Why some “4G” phones are not quite 4G
0. phoneArena 16 Sep 2011, 08:51 posted on
In today's state of the market, one of the most touted and sought-after features in phones is 4G. Indeed, the ability to take advantage of much faster data speeds, compared to what we had just a year ago, is nothing short of awesome...
This is a discussion for a news. To read the whole news, click here
1. dhageorge (unregistered)
isn't this why ppl have been calling their 4G: "4G" right now. This is really non-news we had the definitions for all of these technologies and knew the specs of those phones. Thats why at&t as the "*with enhanced back haul" on the back of every HSPA+ device. So in at&t's mind with new "enhanced" back haul combined with HSPA+ will give people 4G like speeds. they actually laid it all out on their website:http://www.att.com/network/ nothing new really and AT&T didnt really hide anything and that was why i thought everyone was already bashing their 4G already as not being true 4G.
27. jogutier (Posts: 324; Member since: 12 Feb 2010)
I think AT&T taught us this back when they would put 3G on their phone that were only edge compatible. LOL!!!
2. bxKIDD (unregistered)
T-Mobile 3G/4G is still faster then everything else aside from VZW's LTE, and most of the times Sprint's horrible WiMax Service.
4. SF Steven (unregistered)
The fact that it's faster than everything else except VZW LTE isn't the point: they're advertising something that they're not delivering.
It's the same as a restaurant that offers a prime rib dinner that turns out to be gound beef with fillers and slathered in A-1 steak sauce, using the logic that "it's so much better than plain hamburger meat, we feel it's just as good as prime rib".
Or selling a car that gets 80mpg*
*as long as you're always driving downhill with the wind at your back, in teeny tiny print on page 10 of the paperwork from the car dealer.
The fact that it's better is irrelevant, the issue is that they're misrepresenting the product and benefitting from that. If they didn't get an increase in sales for 4G phones (vs. 3G), they wouldn't do it.
13. darth8ball (Posts: 519; Member since: 02 Aug 2011)
The precedent has been set in of all places Cable Television. Cablevision announces the fastest internet speeds, but no one gets those speeds. If both the system and user both meet under optimal conditions(never comes even close in reality) those speeds could be reached. that makes their claims possible however unlikely but still legal to advertise.
It is up to the consumer to be aware of just how probable those speeds actually happening are and if they are willing to pay for that chance. An informed consumer is their worst nightmare
35. p0rkguy (Posts: 684; Member since: 23 Nov 2010)
Actually all ISPs either provide a note saying that they are "capable" of those speeds or say speeds up to xxMbps/xxMbps.
Also, I get constant 12-15Mbps/2Mbps on OOL and already planning to upgrade to 50/8.
109. Laron (unregistered)
Who would thumb this down, it makes perfect logical sense.
33. bigdawg23 (Posts: 410; Member since: 25 May 2011)
Yes it maybe but they should classify it as "4G". To me these devices are 3.5G at best. Download on both AT&T and T-Mobile can be the same at VZW LTE in areas. My iPHone 4 runs faster than Sprints WiMax.
Now when it comes to LTE on VZW remember the use is up where HSPA, HSPA+ and WIMAX are.
3. SF Steven (unregistered)
I think this falls under "bait and switch" according to the FTC; I think highly publicized lawsuit(s) would be the best way to force carriers to be honest...unfortunately, I bet most carriers lock customers into arbitration to settle disputes, preventing class-action suits.
It's their world, we just live in it.
5. Chakra (Posts: 127; Member since: 02 Dec 2009)
I agree, I think the FTC should sue these companies for unfair trade practices. Why they don't is beyond me. They are literally lying to millions of people. Thousands of companies are sued for much less than that.
6. PimpStrong (Posts: 310; Member since: 25 Jul 2011)
I just wish they didn't say "4G LTE". One or the other should suffice.
