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10/25/2010
00:07 AM
Ed Hansberry
Ed Hansberry
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LTE And WiMax Officially Not 4G

It is a safe bet that unless you are working in a lab with unreleased technology, you don't have a 4G phone in your hands, regardless of what your carrier is telling you. Does it matter though if newer technologies available are sufficiently advanced over 3G even if they don't technically meet 4G requirements?

It is a safe bet that unless you are working in a lab with unreleased technology, you don't have a 4G phone in your hands, regardless of what your carrier is telling you. Does it matter though if newer technologies available are sufficiently advanced over 3G even if they don't technically meet 4G requirements?According to an InfoWorld article, the body charged with setting standards for wireless technologies, International Telecommunication Union Radiocommunication Sector, has said that neither LTE, or Long Term Evolution, nor WiMax meet the criteria necessary to be designated as 4G.

To meet 4G standards, downstream speeds for high mobility should peak at 100Mbit/sec for high mobility and 1Gbits/sec for low mobility. Today's technologies fall far short of that. Verizon has demonstrated LTE speeds on its network in the 5-12Mbits/sec range, which is well short of 4G specs. Clearwire's WiMax runs in the 3-6Mbits/sec range, though they claim bursts up to 100Mbits/sec.

Speeds of LTE and WiMax are well above what you'd normally get on a 3G network though. Call them pre-4G or 3.5G or whatever, the carriers don't seem to care. Sprint is forging ahead calling it 4G. On their page they contrast their "4G" speeds to 3G and even have called one of their premium smartphones the Evo 4G.

So when will 4G be available? That is unknown, though some will try to project a date. It really doesn't matter. With one carrier openly advertising 4G you can be sure the rest to follow. By the time real 4G arrives, the carriers may be ready to advertise it as 5G.

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