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ITU says LTE, WiMax and HSPA+ are now officially 4G

Posted: , by Alan F.

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ITU says LTE, WiMax and HSPA+  are now officially 4G
The International Telecommunications Union has expanded its definition of 4G service to include WiMax, LTE and HSPA+. This decision comes a couple of months after T-Mobile and Sprint had started calling their respective HSPA+ and WiMax offerings 4G in advertisements. Verizon has started promoting its LTE service as a 4G connection. While AT&T is the only one of the four major U.S. operators not to promote a 4G pipeline, the carrier did dispute T-Mobile's claim of owning the largest 4G network in America, as we reported. And Sprint even said that it had the only real 4G network in the U.S.

Under the old definition, only WiMax2 and LTE-Advanced were qualified to be called 4G networks. It is possible that the ITU took notice of the bickering amonst the top U.S. carriers and decided to make the change. The press release from its December meeting reads, "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. The detailed specifications of the IMT-Advanced technologies will be provided in a new ITU-R Recommendation expected in early 2012."

Now that we have the official word from the ITU, this should bring to an end the question of which carrier has a real 4G offering for its customers. According to the new definition, Verizon, AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile all have a 4G network.

source: ITU via Phonescoop

51 Comments
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posted on 18 Dec 2010, 14:00 5

1. smpdx (Posts: 127; Member since: 02 Nov 2010)


SCREW THE ITU!
No one cares what a group, set up by the UN, has to say about anything!

I said from the begining that this group was a sham and that they created these "qualifications" for "4G" AFTER Sprints 4G network was established.

And now they are saying hspa+ is 4G??? WTF

Verizon and Sprint are the only ones with 4G. HSPA+ blows and it ISNT 4G.
Like I said, SCREW THE ITU!

posted on 18 Dec 2010, 16:08

8. Galen20K (Posts: 541; Member since: 26 Dec 2008)


HSPA+ IS 4G, get over it moron.

posted on 18 Dec 2010, 16:15 5

9. smpdx (Posts: 127; Member since: 02 Nov 2010)


So why doesn't AT&T advertise it as 4G then? They do have the largest HSPA+ network.

posted on 20 Dec 2010, 12:45 1

30. smpdx (Posts: 127; Member since: 02 Nov 2010)


What the heck. Either people can't handle being ***** slapped or phonearena is deleting peoples comments.
Now everything looks out of order and is confusing.

posted on 19 Dec 2010, 08:03

17. JeffdaBeat (unregistered)


Dude, I agree. I've been the biggest LTE and WiMAX are not 4G...but at least those were different technologies. Now a 3G technology is 4G? What the fuck is going on?

And you know why this doesn't work for consumers? Because cell companies don't have to invest in innovation. There is no push to make it better. They can sit on 3G and say, no this is 4G...without doing anything at all. LAME LAME LAME!

posted on 20 Dec 2010, 12:54 1

33. smpdx (Posts: 127; Member since: 02 Nov 2010)


Except... I believe LTE and WiMAX are 4G...
I even said so... right down at the bottom of my rant.

posted on 02 Jan 2011, 14:02 1

49. stopcryinitsjusafone (Posts: 10; Member since: 02 Jan 2011)


It's not the same, now I'm sure you must be pretty upset and have your panties in a bunch because you pay extra with I'm guessing sprint for 4g and not get it but there is a diffrence, speed tests have determine this.. THIS IS FACT. so get off your drum set questlove and read a news article about technology. This is your real daddy signing off!!

posted on 31 Jan 2011, 17:04

51. rp8083 (Posts: 1; Member since: 31 Jan 2011)


Except the ITU definition of 4G as outlined in ITU-R M.1645 was published in January 2001. 10 years ago. A bit before Sprint established their "4G" network.

posted on 18 Dec 2010, 14:11 1

2. omarc26 (Posts: 360; Member since: 05 Dec 2009)


well yeaa hspa+ may not be 4g but it sure as hell is faster than sprints so called 4g wimax network over here in La t-mobile smokes sprint in terms of speed the highest i have seen on sprint on my friends evo is 7 mbps on 4g and on my other friends my touch 4g the highest i seen is 12 mbps but they still dnt beat me im using the lg laptop stick from verizon and the highest i have gotten is 26 mbps up and 14 mbps down on verizons Lte network

posted on 20 Dec 2010, 18:49

41. uofmrules (Posts: 48; Member since: 11 Oct 2010)


Glad everyone thinks they know the answer on whos type of network is better. Here are the tested results.

