4G in America: Lies, Lies, and More Damn Lies

Listen up America, by the end of this year, and most definitely during 2011, you’re going to be bombarded with advertisements that stretch across all forms of media, tempting you to hop on board a 4G network. Let’s get this out of the way right now: 4G, as the word is currently being used, is nothing but a marketing term.

The International Telecommunication Union, one of the bodies that is responsible for setting the technology standards that handset vendors and infrastructure providers follow so that their equipment actually works together, said in October 2009 that they’ve received six proposals for technology that deserve the 4G label, and that those proposals are “aligned around the 3GPP LTE Release 10 and beyond (LTE-Advanced) technology and the IEEE 802.16m technology”.

Let me break it down for you.

Clearwire is building a WiMAX network, otherwise known as 802.16e. The second version of WiMAX, called WiMAX Release 2, but technically known as 802.16m, is up for consideration as proper 4G technology. What’s the difference? 802.16m is supposed to provide up to 1 gigabit per second speeds while you’re sitting at a fixed location, and 100 megabits per second while you’re on the go. That’s a far cry from the “average mobile download speeds of 3 to 6 mbps and bursts over 10 mbps” that Clearwire said they’re achieving as of yesterday.

What about LTE-Advanced? That’s not even a standard yet, and it isn’t even expected to become one until March 2011. In Sweden, where TeliaSonera is currently enjoying the title of being both the first and only provider of commerical LTE service, people are already experiencing “data rates above 25 Mbps more often than below” and reaching “45 Mpbs downlink on some occasions”. That’s nothing compared to the 1.2 gigabits per second Huawei achieved today at CTIA using LTE-Advanced.

Back to the International Telecommunication Union, they’ve said that they’re not going to name which technologies are going to get the prestigious “4G” moniker until October 2010, so from a semantics point of view, any operator saying that they’re building a 4G network is being deceitful and are driven by a bunch of asshole marketers.

Now as for the speed increases that consumers are going to be seeing during the end of this year, and during the course of 2011, here are several things you need to know:

Devices like the HTC EVO 4G are going to be incredibly niche. That device in particular has a 3G CDMA radio that it will use for voice and text messaging, and a WiMAX radio that it will use for data. Reviews are not out yet, and I’m not a betting man, but I have a strong suspicion that battery life will be atrocious. Sprint is pushing themselves into a very uncomfortable corner. There are never going to be any pure WiMax mobile phones, and investing in CDMA is a waste of money at this point, so they’re going to have to depend on manufactures like HTC to continue making Frankenstein like devices supporting their dual network technology infrastructure to keep up with all the other network vendors.

Verizon Wireless, currently a CDMA provider, has committed to covering 100 million people with LTE by the end of this year. That’s brilliant because they’re finally going to start using a technology that the rest of the world has decided to implement, but for some odd reason they’ve decided to roll out LTE on the 700 MHz band while Europe and Asia are going 2.6 GHz. Now some countries are going 800 MHz for LTE, while others have been given permission to use the 900 MHz spectrum they already own to roll out LTE service, so we’re basically going to be in a situation where you’re going to have to make sure the LTE device you’re buying supports the country you’re in. We’ve only now started seeing devices that roam across global 3G frequencies, how long do you think it’ll be until you see a mobile phone sporting hexaband LTE?

Speaking about LTE handsets, Verizon said that they’re not even going to offer an LTE device until the middle of 2011. That’s a full year away. And like the HTC EVO, it’s going to be something that’s been hacked together, have terrible battery life, and will not be purchased by many people.

Then what about speed? This month Verizon Wireless said that they have hit “average downlink rates of 5Mbit/sec to 12Mbit/sec and average uplink speeds of 2Mbit/sec to 5Mbit/sec” during their trials in Boston and Seattle, which leads me to ask: why is it so much slower than what TeliaSonera customers are getting in Sweden?

Anway, T-Mobile, who was late to the 3G game, and has a limited amount of 3G handsets since they’re using an even weirder chunk of spectrum, the 1700 MHz band, is ironically in the best position right now. They’ve committed to HSPA+ and are going to be able to cover 185 million people in 100 markets by the end of this year. Their technology is supposed to reach theoretical speeds of 21 Mbps, which in reality will prove to be half that, but that’s still 10 megabits. Handset makers are also going to find it much easier to make HSPA+ products than LTE devices. Best thing about HSPA+ is that it supports the voice infrastructure that’s already in place. LTE, which was a data only network technology until about a month ago, needs new infrastructure equipment to support voice!

