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Networking The Internet Wireless Networking

ITU Softens On the Definition of 4G Mobile 45

alphadogg writes "After setting off a marketing free-for-all by effectively declaring that only future versions of LTE and WiMax will be 4G, the International Telecommunication Union appears to have opened its doors and let the party come inside. In October, the global standards group declared that after long study, it had determined which technologies truly qualified for its IMT-Advanced label, sometimes called 4G (fourth-generation). Only two systems made the list: LTE-Advanced, an emerging version of Long-Term Evolution technology, and WirelessMAN-Advanced, the next version of WiMax, also called WiMax 2. Neither is commercially available yet. Stripping the official 4G title from current LTE and WiMax, which both had claimed it, was the perfect foil for T-Mobile USA to wholeheartedly advertise its HSPA+ (High-Speed Packet Access) network as 4G. But in a recent press release about the opening of the ITU World Radiocommunication Seminar 2010, the august United Nations-affiliated agency appears to have caved in."
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ITU Softens On the Definition of 4G Mobile

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  • by SuperSlacker64 ( 1918650 ) on Friday December 17, 2010 @08:37PM (#34595396)

    Well, I just skimmed it, but it didn't make anything clearer. What I get from it and understand is this:

    • The ITU defines what 3G and 4G mean, and who can call their services by those names.
    • The ITU hadn't defined 4G officially, so LTE and WiMax called themselves 4G without official permission.
    • The ITU made a big long study on all this.
    • The ITU defined 4G, and neither LTE, WiMax, or any other existing '4G' network made the cut.
    • LTE-Advanced and WiMax 2 can be called 4G, but neither of them is in usage yet.
    • If you have a phone that says its 4G, it's lying.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 17, 2010 @08:37PM (#34595398)

    As the most advanced technologies currently defined for global wireless mobile broadband communications, IMT-Advanced is considered as "4G", although it is recognized that this term, while undefined, may also be applied to the forerunners of these technologies, LTE and WiMax, and to other evolved 3G technologies providing a substantial level of improvement in performance and capabilities with respect to the initial third generation systems now deployed.

    So they're not relaxing the standard; EDGE is still 3G (per IMT-2000), and LTE is still not 4G (per IMT-Advanced), etc.; however, "it is recognized" that everyone calls EDGE 2.75g, and LTE/WiMax/HSPA+ 4g, and that standards are as usual irrelevant to marketing.

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