LTE (Verizon) Average between 5mps-12mps
WIMAX (Sprint) Average between 3mps-6mps
HSPA+ (AT&T, T-Mobile) Average between 1.5mps-7mps

Now as we can see LTE is by far better and Wimax/HSPA+ battle for last.

The biggest difference which people don't look at is depth benetration into buildings. LTE is 700 mhz where WIMAX is at 2500 mhz and HSPA+ averages about 1500 mhz. The lower the better, so LTE is the fastest and will allow you to get better phone signal inside a building as well.

So really the only fighting that can be done is over who has the worst.

posted on 22 Dec 2010, 11:19

43. WillieFDiaz (Posts: 120; Member since: 22 Dec 2010)


But remember the lower the frequency, the more battery life you sacrifice (this will be the case with WiMAX too in the beginning as seen on the EVO and EPIC), but also the lower the frequency the less bandwidth can be used. So... We will see whos network is faster.

posted on 22 Dec 2010, 20:24 1

46. Tim of Colorado (unregistered)


Of course to have LTE, you're limited to 5Gb/mo. for $50. I average 8Gb/mo and that number goes up all the time. A two hour streamed movie is about 3Gb by itself.

So, 5Gb, limits a user to 1 movie, some browsing, some emails, and some GPS. No wonder they don't have HDMI on their phones. Slingers: 1 movie a week=$120/mo on Verizon.

Verizon is good for old rich people that just want to talk, or farmers. But for middle class techies, they suck.

posted on 23 Dec 2010, 07:14

47. uofmrules (Posts: 48; Member since: 11 Oct 2010)


Those are aircard plans, and aircards as of right now are not made to be used to that type of use.

Don't complain about something that you are trying or want to use for a purpose it's not made for.

posted on 28 Dec 2010, 13:25

48. corps1089 (Posts: 492; Member since: 20 Jan 2010)


TIm of Colorado is correct on the data limits, only it is for curernt 3G: Big Red's contract details for data usage on 4G remain yet to be seen...

posted on 18 Dec 2010, 14:12 1

3. techhead209 (unregistered)


hspa+ actually has quicker download and upload times even though it is just revamped 3g......larger coverage wiyh rate plans that dont incur overages like verizon and at&t,which the limit is set at 5gb before yhey start to ream you.......personal opinion is that t mobile despite not being on wi-maxx or lte is still faster than its competitors....Mytouch 4G

posted on 18 Dec 2010, 14:41 5

4. smpdx (Posts: 127; Member since: 02 Nov 2010)


Thats probably because you dont live in a well covered Wi-max market,
I live in Portland, OR. We were the first city to send out a 4G signal and the second city to recieve Clear's Wi-Max.
And I can tell you, WiMax is WAAAY faster than tmobs hspa+.

@omarc26. I would LOOOVE to see you post a pic of you getting 12mbps. I highly doubt you are getting those speeds.

HOWEVER, that is all besides the point. The point is, HSPA+ is NOT 4G! AT&T has a larger footprint of HSPA+ than tmob, yet tmob still advertises that they have the largest 4G network. They are lying twice in one sentence. They dont have 4G and it is most certainly NOT the largest hspa+ network.
Verizon has 4G, I didnt argue that. The argument is "What is and what isn't 4G?" Not "Who has the fastest network?"

And FYI, tmob DOES have a HSPA+ data cap. Once you hit 5GB they will slow you down to as low as 2G speeds. If you dont believe me, look it up!

posted on 19 Dec 2010, 19:04 1

28. JT04 (unregistered)


I live in Atlanta and the TMo is lot faster than EVO4G. I have compared it with a friend who has and even TMo HD2 which is not a HSPA+ device but leave EVO in dust. You may want to compare it again.