So there you go. To recap: 4G is a marketing term, real 4G doesn’t exist yet, Clearwire is good for data only, devices like the HTC EVO 4G are going to be few and far between, Verizon Wireless is building an LTE network that’s running between 25% to 50% slower than what TeliaSonera is currently achieving in Sweden, T-Mobile with their 21 Mbps HSPA+ technology is in a very awesome position, and AT&T … well, fuck AT&T.

They need to fix the 3G network they already have.

Update: In case you’re wondering what I’m getting with my operator, Saunalahti, here is a screenshot of a benchmark I just took on my Google Nexus One which just so happens to support 7.2 Mbps HSPA. I’m getting about 45% of the theoretical speed, so in other words the network is being maxed out.

Update: Kevin Tofel, Editor of jkOnTheRun, contacted me to share a link of a video he produced last month where he demos T-Mobile’s HSPA+ network in Philidelphia. Towards the end of the video he shoves his T-Mobile SIM inside a Nexus One, and like the screenshot above, he runs the SpeedTest.net Android application. Check out the results he got:

  • Breon

    I just started following your RSS feed today. I’ll be deleting it from my reader because of this post.

    Very unprofessional.

    • Stefan Constantinescu

      Ciao.

      • Batman

        I liked the post!

        • Nariman

          Good job! These are the facts people should know…

          • King

            Awesome post. Criticizing a few companies does not make u un-american…where do these commenting jokers come from? Gonna subscribe to your feed cos this is the type of honest reporting that initiates real change. Keep it up.

    • Tyson

      I will replace you on this site. Keep being in denial buddy.

      • Alice Bevan-McGregor

        +1. With the exception of a few glossed-over issues (where the technical reason isn’t widely known, e.g. frequency effecting theoretical throughput) I found this article excellent.

  • Nate

    Devices like the HTC EVO 4G are going to be incredibly niche. That device in particular has a 3G CDMA radio that it will use for voice and text messaging, and a WiMAX radio that it will use for data. Reviews are not out yet, and I’m not a betting man, but I have a strong suspicion that battery life will be atrocious.

    I don’t think there’s any reason to believe this at this point. For battery life in the EVO 4G, I would think the huge 4.3″ screen will be a much bigger factor. CDMA + WiMAX will probably be insignificant since when one isn’t used it would presumably be in a ultra-low power idle state.

    Don’t rule out WiMAX just because of this.

    • Random Loser

      Not familiar with radio tech much? Higher power/faster radios eat more power – and tend to be the biggest power consumer in mobile devices when they are running at full power. The WiMax radio probably consumes around 10x what the CDMA radio does.

    • Alice Bevan-McGregor

      I’ll also mention that modern displays are migrating to LED backlights (much, much lower power than ELP) and some devices to OLED displays which require even less power (as the pixels emit the light, rather than blocking an “always-on” panel).

      An active radio really is the power sink in a mobile. Mine even gets physically warm when in-use, indicating energy transfer to heat; inefficiency.

  • absurdsequitur

    Brilliant article, although no one will pay any attention to it since most people live and breathe on marketing, not reality — but still brilliant, seriously!

    @Obancelli – wow, someone honestly criticizes the media hype and you accuse them of hating their country? A bit touchy, eh?

    • Marinperez

      Oh, let’s be clear: Stefan hates America. There are too many jeans for him to buy. Also, freedom is like poison to him.

  • Peadar

    Excellent article. Can’t believe the criticism *rolls eyes*

  • quagmire

    guess people don’t like the truth. lol. good article, spot on.

  • Kilari

    Blah Blah Blah. All this talk and nothing that I give a crap about. Sprint has a faster network than normal 3G, and so does Tmobile. Thats all I care about. What I’ve come to understand is it doesnt matter if Verizon and Sprint are CDMA and AT&T and Tmobile are GSM. It doesnt matter if you have a Tmo sim card that will fit into an iphone, or an AT&T that will fit into a Tmo Nexus One. They’re all locked to their carrier. Who cares about bands and what not, just buy the phones that the carrier offers and be done with it. I like Sprint cus their prices are great, their coverage is just fine. No other reason. No marketing hooplah, just dollars. I’m thinking with my wallet. I like my Pixi just fine, but wish it had wifi. I hate my work phone which is a G1, so I’m thinking of going Nuron to save the company a buck. BTW Tmobiles 3G sucks ass, slow as all hell. I dont know if its the G1 that is slow to render webpages or their network being slow, either way its unacceptable now that I’ve tried my Pixi on Sprint. Also I’ve had issues with all phone carriers with some phones dropping calls. It comes down to handset issues with the network. Its not Sprints, Tmobiles, Verizons, or AT&Ts fault. Some handsets suck at talking to the network. So with all my nonsense spouted. I think this article has some info, but still nothing that I care about or will change my life. If sprint has a handset they claim to be 4g and its faster than the 3g handsets out there. GREAT! If Tmo decides to label all their HSPA+ phones 4g cus its faster than all the other networks 3g. I’ll be ok with that too. So in the mean time stop hatin on Sprint.