7. Alantef (Posts: 287; Member since: 14 Sep 2011)
Verizon is by far the fastest! i used it to get online with the PS3 second is easily T-Mobile which isn't slow at all but it gets the job done and last is a tie...at&t sucks and not anywhere near the top two and sprint is not only slow but you CANT stay in 4G for a good amount of time
20. darth8ball (Posts: 519; Member since: 02 Aug 2011)
AT&T has been accused by the FCC of overloading data spectrum while they are pleading to have the Tmo merger go through. They also have unused spectrum they purchased last year and I think they are holding on incase the merger isn't approved.
8. snowgator (Posts: 3346; Member since: 19 Jan 2011)
I have gotten to the point where I ignore the 4G designation, or at least belittle it. There is 3G, what I refer to as 3G+ when the 4G comes up in conversation, WiMAX, and LTE. LTE stands alone, and I make sure everyone who asks me about phones knows it. I have gone out of my way to talk speeds, not designations,
14. remixfa (Posts: 14253; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)
when it comes to real world average speeds, VZW is only ever so slightly faster than Tmobile. For 60% less and no overages, I'll take Tmobile. :)
Wimax is as slow as it gets for most of the people (exept for ATTs fake 4g), since the clearwire networks are oversaturated which slows it down.
17. taco50 (banned) (Posts: 5506; Member since: 08 Oct 2009)
Remix how is that possible when theoretical speeds on T-Mo are 21.1 and 100 on LTE?
AT&T's fake 4G is HSPA+ just like T-Mo and they're launching LTE this month was it? T-Mo is way behind in this area.
Also in this article T-Mo actually admits to false advertising.
24. remixfa (Posts: 14253; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)
because like always, your an illinformed dodo.
the top speeds on Tmobile right now are 42mbs, with a real world in the mid 20s to low 30s that ive seen on the data cards. (since we dont have a phone yet that does 42mb/s)
The top speeds seen on VZW have been in the 30s in actual usage.
LTE-ADVANCED is 100mb/s, which is NOT what VZW uses
we have now had this conversation like a dozen times and you still cling to misinformation. wake up. geeze.
30. taco50 (banned) (Posts: 5506; Member since: 08 Oct 2009)
LTE advanced has theoretical of 1gbps an real world of 100mbps or higher. How many times do you have to be proven wrong?
31. taco50 (banned) (Posts: 5506; Member since: 08 Oct 2009)
"Besides the peak data rate 1 Gbit/s that fully supports the 4G"
40. remixfa (Posts: 14253; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)
it is NOT WHAT VZW USES YOU ILLITERATE DODO.
Geeeeeeeezus.. how many times a day do your parents smack you for not listening..
," it was only the next-generation LTE-Advanced and WiMAX 2 technologies that were considered 4G, due to their ability to offer download throughputs of about 100 Mbit/s"
its even in the article.. learn to READ. NEXT GENERATION.. AS IN.. NOT THIS ONE! There is no such thing as LTE-Advanced on ANY carrier nor Wimax2 yet!
VZW uses LTE basic. Its not gonna get any faster until they pop it up to LTE advance which isnt supposed to be sometime after 2015 when the network is fully on LTE. In that same time period, IF tmobile still exists they are planning 84mbs by NEXT YEAR. VZWs speeds arent going to get faster than the 7-30mb/s they get now for a few years.
As of right now in actual speed tests with a 42mb/s card on Tmobile vs an LTE one on VZW, they are both within the same ballpark with VZW taking a slight lead.
Either wich way, that shyt is fast.
80. taco50 (banned) (Posts: 5506; Member since: 08 Oct 2009)
right but current LTE has theoretical speeds of 100mbps while T-Mo even upgraded is at 42. That's less than half
83. MAS10X (Posts: 38; Member since: 26 Jul 2011)
@REMIXFA you must understand this is the kinda of person that believes that "theoretical" is exactly what you would get in real world usage. As in the iPhone is theoretically the best phone in the market HAHA XP
86. Dave (unregistered)
Actually, current LTE still depends on the iteration that they are using, and the version that Verizon is using does not have a theoretical max of 100 Mb/s. Within each category of technology there are different levels of upgrade before reaching the next major update. For example, HSPA+ which is T-Mo's and AT&Ts flavor of current "4G" starts at a theoretical max download speed of 17.6 Mb/s (which nobody uses) and has many different levels of upgrade, (currently 21 Mb/s, 42 Mb/s and in a select few networks across the world 84 Mb/s) which at some point many years from now, when it can no longer be improved, will have a theoretical max download speed of around 500 Mb/s.
