMAX are all not 4G. The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) has defined 4G for services that offer 100Mbps download speeds for cellphones (high mobility devices) and 1Gbps for computers (low-mobility devices). WiMax 2 will actually meet these requirements. WiMax 2 is not expected to be commercially available in the United States before 2012. This situation actually makes the T-Mobile 4G or not 4G discussion mute. They can call it 4G with the same right as Verizon calls their LTE network 4G. Technically they are all not 4G.

The 4G moniker is here to stay though. 4G means faster than 3G and that is what is important at the end. Digital Trends just did some hands-on testing of HSPA+ and Clear WiMax. WiMax beats HSPA+ in ideal conditions and they reached speeds of 9.45mbps. HSPA+ never got over 4mbps. In the average use though the difference is not that big anymore. WiMax averaged 4.29mbps and HSPA+ 2.80mbps. From a user experience these two values are very close and way better than what you can get on 3G. When is the iPhone with 4G capabilities coming again?

For deciding on which 4G service to adopt coverage is currently the deciding factor. That is where T-Mobile is in the lead, reaching 200 million people with HSPA+ by year's end. T-Mobile has launched yesterday the new myTouch 4G HSPA+ phone.

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The Author

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/2" rel="author">Luigi Lugmayr</a>
Luigi Lugmayr () is the founding chief Editor of I4U News and brings over 15 years experience in the technology field to the ever evolving and exciting world of gadgets. He started I4U News back in 2000 and evolved it into vibrant technology magazine.
Luigi can be contacted directly at




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