    • Stefan Constantinescu

      Feel free to remain ignorant of the technology that powers your mobile phone and your mobile operator’s network.

      I’m not pushing information down anyone’s throat, and if you’re fine with Sprint then congratulations and enjoy your service.

      • Monkey804

        G1 is like a dinosaur of Android phones. Even with a modded phone, the browser is only a tad faster than the non modded phone.

      • Monkey804

        Great article by the way. Stopped me from making a jump to Sprint for their “4G”. Although I do like the phone.

    • Ean

      I just tested using WiFi and Speedtest on the G1 and on a heavily saturated network I was getting 2334kbps down and 667kbps up.

      The browser aside, the processor is actually faster than most of what’s out there still. I don’t think it would negatively affect your speed. As for the browser rendering speed, I don’t notice because I modded my phone. So I can’t give you a real answer on that one.

      I use Cyanogenmod. I typically browse with Opera 5 now that it’s out though.

  • João Campinhos

    Great article, but i have two questions:

    I guess LTE is going to be the European Standard. So are you saying that LTE is not 4G? So we will need more years until LTE-Advanced?

    The other question is: With LTE or LTE advanced, we don’t need UMTS/LTE chips, since LTE can transfer data and make phone calls? Because mobile phones now have GSM/UMTS chip, and i think it will be better to have a phone with only UMTS or only LTE or whatever.

    • Stefan Constantinescu

      LTE is not 4G, and I can’t give you an estimate as to when we’re going to see LTE-A networks hit the scene.

      LTE is also not a European standard, it’s a world wide standard. What frequencies people use to deploy LTE is another question. Verizon is looking to use 700 MHz, AT&T 850 MHz, Europe and Asia predominantly 2.6 GHz, but some countries are doing 800 MHz, others are doing 900 MHz, and I have no clue what Asia is doing, but it’s even more numbers.

      The reason why phones today support GSM, UMTS and HSPA is to give the best coverage. No doubt there will be GSM, UMTS, HSPA, and LTE devices down the line, but you don’t want a device that can only do UMTS or only do LTE. What happens when you step out of the coverage zone?

      You can’t call or text anyone.

      • Random Loser

        Frequencies used are largely due to regulation within the countries the carriers are operating in. T-Mobile phones tend to actually operate in 4 bands and multiple protocols giving them roaming compatibility with the AT&T network (and a few internationals), just in case there’s a weird situation where, you know, AT&T actually has a better signal or you’re not in the US.

  • Kevin

    > for some odd reason they’ve decided to roll out LTE on the 700 MHz band

    Why odd? Verizon and ATT paid billions of dollars for the 700Mhz band in the USA because it was available.

    Moreover, the USA is geographically huge compared to other countries. For every 700Mhz base station, it would take two or three 2.6Ghz base stations for the same coverage.

    • Stefan Constantinescu

      From a land mass perspective, the EU is 1,669,807 square miles, with the whole of Europe being 3,930,000 square miles. The Contiguous United States, meaning the large chunk, and excluding Hawaii and Alaska, is 2,959,064 square miles.

      The EU set a recommendation that everyone use 2.6 GHz for LTE so that technology can be compatible throughout the whole continent.

      What I don’t want to see happening, like it’s already happened with GSM, and with WCMDA, is that EU + Asia gets all the awesome devices first, and then a variant that supports different bands needs to be made, usually several months later, and sometimes never!

    • Charbax

      Yup, the 700mhz spectrum is the best to use. No matter if you do LTE, WiMax or whatever you want to call it.

      700mhz spectrum reaches further and with more bandwidth.

      The best network is going to be unlicensed use of the 700mhz spectrum, the so called White Spaces for free unlimited bandwidth wireless broadband.