So, currently there are carriers that have deployed versions of HSPA+ that are faster than the current crop of LTE, however, after many years of upgrades and at its' most improved, LTE is expected to have a theoretical max download speed of about 1Gb/s or about twice the potential of HSPA+. This is why carriers are beginning to make the switch to LTE.
T-Mo's 42 Mb/s network should actually see realistic speeds of around 27 Mb/s on the downlink although I haven't seen this in action. I have personally seen a 21 Mb/s enabled device getting 14 Mb/s on T-Mo. Verizon's LTE devices are currently running pretty close to this same speed or even slower when connected to LTE. The fastest I've seen an AT&T phone do is 9 Mb/s and Sprints Wi-Max is hanging in right around there at about 7 or 8 Mb/s.
88. remixfa (Posts: 14253; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)
NO TACO IT DOESNT
you really are incapable of reading comprehension.
VZWs CURRENT version of LTE isnt going anywhere near 100mbs. Its maxed out right now.. done.. period. HSPA+ in its current form can go to 84mb/s with a software upgrade which is coming down the pipes by next summer.
48. biophone (Posts: 1900; Member since: 15 Jun 2011)
51. remixfa (Posts: 14253; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)
1) that article is nearly a year old, out of date, and no longer relevant. both networks have sped up quite a bit since then
2) thats from a VZW exec. you expect him to praise HSPA+ from a competitor? LTE is the better technology over all for the future, noone is arguing that. We are talking about speed.
55. biophone (Posts: 1900; Member since: 15 Jun 2011)
Well yea i know its a bit old but what it is saying is still valid. Tmobile is speeding up its hspa+ network as much as it can because it doesnt have the funds to invest in lte. So right now it may be almost as fast but in a few years from now it will demolished by lte. Then only existing vzw customers will get unlimited. So in the long run its just better to stick with verizon while they develop the best lte network in america. They got a head start and the coverage will be great.
56. remixfa (Posts: 14253; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)
U think VZW is going back to unlimited? They were talking about getting away from unlimited when I worked there in 07. Unlimited is bad for the provider. No extra charges and more network congestion. Its only good for us, the consumer. And with the probably Tmo/ATT merger, sprint will be the lone "unlimited" guy left, so what is the market pressure to go back to it? Nearly none unless you see a huge shift to Sprint, but thats unlikely at the moment.
Next year (if tmobile is around), they are upgrading to 84mb/s That is a full 3-4 years before VZW is scheduled to switch on 100mb/s LTE Advanced, which should be some time after 2015 when the entire network is on LTE and they are trying to get rid of CDMA. Not to mention when your NOT on "4g", tmobile's 3g DEMOLISHES VZWs CDMA "3g".. 7.2 vs 1.5mbs.
So will EVENTUALLY VZW "Demolish" Tmobile (if they are still here).. yes. But if you wanna pay 60% more a month for ever so slightly faster service (we will see after the Hercules launches how it fares on 42mbs) in the hopes that 4 years down the line it will be faster.. thats up to you.
Concidering that the 2 year contract disparity between Tmo and VZW ($60 vs $130+) is almost $1700, in 4 years thats $3400 difference. Thats a down payment for a decent car.
If you get good coverage from both carriers, why is it a good idea to stick with VZW again? As long as I get good coverage where i live, work, and play, i see absolutely no reason to leave Tmobile even if I didnt work here.
