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There is no "true" 4G network

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Journeyman

There is no "true" 4G network

Just to encourage some friendly enlightenment on the Sprint 4G system, I felt I should humbly chime in about this subject. Although I like Sprint as a company and a provider of services, this recent marketing push for 4G is somewhat of a falsehood. To be point blank, 4G is not simply a proliferation of 3G technology. For more clarity: 4G will encompass fast download rates, but fast download rates are not solely 4G. Currently the ITU has not defined 4G. The International Telecommunication Union sets the basic standards, policies, and definitions for the telecommunication industry. It has been years in the making that everyone is waiting for them to “somewhat” define 4G, but they really have not. The reason being, it is very complex. Without getting into specific details here is a basic ideology of it: most industry leaders look for 4G to be a ubiquitous network. A network that will probably engulf open wireless architecture and smart phones that can detect, authorize, register, and connect onto any network. It’s a user centric philosophy that goes far beyond one single carrier. As such, many companies (with different technologies) have to have some accord on basic functionality for it to really prosper. At the moment, there are three components that most experts concur will drive 4G. The network will use orthogonal multiplexing, MIMO antennas, and be IP based. Although Verizon has LTE and Sprint has WiMAX and both share these basic functions….there is a slew of processes that are still up for debate. As such, Sprint is quick to advertise this is 4G ( since they have these three items). Although these will be components of 4G…it is not holistically 4G. If you were statically looking at a pie, it would only account for 30% of 4G. The remaining 70% is the real challenging aspect of 4G that has not been addressed. Items such as horizontal handoff, latency issues, package losses, billing accountability, security schemes, and overall QoS are still complicated issues that need to be addressed. Again, 4G is not simply just a proliferation of 3G, but candidly a whole new evolution that will require inter-carrier uniformity (on some levels) and common processing features. It’s quite complicated and that’s the reason it’s not out yet. Verizon has similar speeds “4G rates using LTE around the country”, but notice they not advertising it.  They call it 3GPP. The industry has been working on 4G for close to a decade, but really has not reached a final decision on how exactly the system/network will work.

Sprint very well offers (in certain areas) rates that are faster than traditional 3G…..but that does not translate into 4G.

Message was edited by: PLStewart

19 REPLIES 19
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Journeyman

When I get 4G, it is significantly faster. As far as whether it is 4G if Sprint says it is, or some consortia of vendors says it is... I don't have very strong feelings on that. Yeah, the market may change completely in two years and the horse that Sprint is betting on may be a dead end... but by that point we'll all be drooling over some completely different phones and what we have now won't really matter all that much.

For now I'll settle with getting "4G" (Sprint could call it F4sterwebs for all I care) a little more often, like when Sprint's own maps indicate that I should.

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Journeyman

You indicate that the US market doesn't have 4G and you mention the International group governing the technology, but you haven't said if Europe has true 4G?  I have friend from the UK that insist that Europe HAS true 4G and has had it for a while.  Is this true? 

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Journeyman

Does it really matter if it's just faster?  Aren't there other part to a faster package such as nation wide and world wide use that would be nice to have?  I personally would much rather have a stable environment where I get one set rate all of the time instead of bouncing back and forth between 4G, 3G, EDGE, etc.

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Journeyman

Are we consumers so blinded by bling that we can't hold to standards and truth?  I don't see "false advertising" as something to raise the flag of Victory for.  It's all marketing and all big business trying to get what little money we have in their greedy pockets.  I gladly pay for quality and for a product that does what it says it will do.  If the phone works and has all the technology that makes my life easier, then I buy it.  If a provider offers GOOD SERVICE, and supports my requirements for usage, then I use them; but merely running after a PR presentation so I can be the "first on my block" doesn't make sense to me.  Not sure about the rest of you, I don't have cash to throw away nor do I like being lied to about the product and services that I'm purchasing and using!  Been there, done that with Sprint, Verizon, AT&T, Nextel, and some of the "pay as you go" providers; they all have their pitfalls, you just have to find the one that fits you the best and stay with them.  Ah the imperfect world, you gotta love it!  We humans are so gullible!

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Journeyman

I still don't know how anyone lets them get away with 4g advertisement.

I get a lot of people raving how much faster it is, I get less than 1mbps more speed with 4g than i do with 3g. Signal strength is plenty strong here as well.

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Journeyman

I'm not sure what you're referring to with you comments about waiting two years and regarding the iPhone making calls on AT&T, I haven't had a problem with anything calls, data, surfing any of the negative press that others are saying about AT&T and I use the iPhone 4, with the death grip and not case.  I think it's all a bunch of Apple / AT&T bashing if you ask me, but then again, I do live a charmed life. <grin>

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Journeyman

4G just stands for 4th generation. that is all. it is just new hardware. it is nothing to do with speed. just stands for 4th Generation, thats all nothing more, nothing less.

so with the new technology they can call it 4th Generation Cell phone technology.

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Journeyman

Haha, I would have agreed with this, but it looks like the ITU retroactively redefined 4G.

http://www.zdnet.com/blog/cell-phones/forget-the-4g-marketing-argument-itu-acknowledges-us-carriers-...

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