      White Spaces on 700mhz is the most disruptive wireless broadband network that the big telecoms don’t want you to know about. Because if we all start using free unlicensed 700mhz, the telecoms would go out of business, and they don’t want to stop making billions of dollars in profit. Telecoms are the second biggest business in the world, right after oil.

      My theory is that Google and others will be able to implement city-wide 700mhz white spaces coverage for very low costs. Not even millions would be required to setup the 5000 or so micro base stations in a city to completely cover it with enough bandwidth to use on a million Android smart phones. My theory is that those micro base stations could even be as small and as cheap as a WiFi router, like a Fonera router, that Google would simply give or sell to consumers all over the city. Plug those in ADSL, Cable and Fiber, and you could cover a whole city with wireless broadband on 700mhz for about $1 Million (5000 x $20).

  • Nick

    I liked the article… The author is right, 4G is not the right name for the current mobile services! I always confused me, because as i know 4G should be so much faster tan what we are getting now.

  • Lionel Menchaca

    Stefan: You raise some interesting points about what really is 4G, but in my experience so far, users don’t care as long as they get much more usable speeds on the go.

    I’ve been a Clear customer for 2 months now using their home and mobile service. At home I get between 9 – 11 Mbps steadily. Much better than the 6Mbps that SBC offers in Round Rock.

    Mobile speeds vary, but I have very good experiences based on connectivity and speed. Out in several places in Austin and Round Rock, I get speeds of over 15Mbps. Do I care if it is proper 4G or mot? Heck no.

    Bottom line, it works now and it works well in my experience. When it gets even better… that’s a bonus.

    Thanks,
    LionelatDell

    • Stefan Constantinescu

      Glad to hear that you’re enjoying Clearwire’s service. My main problem is the semantic issue, but like you said, consumers like you using WiMAX on their Dell (or any other brand) laptop don’t care as long as Clearwire delivers on their promise.

  • Jebus

    After reading these comments I now understand why mobile service is in the abysmal state that it is in the United States right now. Continue cheering on the companies that are screwing you over and making obscene profits due to a lack of serious competition amongst telecom’s.

    Seriously, do you guys love lagging behind the rest of the world in terms of internet speeds for both mobile and regular broadband?

  • Alex Mamouzelos

    At last, someone who really knows…. I am telling the same thing to people but no… they are insisting that 4g is here… Not even close!! Awesome article!

  • Joseph Chagan

    This is absurd. Just because a tech hasn’t been listed as 4g yet, doesn’t mean ti won’t be. There are 2 competing standards. Much like CDMA and GSM. Both of which are 3g. The fact that WiMax doesn’t handle voice differently from data doesn’t mean it isn’t capable of both. My cable modem at home only handles data and yet Skype works just fine. The future is pure data my ignorant friend. Google knows this, which is why Google/voice exists. But you obviously know more than they do. 4g = 4th generation mobile technology. I’d say a jump from 2-3 downloads to 45 justifies a new generation.

    • Alice Bevan-McGregor

      CDMA isn’t a standard, as much as American companies want it to be. Local CDMA providers up here in the Canadark recently switched their infrastructure over to GSM/3G. GSM is the -world- standard.

  • Mike

    I think this post is totally off-base. 4G is exactly that, fourth generation. Talking about the coming fifth wave is like talking about going to see a movie before it’s been made. Sure, I may want to see it, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to wait until it comes out before I see another movie.

    You are also missing the distinction between bursting speeds and constant speeds in your calculations. I do not see constant Wimax speeds over EVDO, period.

  • THX1138

    I recently signed up with Stelera wireless internet using HSPA+ and am more than happy with it, I think it is fantastic. The speeds are eye popping sometimes.Its a relief to be able to say something nice about a company for once.

  • NiceTry

    I’m curious that no one has pointed out (unless I missed it) that your picture is showing Mbps, and his is showing kbps – and his upload speed is SLOWER than yours. And download isn’t that much higher. Should I send you one in bps so I can multiply it by 1000 again?

    Your argument is invalid. Please enjoy these parting gifts.

    • Alice Bevan-McGregor

      In the metric system (another worldwide standard with one glaring exception) kilo is 1000, not 1024. Mega = 1000 kilo. 4310/1000=4.31 > 3.27 which is a ~32% increase; not insignificant. Though I’ll agree that it’s interesting that the upload speed was slower.