62. biophone (Posts: 1900; Member since: 15 Jun 2011)
No what i am saying is people who have unlimited with verizon now will lose it by going to tmobile. Also you can get your prices reduced with verizon when you argue with them as I have done. Also they give other discounts. For example I had 20 per month for unlimited internet. Also i bet you the tmobile sgs2 will have problems for sure. Why you ask because they are debuting it on the 42 mb network which is very new. LTE advanced will demolish hspa+ in terms of speed and coverage and I am sure verizon will get it up once there basic lte coverage is throughout the nation rock solid.
67. remixfa (Posts: 14253; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)
Tmobile is unlimited , it just throttles down. And for the price disparity you can get a 10 gig 4g plan on tmobile and still save money, so its still in Tmo's favor.
The 42mb/s network has been running flawlessly since late july.
Reduced VZW prices = still higher than Tmobile prices.
VZW will eventually force people off of grandfathered plans. They do it all the time "if you want to upgrade, you must go to a new plan as these new phones arent compatible with old plans" (AKA, they dissallow certain "granfathered features" to be placed on newer phones). They did it while I was there and they sure arent going to stop. All carriers do that.. except maybe Tmobile. Ive seen people on 12 year old powertell plans. Of course, they were non-data plans so maybe that was the difference.
Again, your talking 2015 at the earliest before LTE-A gets dropped on VZW. Tmo's 84mbs network will be up by mid 2012 if the merger doesnt happen.
76. remixfa (Posts: 14253; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)
here is a scenario
Say Tmobile doesnt merge and survives on its own. It has said that it will go to LTE-A in a few years. IF that happens, then Tmobile will not only have LTE-A but it will also have 84mb/s HSPA+ to fall back on, not 1.5mbs CDMA
and its still cheaper than everyone else.
58. Whateverman (Posts: 3236; Member since: 17 May 2009)
What plan makes T Mobile 60% cheaper? There's no denying they are cheaper, but that sounds a bit high.
59. Whateverman (Posts: 3236; Member since: 17 May 2009)
Never mind. Just looked it up, and yeah. VZW has no defense against that kinda pricing! And I love VZW, so that's a bitter pill to swallow.
66. remixfa (Posts: 14253; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)
Value plan. Unlimited talk text and 2gig of 4g data before throttle.. 59.99 :) 5 gigs for 70 VZW is 130 or 140 for 4gig of data plus overage (too lazy to look it up ATM lol).
which is why my point continues to be, if both are blazing fast, and both have full service where you live, why WOULDNT you be on Tmobile instead of VZW?
68. remixfa (Posts: 14253; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)
I love VZW as well. They are the best company for total coverage and speed if you live in a LTE area. If im not on Tmo, ill be back on VZW. But if they both work in your area, why the heck would you pay the price difference? Just to brag that you pay more?? lol
74. remixfa (Posts: 14253; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)
are you for real? there is no sgs2 quad core. its a dual core. OI.
9. Marcus Edwards (unregistered)
I have an evo 3d and a mt4g and my mt4g is way faster than my evo.
10. milan03 (unregistered)
Just to add ATT infuse 4G is their only 21mbps device as its category 10.
11. pt (unregistered)
The infuse actually has the higher speed classification.
12. remixfa (Posts: 14253; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)
ATT doesnt have a single phone that is actually "4g". Their HSPA+ only goes up to 12mb/s. Evil empire lies again. Suprised they didnt call the iphone4- 4g.. lol
16. applesauce (unregistered)
You should re-read the article. HSPA+ has a theoretical top speed around (or maybe exceeding!) 100Mbps, which is what T-Mobile is aiming for in the next few years, and why they haven't devoted mcuh to LTE, focusing on the AWS spectrum instead. All of AT&T's "4G"-branded phones get up to 14.4 Mbps (not 12 as you state erroneously), and the Infuse gets up to 21. Granted, Verizon offers LTE speeds of up to 30 Mbps right now, but most speeds are between 12 and 22 Mbps, which is in the same ballpark as the HSPA+ currently available from AT&T, but network congestion and signal strength rarely allow the AT&T's non-Infuse phones much above 11 Mbps. However, once AT&T launches their LTE network (Sunday) they'll be able to offer LTE customers similar experiences as the Verizon LTE customers: higher consistent speeds with lower congestion, but with the added bonus unavailable to Verizon customers: HSPA+ to fall back on when LTE isn't available, compared to Verizon's CDMA "3G" (closer to 2G) which maxxes around 2-3 Mbps. And with LTE still under development and expansion (and with AT&T's lower data prices), I'd much rather go with AT&T for my high-speed data needs, between the two. But I have T-Mobile so it's theoretical in my case
Oh, and the iPhone? Yeah, it maxxes at 7.2, the same as the other 3G phones, so it doesn't qualify for the 4G moniker.