On the other note, do some research and you will find the ATT does not have as large coverage of HSPA+ coverage as TMo.

posted on 20 Dec 2010, 17:08 1

37. smpdx (Posts: 127; Member since: 02 Nov 2010)


I dont know how many times people need to say this, but not EVERYWHERE you go, will have the same speeds/coverage.
Heck, I get great coverage at work, but 15 miles at my house, it sucks. (I have verizon).
You have to realize their is a bigger picture here. Your city is not the only city on planet earth.

The reason WiMAX and LTE don't have good coverage and reliable speeds yet is because they are a new technology. It takes a lot of work and money to build out a new infrastructure.

Tmob already has good 3.5G *cough* coverage because it is not a new tech. They didnt have to build out a new infrastructure. They used their current one. Its fast, sure, but it isnt 4G.

btw... AT&T has 80% of its footprint covered with HSPA+

posted on 20 Dec 2010, 18:54

42. uofmrules (Posts: 48; Member since: 11 Oct 2010)


4G did have to be 100MPS. Thats why Verizon advertised they had 4G because they have tested it as high as 100mps. The ONLY company to do so. We just won't see those speeds for a long time. So it seems like to make every company happy a usless groupd called ITU said sure lets just say every network is now 4G.

The ONLY network to really have 4G is LTE/Verizon.

posted on 18 Dec 2010, 14:45

5. not a cell phone employee (unregistered)


Why do cellular employees comment here? Noone wants to hear your biased comments.

posted on 18 Dec 2010, 15:10 4

6. smpdx (Posts: 127; Member since: 02 Nov 2010)


Yeeeeaaah.... because you don't have a biase.
Tool.

posted on 18 Dec 2010, 15:13 1

7. Doakie (Posts: 2108; Member since: 06 May 2009)


I have Sprint as my personal line and Tmobile as my work phone so I don't have any favouritism. Honestly Tmobiles HSPA+ network its faster than Sprints WIMAX network, the upload speed is quicker and the ping is lower. With that said, I love my Mytouch 4G.

posted on 18 Dec 2010, 17:23 1

10. deejhayes1977 (Posts: 6; Member since: 01 Dec 2010)


I dont give a rats ass what anyone says, Sprint's 4G in DC is stellar and very reliable. Enough said for me.

posted on 18 Dec 2010, 17:27 2

11. Slammer (Posts: 1515; Member since: 03 Jun 2010)


In the outline of the report, I saw no indication the The ITU mentioned HSPA+. It specifically said that a "3G network with significant improvement in performance and capabilities". HSPA+ does not fall under this category. It does have increased speeds, but any carrier could be capable of this. However, Long Term HSPA+ would fall under the definition due to increased throughput of the technology just as LTE and WiMAX technologies integrate.

Speeds are NOT the only ingredient in what the next generation technology will bring. It is important that we not focus on just speed variations.

John B.

posted on 18 Dec 2010, 17:46 4

12. Slammer (Posts: 1515; Member since: 03 Jun 2010)


Furthermore, this means Sprint/Clearwire, Verizon and MetroPCS are the only Wireless carriers to offer 4G in the country.

John B.

posted on 18 Dec 2010, 17:51 1

13. smpdx (Posts: 127; Member since: 02 Nov 2010)


Exactly!

posted on 18 Dec 2010, 19:32 2

14. kanon (Posts: 36; Member since: 09 Dec 2010)


lol at everyone getting mad about this.

posted on 18 Dec 2010, 21:00 1

15. smpdx (Posts: 127; Member since: 02 Nov 2010)


Its fun to get mad! HAHA

posted on 18 Dec 2010, 22:50 1

16. erik (unregistered)


for all u saying the HSPA+ is 4g its not its more like 3.5 g becuase over in eurpoe they have the HSPA+ and they never called 4g but 3g take a look at the htc hero form the uk it had an H insted of 3g just like the g2 here in the us so t-mobile doesnt have 4g there jus really big douche bags who think they have it only verizon and sprint have true 4 g

posted on 19 Dec 2010, 09:15 1

18. networkdood (Posts: 6330; Member since: 31 Mar 2010)


For those that get great speed ratings in your home area....just wait until you travel to ALASKA...or KALAMAZOO, MI....lol

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