      Please enjoy these parting gifts.

  • Alice Bevan-McGregor

    I have several points to make:

    1. If T-Mobile’s HSPA+ is running at a lower frequency than elsewhere, it will be slower. Simple example: running 802.11n WiFi at 2.4GHz will be half as fast as running it in 5GHz mode. Higher frequency = more throughput.

    2. The real problem here is cellular companies attempting to hold on to established capitalist business practices where profit always comes first. Cellular providers lock you in (contracts), limit your abilities artificially (extra cost to allow VPN access over the network, tether, etc.), and provide data as an afterthought to telephony. They’re phone companies first and foremost, and are frightened to death of VoIP. Technologies that could be implemented -right now- to improve network efficiency are being ignored, most specifically IPv6.

    My perfect dream wireless provider provides data. That’s it. My “cellular phone” is a data device that uses VoIP (with better codecs like Speex for higher sound quality or reduced bandwidth, faster feature rollout through software updates) and allows for provider portability. I can use the 1¢/min long-distance provider, or use one more expensive for better reliability and quality. DID (dial-in / phone number) providers are separate from outbound. I could run my own Asterisk server and automatically route calls to the cheapest or higher quality providers on a per-number basis (if I were to be retentive).

    The state of cellular service in North America as atrocious. When I was visiting Panama for 9 months a few years back I noticed something. -Everyone- had one to three cellphones with an average of two. Nobody used landlines. Cellular service cost a few dollars a month. There were no contracts, call quality was extremely high, and the phones themselves were dirt, dirt cheap. Pay-as-you-go cards could be purchased from street vendors and there were daily deals on certain denominations of card. x2, x4, and even x8 as much ‘value’ as the card cost on some days.

    My 2¢,
    — Alice.

    • spookie

      So you don’t believe business is about making money? Really.

  • lex

    Hey, thanks for the article. I was thinking exactly what you said. I hate how people jump the gun and nothing is final. Like someone else said, don’t complain when you get the phone and it works and suddenly in a few months time it stops working cause the final revision of the technology is different. Just go get an update if its available, if not, learn from your experience. I think there should be a PSA about what it means to be an early adopter.

    This article highlights some very important ideas of the new technology and new speeds. While the new speeds might be faster, they are not the “fast” speeds they could be. They are going to be week, they will use this as an excuse to build up prices to “improve” the network and then it will go up slowly while they suck us dry and then claim they have run out of resources lmao, like really? I wish more people understood the technology so they wouldn’t get ripped off so blatantly.

    Keep up the writing!

  • inspin

    I appreciate the truth in this article, you’ve laid out the information well so all can understand. BUT, it’s not amazing. Amazing would be to have the courage to tell the hard truth with civility.

    But I still thank you for the information. Information is power.

  • Elmer Fudd

    awesome article … i laff every time i see that sprint commercial with 4g in there…what a joke…like they said …there are NO 4g devices even being manufactured right now…nuff said

  • Dennis PEt

    I am with you on this article. The EVO 4G is not enough to make people dump their carrier for Sprint. I am much more excited to get HSDPA+ on my Nexus one. People in NY are getting 6 MPBS a second. Thats PLENTY for a phone. Tmobile rocks and I won’t be dumping them for a long long time.

    • Stefan Constantinescu

      Your/My Nexus One supports a maximum HSPA rate of 7.2 Mbps. No HSPA+ for us.

  • J. Harper

    I agree that (x)G is, and has always been marketing mumbo jumbo. HSPA+ is considered 3.5G, but is faster than what is marketed as 4G? That’s just silly. Here’s what really matters though, spectrum efficiency. WiMax can reach 100mbps. HSPA+ is faster now, but can’t keep up in the future. LTE is the future standard, Sprint’s CEO ADMITTED THIS ON STAGE AT CTIA!!! Sprint went with WiMax because it’s now, and it’s entirely possible to switch from WiMax to LTE. Sure, it’s an added expense, but being first to market with a truly unlimited data plan and faster speeds than number one and number two (who Sprint’s really competing with) makes that added expense worth while.