I do agree that no phone or device on the market should be labeled as 4G, but thanks to Sprint who started the whole thing with the Evo 4G, Verizon and T-Mobile started doing it, then after the ITU ruling about changing the name, AT&T started doing it as well
25. remixfa (Posts: 14253; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)
phone capability and network capability are not the same thing. ATT HSPA+ is network capped at 12mbps.
42. remixfa (Posts: 14253; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)
and vzw's real world CDMA maxes out around 1-1.5 mbps.
yes, ATT's fall back speeds will definately be faster, but as of right now they dont have true 4G service through HSPA+, no matter what the phone says it can do, it can only go as fast as the network will let it, which is 12mb/s. Who knows what their LTE speeds will be. I have a sneaking feeling they wont be near VZWs speeds but something lower and capped, which means they would still be slower than VZW and Tmobile.
15. WirelessCon (Posts: 309; Member since: 11 May 2010)
False advertising. Isn't there regulations about false advertising?
AT&T makes people have 4G plans even though their phone isn't 4G.
It's criminal. Why hasn't an advocacy group done something about this?
23. nb2six (Posts: 298; Member since: 27 Apr 2011)
the price point for the plans is exactly the same no matter what device you have. The feature is just given a different name.
I still agree it's a joke that the BBB lets companies get away with stuff like this. I don't know how many times throughout my day I have to explain to a customer that they have been mislead by advertising.
26. darth8ball (Posts: 519; Member since: 02 Aug 2011)
actually I looked online just now and the 5GB data for 3g is 60 a month and just 50 for 4g
94. hepresearch (unregistered)
It costs money to file a complaint with the "Better Business Bureau"... therefore, few people bother to do so, and since few people file complaints, the people at the BBB sit back until someone does pay them. They probably get more money from corporate bribes than they do from people filing complaints. Hence, why should the BBB bother "investigating" the people who actually pay them to do nothing at all?
18. bluechrism (Posts: 99; Member since: 09 Sep 2011)
Agree that this is false advertising. To be honest, phone should ditch specification monkers from their names, be it speed, screen size, overhyped 3D,disk size or camera size, unless there is a version of the exact same phone which doesn't have the feature.
But specs like this should be accurate. T-Mo's 4G network will be significantly fatser once they role out devices at 42mbps than their 21mbps offerings, but what are they going to do there - call it 5G, or start adding "42" to device names - "Samsung Galaxy S II 42" for example. Just because something is significanly faster, doesn't make it meet the standard to deserve the name.
Incidently, early on this applied to verizon, and is probably going to be true for many companies at some point, but I read that the initial LTE speeds (first LTE devices, on new network) were slower that HSPA+ speeds. Still 4G?
As for cable companies, they should advertise speeds which represent a realistic average too.
19. YeahBOyy (unregistered)
No one cares what technology is behind the faster speed as long as it's faster. If T-Mobile upgraded their towers from 48 MB to 96 then to 192 by years end no one would care about battery hogging LTE or WiMax or what the ITC initially said. Just deliever the speeds in the most effective and battery efficient way as possible :)
21. gallitoking (Posts: 4704; Member since: 17 May 2011)
a few weeks when i said that most phones were not even 4g that in Canada and Mexico they dio have truly 4G speeds.. now ... the truth comes out... told you who are the sheeps now... beeeeee
and the as expected.. the fandroids dispute anything that is not in their favor...
