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

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

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51 Comments

52. quinzolosco

Posts: 1; Member since: Apr 04, 2013

NONE OF YOU GUYS WHO ARE CONDEMING THE ITU HAVE ANY MORAL GROUNDS OR RECOGNIZED WORLD WIDE, SO SHUT THE f**k UP AND LET US HEAR. THE ITU IS A WORLDWIDE RECOGNIZED BODY. WHO KNOWS YOU?

45. networkdood

Posts: 6330; Member since: Mar 31, 2010

I agree with you Willie, but anything can be labelled...anything, nowadays.....

44. WillieFDiaz

Posts: 127; Member since: Dec 22, 2010

WiMAX, LTE are certainly 4G technologies. They stem from deployment of new spectrum as well as new equipment that may be but usually isnt built directly on top of the former generational technology (CDMA is excluded really) Thus, this is the 4th revision of a technology to be built up. HSPA+ though, from what I understand is mostly software on top of a 3G tech, but I really dont know about that anymore because Im a CDMA user now...havent used GSM in 3.5 years. Back when using EDGE was cool.

40. networkdood

Posts: 6330; Member since: Mar 31, 2010

Well, so eventually it will all be 4G tech....okay, so all we should care about is how fast the speeds are.....

34. clevername

Posts: 1436; Member since: Jul 11, 2008

Pull the elfin tampons out. WTF?! Can nerds be anymore rEdiculous?! I thought I was a tech geek but some of you are stupid. Saying "it's not 4G" well I hate to say it but regardless of whether or not you want to "accept" it, it's true so shut up. Stop getting worked up.

39. smpdx

Posts: 127; Member since: Nov 02, 2010

woah woah woah... calm down. Dont get your panties in a wad. Most of us agree that it is 4G. Unless you are talking about hspa+... then no, it isn't 4G. If its the same tech, how can it be the 4th generation of technology. I just went in to talk to the reps at the tmob store today and even they admit it isn't 4G. HAHAH Its 4G fast, but still not 4G.

29. Marc unregistered

is it possible this article misinterpreted the ITU statement? ITU said, "it is recognized that this term ... may also be applied to ... evolved 3G technologies " - recognizing that a term may be applied isn't the same as applying a term. Agree/disagree?

32. smpdx

Posts: 127; Member since: Nov 02, 2010

True. They are basically saying, "We don't think HSPA+ should be labeled as 4G, but if you do, we wont fight over it." ITU is so pathetic,

27. networkdood

Posts: 6330; Member since: Mar 31, 2010

Well, speeds will decrease once everyone is using a 4G device.....the spectrum crisis looms on.

31. smpdx

Posts: 127; Member since: Nov 02, 2010

*AHEM* Except for Sprint! They have almost 4 times as much spectrum as all the other carriers together. :)

24. Bigpayne unregistered

From handling lte at work with our mobile broadband I have seen some mind blowings speeds down here in cincinnati. Ive been the only person to sell a 4g mobile broadband but we are an indirect company of only 48 so i cant say exactly how many people are on the 4g network but when i was doen the speed test i saw 10-22 download and 4-10 upload. I ran the test 10 times because i couldnt beleave it myself and we are about a mile from the service area edge.

25. Bigpayne unregistered

It was also at night with clear skies so that prolly effected it as well

26. networkdood

Posts: 6330; Member since: Mar 31, 2010

LOL, that will be awesome to own a phone that can do 10-22 download, someday....

23. networkdood

Posts: 6330; Member since: Mar 31, 2010

"The detailed specifications of the IMT-Advanced technologies will be provided in a new ITU-R Recommendation expected in early 2012."" So, it seems no one is 4G officially until then??

22. networkdood

Posts: 6330; Member since: Mar 31, 2010

Again, stop overreacting...not everyone will see 5Mpbs all the time and not everywhere they travel, work and play. AT&T has 7 or 8 ANDROID devices, but, yeah, not many good ones, and they have WP7 now, and they are number 1 in Blackberry. Pretty diverse lineup, if you ask me. But, need some more DROID-like phones.....Pay the ETF and leave your carrier, no one is holding you at gun point to stay with whoever your crappy carrier is. Funny, how supposedly T-Mobile and Sprint are just so awesome when they lose postpaid subscribers and tons of money every quarter (well, almost every quarter). Not much money in prepaid....

21. pyckvi

Posts: 48; Member since: Dec 19, 2010

i have T-mobile and i am very dissapointed in them claiming an updated 3G "4G". its not fair too us. the speed increase isnt even that much. i live in sacramento, CA, and i have never reached speeds over 2.9mbps. while my brother who is with verizon and my friend who has ATT have always had speeds at about 2.2mbps way before HSDPA+ was ever released! i just cant wait till my contract is over. T-mobile screwed me over too many times with some bullshit overages! i cant wait to switch to the verizon network.

36. slimballa2002

Posts: 4; Member since: Dec 09, 2010

I live in ATL, and i tether with my Nexus 1 for free... i get an average of about 4mps, and my phone is not even a "4g" HSPA+ phone.

20. tuminatr

Posts: 1193; Member since: Feb 23, 2009

Here in Minnesota I have had a chance to compare Sprint with my Epic 4g and T-Mobile one of my good friends has a G2 and my work issues me a aircard its one of the new Verizon 4g cards WIMax and HSPA+ are close but I gotta say Wimax Minnesota is faster on the average. Now the LTE is much faster than Sprint and T-Mobile Average speeds I see on WiMax in Minnesota 6Mbps - 8Mbps Peak 9Mbps Average speeds I seen on HSPA+ in Minnesota 2Mbps - 6Mbps Peak 9Mbps Average speed I see on LTE in Minnesota 8Mbps - 12Mbps peak 26Mbps the peak figure is the fastest speedtest I have seen using speedtest.net on that network

19. InspectorGadget80 unregistered

Man screw AT&T. I'm still stuck with them. While Verizon fire off their 4G network feel like paying my high price contract to leave AT&T. They always take forever to get new phones or a new network in their technology. This is why I hate AT&T all they care for is selling Iphones nothing else matters to them. just pisses me off that us AT&T users don't even have 4G network or that many Android devices.

18. networkdood

Posts: 6330; Member since: Mar 31, 2010

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

35. slimballa2002

Posts: 4; Member since: Dec 09, 2010

why would anyone want to go to ALASKA lol

38. smpdx

Posts: 127; Member since: Nov 02, 2010

to fish? or for a cruise maybe??? hahaha

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

14. kanon

Posts: 36; Member since: Dec 09, 2010

lol at everyone getting mad about this.

15. smpdx

Posts: 127; Member since: Nov 02, 2010

Its fun to get mad! HAHA

12. Slammer

Posts: 1515; Member since: Jun 03, 2010

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

13. smpdx

Posts: 127; Member since: Nov 02, 2010

Exactly!

11. Slammer

Posts: 1515; Member since: Jun 03, 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.

10. deejhayes1977

Posts: 6; Member since: Dec 01, 2010

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

7. Doakie

Posts: 2478; Member since: May 06, 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.

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