    I think you’re just a little upset about buying a Nexus One, and then HTC comes out with a device as good in some ways, worse in others, and better in some ways than your device. Here’s the deal Sprint said they weren’t going to charge extra for “4G”, and the Evo 4G can be a hot spot. I’m guessing they’ll charge, or try to charge, for the tethering (hotspot) capabilities. So, if you’re in a “4G” market then why not take advantage of the extra speed? Not to mention the device itself is heinous. Yeah, maybe the battery life will be miserable, but this thing also has pretty big battery. Did you notice the “4g widget”? As in, you can turn the WiMax chip “on/off” and minimize the power drain. The battery drain won’t be 10x that of a CDMA chip, that’s exaggerated and you know it whoever wrote that. Even if it’s twice that of CDMA, guess what? You download twice as fast… so if it takes me half the time to dl something that’s basically equivalent battery life. The difference is, I can drain my battery watching high def videos and instantly uploading streaming camera content. I’d rather have the option to drain my battery in such a fun way.

    Also, my Sprint plan allows for full device upgrades every year. So, hey, maybe this is just tech gap tech. Outdated in a year or two… why do I care? I’ll have a great year or two with the device in the mean time. That’s Sprint’s strategy, and you can say it’s silly until you’re blue in the face, but people are excited and Sprint’s stock price is rising. So a recap, my phone won’t have some of the neat features yours has (these are really overlooked, but Google/HTC put some cool/unique tech in the Nexus One). It will have an amazing display, great cameras, an equally fast connection (since you have HSPA), a kick stand (long overdue), and plenty of other cool and mostly equivalent features. My data use for WiMax will be uncapped. I’ll still have 5gb of CDMA data use. I have an unlimited everything plan, except for minutes. I share 1,600 minutes between five phones. But… we have unlimited mobile to mobile for any network… which basically negates the need for minutes in the first place. We pay $25.60 per line, which is the reason why people use the Sprint network in the first place. Cheap plans, and customer service reps willing to hand out discounts. Navigation, sprint TV, sprint radio, internet, texting, BIS, basically everything we want, for $25.60… and now we’ll have HSPA speeds, that according to Clear/Sprint will be increasing. I already get 9.41mbps at my house. Clear said speeds would go up 20 – 30% in most markets by the end of the year. So yeah… I think people will like the Evo 4G, despite the marketing lies regarding the 4g label. I know I’ll like it.

  • Valentino

    Aren’t you the same guy who wrote an article saying that Apple will never, ever, ever make a tablet?

  • Watcher

    Ha ha, good on yeah, exposing the Emperor with no clothes. I was looking through all the standards and coverage and the abysmal standard of 3G in US is disappointing. Don’t even start on 4G. The WiMax thing has been admitted by Sprint to be a stop-gap measure for 3-4 years until the actual LTE/”4G” is finalized.

    Why do they want to roll out WiMax? Coz they got the frequency band through their acquisition and is in a “use it or lose it” situation.

    The non-standard 3G frequency is one of the reasons why US don’t get that many choice of handsets. It also makes those roaming in US a pain.

    As for speed, that is actually pathetic. I got a graph to show that nearly 2 years ago, I could download over 700kB/s sustained, that is about 5+Mbps when I was downloading an iso that was cached by the provider.

  • John

    We already have 4G in norway, It’s 10x faster than 3G. We were the first to get it.

    -Only in Norway. Don’t have it America? Sux 4 u.

    You can’t have everything first you know.

    • hiRidge

      Norway had smug dicks before we did, that’s for sure.

      • John

        Why don't you go to McDonalds and get fat or something you stupid american piece of shit.

    • parul

      Who cares if we're first, it just better work correctly.

  • Jason Bing You

    Omfg you all are fucking dumb! T mobile is in the worst spot and always has been. They are making the same mistake that they made with edge and this time they will probabally sink themselves considering even metro pcs has plans of launching an lte network before the year is up. And to the point of pre not being a 4g standard that’s bs too. It really is the only 4g standard. Wimax is based off WiFi and hspda + is just 3g . It has high end theoretical downlink but will never even come close to the theoretical downlink or uplink speed of lte. T shitble says they expect theoretical speeds of 21mbs lte has one of 326.4mbs which is no joke regardless of what some jack asses might think. So in theory I bet t mobile will be merged or fold in America within the next year and at&t and Verizon will kill sprint. There’s no room for multiple standards in the market anymore thus why the move from cdma 2000 to lte by Verizon in America will probably be the smartest most profitable move of a US cellular provider in decades by also opening there network to the rest of the world.

  • ryvrdrgn14

    It’s funnier here in the Philippines. Wi-tribe calls itself a 4G service offering you awesome 1 mbps connections with a 6 gig monthly limit before they drop you down to 128 kbps.

