4G: Marketers Ruin Everything

Posted: Nov 21 2010, 9:01pm CST | by , in Rumors | Mobile Phones


4G: Marketers Ruin Everything
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An Open Letter to American Carriers

Dear Sprint, AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile,

I miss last year. Your ad campaigns weren't terrible then. AT&T would brag about the iPhone and pretend they didn't drop calls like they were greased eels. Verizon would tout their speedy 3G and the Droid. Sprint had the Pre, which didn't work out well but whatever. T-Mobile didn't have much to be proud of, but you sure milked Android for all it was worth.

My point is, each of you picked something special about your service and focused your ad campaigns around that. As opposed to this year, where you've apparently decided to devote your holidays to bitching about just what constitutes '4G'.

First, Sprint launched a WiMAX service and called it 4G. Then Verizon announced their LTE network and called it 4G. Then T-Mobile decided their HSPA+ network should count as 4G.

In response to this, AT&T escalated the silliness by claiming that they have the nation's largest 4G network, by T-Mo's calculations.

Today, Sprint's WiMAX service launched in Los Angeles, and a Sprint sales manager stated that, "...right now Sprint is the only national carrier with a true 4G network." Then he made a genuinely crude boast,

"How well it works depends on the size of your pipe. Fortunately, Sprint has a big pipe."

Seriously guys, is this how you think grown-up companies need to act? Bitching about which one of you has a REAL 4G network is completely asinine. Especially because none of you have a 4G network. WiMAX, LTE, HSPA+, in the wild they all deliver somewhere between 5-10 Mbps. Maybe a little higher for LTE.

But true 4G is 100 Mbps. WiMAX 2 counts as 4G, as do more advanced LTE networks.

All any of you can offer right now is an incremental improvement in 3G speeds. So why not brag about how big that increment is? Or how fancy your phones are? Or which of you has the least awful call centers?

Eventually, real 4G will come to the United States. And then what will you call it? We'll all be used to 4G by then. You'll have to lie and call it 5G. Or 4G MAX or something equally stupid. And then you'll brag about the fact that your competitors only have spooty old 4G.

I hope Google wins and turns all of you into dumb, mute pipes.

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The Author

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/5" rel="author">Robert Evans</a>
The excitement about new smartphones, tablets and anything mobile drive Robert to unearth the latest rumors and developments in this fast moving space. He adopted 4G as soon as it become available and knows where the mobile market is going.
Robert can be contacted directly at robert@i4u.com.




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