28. darth8ball (Posts: 519; Member since: 02 Aug 2011)
since there is no 4g iPhone what do the isheep care about whether it is truly 4g or not.
BTW back in 08 when I moved to a new place while waiting for Fios to be installed I ran my computer off my Tmo HTC Dash and it did a better than expected job.
Data speeds depend on location, traffic, time of day and device used. so one persons crap speeds could be anothers high speed download.
29. gallitoking (Posts: 4704; Member since: 17 May 2011)
because a few topics ago... they were bragging that a 3g phone was outdated and I responded by saying that most of the phones out there were not truly 4g... it just showed me how ignorants fandroids can be... believing their plastic phone has 4G speeds...
did you understand or you want me to go kindergarten on you
36. taco50 (banned) (Posts: 5506; Member since: 08 Oct 2009)
Darthball gets crushed by logic and facts( a fandroids worst enemy)
43. remixfa (Posts: 14253; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)
whats worse, believing advertising saying that your phone is 4g, when its not... or thinking your phone is 4g because it has the number 4 in it? lolol.
what was it, 25% of iphone4 users think its 4g?? lolol
38. p0rkguy (Posts: 684; Member since: 23 Nov 2010)
Sadly, your same message applies more on iPhone users than Android users.
iPhone 4 is believed to be a "4G" phone.
Android phones that moniker the 4G actually have chips for a better network when compared to 3G.
Also, next time you try to quote the uneducated Android users, you're going to be responded with all the uneducated iPhone users which their lack of knowledge on their own device which is second to none. But that's okay, iPhone users are paying a premium price for it, might as well believe in premium service.
41. corporateJP (Posts: 2275; Member since: 28 Nov 2009)
Porkguy smashed that nail on the head.
53. gallitoking (Posts: 4704; Member since: 17 May 2011)
ok ok ...lets get something straight...
iPhone 4 is believed to be a "4G" phone.
hmmm by whom?.. uneducated apple user,,, we can include them and I can prove Android user are dumber than those 20% that think the "4" in the iphone was meant for the 4G..
Android phones that moniker the 4G actually.... hmm this was an easy one... Android lies ... read the title of this article.. ok ..."Why some “4G” phones are not quite 4G"... forgat the uneducated Androids... the only one that has the best coverage in 4G is VRZ.. and only have 4phones in 4G all crap except for the overrrated Bionic...... Sprint and T-mo we all know they dont have 4g so i wont even go there... ATT well you heard barely rolling LTE ... so please educate on 4G again porky... and all the goodnes of it... please... get this straight....only a few.. FEW really enjoy 4G... bet you are not one of the... F..E..W.. for the slow Android readers...
57. remixfa (Posts: 14253; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)
like always, you have no idea what your talking about
Tmobile still has the widest "4g" coverage of every carrier.
And your an idiot, everyone has 4g except ATT, by IPCC standards.
87. p0rkguy (Posts: 684; Member since: 23 Nov 2010)
Did I hurt you too hard? Why are you getting so emotional about it by being direct with just me? You bet I'm not one of the few that are able to enjoy it?
Why change the subject?
Fact is over 1/3 of iPhone users believe it's 4G, why? I don't even know why, they don't even have the ability to turn on the moniker'd "4G".
Fact is that those Android phones that are able to moniker "4G" actually have a switch to turn on 4G.
Android users believe in their devices.
Apple users believe in the bulls**t your savior Jobs fed to you when you didn't know a single damn thing about technology. Now go along and tell your friends about how much you know about technology because you know how to use an iPhone.
44. darth8ball (Posts: 519; Member since: 02 Aug 2011)
The article is saying that the network is not capable of delivering the speeds to max out the capabilities of the devices. As the network improves the devices can reach their maximum potential but if you only have a 3g than that is your max.
If you spend alot of money on computer that has a 4gb processor and it only has 1gb of front bus speed your processor can only receive data at 25% of it's capabilities. So why do you need 4gb proccessing speed?