If T-Mobile wanted to get attention for its HSPA+ network without trying to sell that ungainly label, it could promote its "3G+" network; that would be an honest way to say it's a little faster than the other guys (this week, anyhow -- AT&T is also rolling out HSPA+). But that's not as bold as using the 4G label, I guess, never mind its lack of relationship with the truth.
I find it interesting that the two carriers in the United States struggling to maintain their customer bases -- T-Mobile and Sprint -- are also the ones using false 4G claims. It shows their desperation. Even if users don't know what 4G really means, they know fear when they smell it.
The next time you buy a mobile device or pick a mobile carrier, here's a handy guide to the alphabet soup of cellular technologies and what generation they belong to:
- 2G: GSM, CDMA, TDMA
- 2.5G: GPRS, EDGE, CMDA2000 1xRTT
- 3G: UMTS, W-CDMA, CDMA2000 EV-DO, TD-SCDMA
- 3.5G: HSDPA, HSUPA, HSPA+, Flash-OFDM, WiMax (IEEE 802.16d and 802.16e versions now being deployed), LTE (the first 3GPP version now being deployed)
- 4G: WiMax Release 2 (IEEE 802.16m), WirelessMAN Advanced, LTE Advanced, MBWA (IEEE 802.20) -- none of these is ready for commercial deployment, by the way
Don't let the carriers say otherwise.
This article, "The lie about so-called 4G gets worse," was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Read more of Gruman et al.'s Mobile Edge blog and follow the latest developments in mobile technology at InfoWorld.com.