However, in early December it seemed to relent from that stance. Buried in a press release, it said that LTE and WiMax may be called 4G since they offer improved performance over 3G.
Consumers may also be confused because the data rates they get ultimately will depend on whether they have a device that works on the fastest networks. Currently, the only way to access Verizon's LTE network is using a USB dongle with a laptop.
Countless new devices were announced last week, few of which are yet available, to run on all the faster networks. AT&T said it plans to launch 20 new 4G devices this year, with the first appearing in March. One of the new phones is the Motorola Atrix, which runs on HSPA+. The Atrix can be paired with a docking station that looks like a laptop but has no CPU.
Verizon showed off 10 new devices that will run on its LTE network, including one of the first tablets to run the Honeycomb version of Google's Android operating system. That tablet, the Xoom, will come from Motorola. The first version will run on Verizon's 3G network, but buyers will be eligible for a hardware upgrade later that will make it compatible with the LTE network. Verizon isn't yet explaining the logistics of such a hardware upgrade.