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ITU: Just Kidding, Call Whatever You Want '4G'
Though companies were busy ignoring the ITU anyway
by Karl Bode 08:02AM Monday Dec 20 2010 Tipped by DarnellP See Profile
Back in October, the ITU declared that Mobile WiMax and LTE weren't technically "4G," and that no major wireless carrier was technically deploying 4G networks. According to the ITU, only technologies like LTE-Advanced, capable of speeds over 100 Mbps, could be considered 4G. Carriers almost gleefully ignored the declaration, T-Mobile arguing their HSPA+ build was the "largest 4G network," while Sprint and Verizon also made "4G" part of marketing for their respective Mobile WiMax and LTE networks. Apparently the ITU was just kidding, as they've now expanded their definition beyond WiMAX 2 and LTE-Advanced to include the current generations of those technologies: WiMAX 802.16e and LTE. From a release:
quote:
Following a detailed evaluation against stringent technical and operational criteria, ITU has determined that “LTE-Advanced” and “WirelessMAN-Advanced” should be accorded the official designation of IMT-Advanced. 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.
According to the ITU's new "clarification," you can technically call anything you'd like 4G as long as it offers a nebulous but "substantial level of improvement in performance and capabilities" over existing 3G technology. In other words, nothing has technically changed -- the ITU has decided to bend to the whims of the nation's wireless marketing departments; the same marketing departments that were apparently intent on ignoring what the massive, global standards body thought anyway.

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mob
On the next level..
Premium
join:2000-10-07

Yes!

People can safely know that they will be price gouged for only the newest tech.

cdru
Go Colts
Premium,MVM
join:2003-05-14
Fort Wayne, IN
kudos:7

Re: Yes!

said by mob:

People can safely know that they will be price gouged for only the newest tech.

Telcos didn't need the ITU's blessing in order to price gouge.
kingofdsl

join:2002-12-11
Elgin, IL

1 recommendation

The ITU made themselves irrelevant

They put the U.S. carriers in that position. They have no one to blame but themselves.

FFH
Premium
join:2002-03-03
Tavistock NJ
kudos:5

Re: The ITU made themselves irrelevant

said by kingofdsl:

They put the U.S. carriers in that position. They have no one to blame but themselves.

4G was always a marketing term anyway. It never was a technical term. The ITU made a mistake when they made a stink about 4G ads in the 1st place.
xenophon

join:2007-09-17

Re: The ITU made themselves irrelevant

I agree. Delivering 100Mbps as an avg performance for many dozens on one site is not likely in the foreseeable future. Advanced LTE and WiMAX 2.0 can do it but will there be enough spectrum for most carriers? Backhaul is a challenge too.

Requiring 100Mbps for 4G is not very realistic for many many a year. 4G may as well be 10Mbps to distinguish from previous 3G - and yes, it's OK to label HSPA+ as 4G if it looks like a duck.

ptrowski
Got Helix?
Premium
join:2005-03-14
Putnam, CT
kudos:4

So what's the going price....

To buy off the ITU? Anyone know?

m35g35

@wideopenwest.com

Re: So what's the going price....

probably... "that'a boy!"
openbox9
Premium
join:2004-01-26
japan
kudos:2
Irrelevancy and the desire to not be?

fifty nine

join:2002-09-25
Sussex, NJ
kudos:2
said by ptrowski:

To buy off the ITU? Anyone know?

The ITU is an arm of the UN. You know that, right?

ptrowski
Got Helix?
Premium
join:2005-03-14
Putnam, CT
kudos:4

Re: So what's the going price....

said by fifty nine:

said by ptrowski:

To buy off the ITU? Anyone know?

The ITU is an arm of the UN. You know that, right?

Yes. So your assumption is that of course companies could not have any effect on their decision making or in this case going back on a decision?

Maxo
Your tax dollars at work.
Premium,VIP
join:2002-11-04
Tallahassee, FL

1 edit

Woot!

Yay for semantics! As long as the product has the keywords I'm looking for, I'll buy.
edit: Spelling. Thanks WernerSchutz See Profile
WernerSchutz

join:2009-08-04
Sugar Land, TX

2 recommendations

Re: Woot!

