When Sprint decided to label WiMAX technology as “4G”, it wasn’t that long until the other operators followed suite and slapped the 4G moniker on their respective networks. Sascha Segan from PC Mag recently had a chance to speak to Chris Pearson, the President of 4G Americas, and he asked him just what the hell 4G actually means according to the organization who is responsible for defining the standards that make our mobile devices work in the first place. Pearson’s response: “At 4G Americas, our typical line is HSPA+ 21 and above.” That would make Apple’s iPhone 4S, which to the surprise of many became a 4G enabled device with the release of iOS 5.1, technically a 3G device. It also means that vast swaths of Europe are already 4G enabled. Pearson then adds: “Consumers don’t really care. All they want is a mobile broadband experience.” And at the end of the day, he’s right. Whether it’s LTE, HSPA+, WiMAX, whatever, it’s the actual throughput that matters.
That’s not too far off.