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How AT&T Totally Flubbed 4G 199

Posted by Soulskill
from the now-with-thirty-three-percent-more-g dept.
adeelarshad82 writes "Turns out that AT&T may be lying about 4G. The company's two '4G' phones and its '4G' modem don't deliver 4G even by AT&T's own standards. In fact, test results show that the company is delivering '4G' devices that are actually slower than the carrier's own 3G devices. So how can they get away with this? Well, initially the International Telecommunications Union defined 4G as a bunch of super-fast technologies nobody used yet, but the ITU crumbled under pressure from various cell phone companies and now defines 4G as any cellular Internet network that's faster than what was considered the fastest technology in 2009. Between the revised 4G standards and a little fine print in its ads, AT&T is able to legally indemnify itself against the fact that its current 4G claim is totally worthless. While other carriers also claim that they have 4G networks, Verizon's LTE is the only technology which comes close to real 4G."
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How AT&T Totally Flubbed 4G

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  • Re:Patectic ITU (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Lev13than (581686) on Monday March 14, 2011 @04:53PM (#35484094) Homepage

    Standards bodies have become nothing but the whore of businesses.

    The main problem with standards is that they aren't.

  • by tverbeek (457094) on Monday March 14, 2011 @05:01PM (#35484188) Homepage
    This whole "G" stuff has been vague, undefinable nonsense from the beginning, or at least since before anyone outside of the telecom industry had heard the term. The debates about whether EDGE was 2G or 2.5G (as if generations were subject to real/fractional values) was proof enough of this. Calling the 2nd iPhone model the "iPhone 3G" has proven to be a misstep on Apple's part, rather effectively confusing the heck out of its model generations, and forcing them to resort to nonsense like "3Gs" before reverting to something more sensible: an integer indicating which generation of the device it is. How about calling a phone technology by... its name. LTE, CDMA, EDGE, ETC. If you want to make a boast about how fast it is, do it like they used to do with modems: give us an actual numeric speed (e.g. 1200bps, 19.2kbps). Because this xG marketing nonsense is useless... and always has been.
  • Re:Patectic ITU (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Timmmm (636430) on Monday March 14, 2011 @05:08PM (#35484294)

    Rubbish. They were too ambitious with their requirements for calling something '4G'. Seriously, 1 Gb/s connections? There was obviously going to be a generation between 10 Mb/s and that. If they had had their way we'd have that 2.75G nonsense all over again.

    Basically now 4G = LTE. I'm fine with that -- especially as it is more than a just a speed upgrade, e.g. it has (supposedly) lower latency, and is fully IP-based.

  • by Sir_Sri (199544) on Monday March 14, 2011 @05:17PM (#35484408)

    4G had a definition. 100 Mb/s for high mobility, 1Gb/s for low mobility.

    Which were basically impossible goals to reach with current technology.

    Enter HSDPA, LTE and EV-DO.

    These technologies are significantly faster (or at least can be) than traditional '3G'.

    So here's the problem. Are they 3.5G? 3G enhnaced? Are they close enough to 4G to warrant being called that?

    The answer is... change the definition of 4G. Because, and lets be realistic here, No one is rolling out True 4G networks, not even close. But they are rollilng out technologies that are 2, 3 (even more) time faster than the current technology. To consumers, doubling performance or tripling it warrants more than 0.5. Which is a problem, because well, 4G actually means something. But once one guy starts using 4G, if you aren't either you fight with them in court, or you start using '4G' and let the definitions be damned and change them.

    And when true 4G rolls around, it will itself probably be 3x faster than the current tech.

What this country needs is a dime that will buy a good five-cent bagel.

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