Symantec was not involved in this semantics over 4G issue.

funchords
Hello
Premium,MVM
join:2001-03-11
Yarmouth Port, MA
kudos:6

Now they're over-reacting in the other direction

Overall, a good move by the ITU, but it takes more than a substantial capacity (speed) boost to make it a next-generation. It should have also evolved, somehow.

Essentially, today's so-called 4G deployments are evolved over 3G, so all is well. However, I disagree with the notion put out by the ITU that anything that is much faster is next generation.
--
Robb Topolski -= funchords.com =- Cape Cod, MA -- KE1MO
Tweet! Tweet! -- »twitter.com/funchords

djdanska
Rudie32
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join:2001-04-21
San Diego, CA
kudos:4
Reviews:
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·Verizon Broadban..
·Clear Wireless

1 edit

does it really matter what we call it?

They where calling handsets with max speeds of 3.6Mbps 3.5G a few years ago. Now that HSPA+ has moved to 21Mb connections, i would clearly say it has improved 3g technology. Hell, even my t-mobile 3g connection went from 600kbps down to just under 7Mbps down.

And to be honest, i can really care less what they call it. Call it panther speed. whatever. lol Just like i don't care what comcast calls it's docsis 3 tiers. Tell me the details tell me the latency, the max speed, the cap, will i be throttled. And right now i will take my 3g t-mobile connection with 7.2Mb max speeds (my own hardwares max capability, not network) on its existing network vs. verizon's lte. If i want to match verizons 4g speeds, all it takes is one phone call to t-mobile. I'm eligible for a upgrade, to a 4g data card. done.
--
The day the child realizes that all adults are imperfect, he becomes an adolescent; the day he forgives them, he becomes an adult. The day he forgives himself, he becomes wise.
Alden Nowlan

NYR 56
Premium
join:2000-12-05
Smithtown, NY

Re: does it really matter what we call it?

said by djdanska:

They where calling handsets with max speeds of 3.6Mbps 3.5G a few years ago. Now that HSPA+ has moved to 21Mb connections, i would clearly say it has improved 3g technology. Hell, even my t-mobile 3g connection went from 600kbps down to just under 7Mbps down.

And to be honest, i can really care less what they call it. Call it panther speed. whatever. lol Just like i don't care what comcast calls it's docsis 3 tiers. Tell me the details tell me the latency, the max speed, the cap, will i be throttled. And right now i will take my 3g t-mobile connection with 7.2Mb max speeds (my own hardwares max capability, not network) on its existing network vs. verizon's lte. If i want to match verizons 4g speeds, all it takes is one phone call to t-mobile. I'm eligible for a upgrade, to a 4g data card. done.

I agree with this. Although people here at DSLR love to kick and scream how these services aren't "technically" 4G, does it really matter? There should be a term to show that they are substantially better than 3G (and they are), so why not use 4G? The big, scary carriers needed a term, and the ITU failed to provide one, so they picked it themselves. Oh the humanity!
tmc8080

join:2004-04-24
Brooklyn, NY
Reviews:
·ooma
·Optimum Online
·Verizon FiOS

new paradigm

wireless telecom created a hodgepodge of digital voice & wireless broadband solutions. some of which interoperate or are compatible between carriers. the carriers will eventually see a need to coalesce around 2-3 standards rather than what they have today: create one interoperable chipset to work with & be done with it--- well, that's the blueprint for focusing direct competition between the carriers instead of having them play 5 card monty with contracts, handsets, handset mfg., fees (let's call this anti-consumer business practices), and the label used for the RF chips used to transmit the "0"'s and the "1"s.

also, thanks to android, handsets utilized are rotating from 6 to 12+ *smart* handsets per year depeding upon carrier.

prepaid: little smart phone love.

moldypickle

join:2009-01-04
Haughton, LA
kudos:2

hmm

i still can't get my 3g connection on ATT to go past about 1.5 megs.....

can't wait to see their 4g. 3 megs?

jimbo48

join:2000-11-17
Hayward, CA

1 recommendation

Okay what is 4G?

I have to pay an additional 10.00 a month for the "Rich" content that 4g offers so I'd really like to know what 4G is. Sprint continues to charge 10.00 a month for this rich content but I'I have failed to see what value this "rich content" is. If there is no standard that defines 4G then the Telcos should be forced to retract any claims(and charges) that refer to 4G and stick to definitions and deliverables that are quantifiable. I too don't give a damned what you call it but if you're charging me money for IT you better be defining it clearly.