4G pictureIn the midst of a 4G revolution sweeping across the world’s telecommunications industry, there seems to be one important question that no one ever felt like answering: what exactly is 4G??

In order to fully answer this question, there are a few misconceptions that must be cleared up first, including simply what “4G” stands for:

– 4G is quite simply the 4th generation of telecommunicationsstandards, not “4 G’s” worth of data
– As just mentioned, 4G is a new level of telecommunications standards, not a new type of telecommunications technology – and was not bestowed upon us by the tiny, green Android robot, nor a result of a lightning bolt hitting tree (as Verizon would have you believe)
– The iPhone 4 is NOT a 4G-capable phone (it is merely the 4th generation of Apple’s iPhone, and operates on a 3G network *as denoted by the little “3G” symbol in the top left of the screen)
– ALL of the current providers who claim to have a 4G network (T-Mobile, Verizon, and Sprint for example) are essentially committing false advertisement, or in other words, lying to the general public (*but are doing so with the consent of the ITU)

Now, let’s address this topic from a more technological standpoint, and cover why current “4G” is not “real 4G.” As we now understand, 4G is a set of telecommunications standards, as defined by the ITU (International Telecommunications Union) way back in 2008. According to these standards, in order for a carrier to qualify as a 4G provider they must be able to support download speeds of 100 Mbit/s for high mobility communications (trains, cars, etc.) and 1 Gbit/s for low mobility communications (pedestrians, stationary users). Currently, not one of the carriers branded as a 4G provider have met these standards, and are therefore not truly 4G networks.  As blatantly stated by the ITU, “Any claim that a particular technology is a 4G technology or system today is, in reality, simply a market positioning statement by the respective technology advocate.” However, all major carriers that label their networks as “4G” are allowed to do so by the ITU because they are implementing technology to meet 4G standards as we speak, and will actually have real 4G networks in the very near future. Get excited.

“The consumer now is in a unique position to influence, through their buying behavior, what kinds of platforms and standards their companies need to support.
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