  • John

    Norway got 4G in 2009. The speed is up to 100 Mbit/s. So you can't accept that we were first, you just deny it? Pathetic. Just search "4G Netcom" on Google, and there you have it. FIRST.

    • Elroi92

      the first 4g network with “up to” 100 mps/s was built in stureplan in stockholm sweden by telia

  • Justin

    i love my EVO!!

    i have 4G at my house, and oh, by the way, i just got 7.61 download, and 1.9 upload!!

    what was that hating on the EVO again??

  • spookie

    I don’t know that we can say the HTC EVO 4G will only be purchased by a few people, considering Sprint has had enormous difficulty in keeping them in stock. They’re selling like hotcakes. Not, mostly, for 802.16e radios, but for other high-end features not found on other phones. Like, for instance, a huge glass display, an 8MP camera, a 1Ghz Snapdragon processor, and an 8 device mobile hotspot at half the price monthly of Sprint’s stand-alone hotspots. Those are why I bought mine.

    I do agree that LTE and WiMAX are NOT 4G standards, and Sprint T-Mo should be advertising these as 3.5G, at most.

  • AyyVee

    Qbancelli – you must be an idiot. America should revoke your citizenship instead.

  • Shimmy

    Hey buddy, one of the great things about this country is free speech. That means that he can criticize this country all he wants, and he has the freedom to do so.

  • Gonzobot

    Um…I think the point IS that the US is trying to be first. The problem is, they can’t be first at something that doesn’t even exist yet. If you go and buy a 4G phone right now, in six month’s time (when you’ll still have 2.5YEARS of payments, don’t forget) the ACTUAL 4G service will be finalized and rolled out – and you’ll be confused as to why YOUR ‘4G’ device doesn’t work.

    Lern2read before you make stupid comments.

  • Skysnail

    Freedom of Speech is different to allowing yourself to be LIED to by marketeers. These network operators should be prosecuted for misrepresentation. The reason International Standards are set up is to allow compatability primarily; and comparison additionally. If Apple, etc misuse the term 4G then the new standard will have to be called something else when it is decided to avoid confusion with the inferior marketing term.

    I wouldn't even be surprised if they haven't already bought all the URLs for 4G related sites to tout their own products.

    I know I'm cynical but there are too many stupid people in the world who don't believe that marketing is not based upon truth at all, but simply about money-making.

    This is an excellent article and will serve to educate the world on the facts relating to the existing standards and future direction.

    Well done Stefan!!

    Wake up Qbancelli

  • K-Styles

    Thank you for taking the words right out of my foaming mouth, this guy is such a fucking idiot. I can’t stand it when people try to compare the united states to the EU or Europe.

  • Guest

    Freedom of speech doesn't mean freedom to slander or jump the gun (oops sorry forgot US people love to jump the gun in general) and start flaming.
    The article is written with passion but also disappointment. It makes it subjective and also a little biased. But that's what most reporters do so i really don't see a point to neither Shimmy not Qbancelli's posts.
    Furthermore, US being first? Does that matter? Don´t you prefer to have something that works instead of being the first one to take a piss against the wind and enjoy the shower of bugs?
    God help "us" (all) against people who are so brainwashed that they keep miss quoting the freedom of speech rights to hide common verbal abuse (yes shimmy you as well in this case) and gun wielding rednecks who cry out "you will pry this gun from my cold dead carcass". Thank you for reading my own trolling post and i hope it at least makes a few of the rotten apples take a minute to think.

    +1 for the article but really….unless u want it to be propaganda you need to take a more neutral stance. Report on flaws without an obvious personal emotion reflected.

    /Swedish guy who live in central Stockholm and doesn't buy TeliaSoneras marketing campaign for even a second.

  • spookie

    Apple doesn’t claim any iPhone uses 4th generation radios. The 4G in the name is fourth generation of iPhone, just as the 6G in the Nano’s name indicates it’s the sixth generation of iPod Nano. No term is being misused.

  • spookie

    Like the people who bought 802.11n routers before the standard was ratified? I KNOW my EVO’s 4G refers to 802.16e, and it will continue to work on 802.16e networks no matter what standard gets implemented. Sprint told me as much. People who buy things without knowing what they are and what they do are stupid, and don’t deserve protection. That’s what is wrong with the world.

  • spookie

    Actually, it DOES mean the freedom to jump the gun, and, to a limited extent, to slander. Personal opinion isn’t legally considered slander.

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