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  • AT&T Begins Marketing iPhone 4S as 4G Smartphone

    The evil phone company bewilders ignorant phone buyers once more.

    A while back we reported on AT&T trying to convince Apple to release a software update that would display a 4G indicator in the iPhone 4S's status bar. AT&T wanted to do this because AT&T's HSPA+ network is fast enough to be considered 4G, despite the compelling fact the iPhone 4S operates on a 3G radio. People who are blissfully unaware of the difference would then buy the product thinking that it was a 4G device.

    The iPhone 4S's HSPA+ connection allows for a download speed of up to 14.4Mb/s. Whereas the iPhone 4 was capable of only 7.2Mb/s. The International Telecommunications Union (ITU) made alterations to their little network manual that states that the definition of 4G service is to include WiMax, LTE and HSPA+. That being said, AT&T does have the right to market the device as a device capable of 4G speeds, but while that may be the fact, it's still bittersweet in that it's operating on a 3G radio. This is the beef of most people reading about this.

    AT&T has finally begun marketing their iPhone 4S as a 4G phone. Their website can be viewed here. It should be noted that the posting of the iPhone 4S is not a mistake. AT&T intentionally plans to sell the iPhone 4S as a 4G phone because of HSPA+. If you're in disagreement with AT&T's decision, you're not alone. Millions of customers, as well as some of AT&T's sales representatives will agree that it's not a very fair judgement. When asked, an AT&T sales representative stated that the iPhone 4S runs on more of a 3.5G network than a 4G network (just to be fair of course).

    So will you be buying a 4G-equipped iPhone 4S anytime soon? If so you'd be the first.

    Sources: AT&T
    This article was originally published in forum thread: AT&T Begins Marketing iPhone 4S as 4G Smartphone started by Anthony Bouchard View original post
    Comments 45 Comments
    1. Stray's Avatar
      Stray -
      So now I'm confused. It will say 3G next to AT&T right or did Apple actually allow them to have 4G?
    1. Anthony Bouchard's Avatar
      Anthony Bouchard -
      Quote Originally Posted by Stray View Post
      So now I'm confused. It will say 3G next to AT&T right or did Apple actually allow them to have 4G?
      Nope it will still say 3G because Apple hasn't updated the firmware yet.
    1. dhamien's Avatar
      dhamien -
      Does it really matter? True 4G doesn't exist yet. It's a standard that no one lives up to, so what radio each phone uses doesn't matter and if one company can call 14Mbit 4G, then everyone can.
    1. GellBrake'rrrr's Avatar
      GellBrake'rrrr -
      Quote Originally Posted by dhamien View Post
      Does it really matter? True 4G doesn't exist yet. It's a standard that no one lives up to, so what radio each phone uses doesn't matter and if one company can call 14Mbit 4G, then everyone can.
      I agree.
    1. Stray's Avatar
      Stray -
      Quote Originally Posted by Anthony Bouchard View Post
      Nope it will still say 3G because Apple hasn't updated the firmware yet.

      So Apple will be releasing a firmware update that allows it to say 4G. That was the original thought I had


      I do agree, it isn't true 4G, but for marketing purposes if a company does technically fall under all requirements, they will take all steps to allow them to succeed.
    1. tripletray39's Avatar
      tripletray39 -
      Everything is 3.xG the 4G standard hasn't been implemented yet its just a marketing scheme that if one carrier does it they all have to to do it to compete even though they are all lieing through their teeth. check out this article to clarify what everything actually is. 4G - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    1. Raybeast's Avatar
      Raybeast -
      I know I sound super clueless but can someone give me an explanation on what is 3G and what 4G.All I know is 3G you pay monthly and get internet anywhere.Whats 3G actually though, and what is 4G?
    1. eightyk88's Avatar
      eightyk88 -
      It should say HSPA+ if anything, not 4G as its simply theoretical.
    1. Pepsolman's Avatar
      Pepsolman -
      Well slap sum bunnie ears on a turtle n' call em a rabbit! Yee haw!
    1. justibackwardsn's Avatar
      justibackwardsn -
      It would be nice if they simply put a "+" instead of always showing 3G. I'd like to know when I am getting the better speeds.
    1. DevouredDreams's Avatar
      DevouredDreams -
      false advertisement smh att does it again
    1. whereswaldo's Avatar
      whereswaldo -
      Well since the 4G qualifications have been change by a bunch of idiots, it is 4G
    1. krosis's Avatar
      krosis -
      Quote Originally Posted by dhamien View Post
      True 4G doesn't exist yet.
      Quote Originally Posted by Stray View Post
      it isn't true 4G
      Quote Originally Posted by eightyk88 View Post
      It should say HSPA+ if anything, not 4G as its simply theoretical.
      Quote Originally Posted by DevouredDreams View Post
      false advertisement smh att does it again
      Quote Originally Posted by tripletray39 View Post
      Everything is 3.xG the 4G standard hasn't been implemented yet its just a marketing scheme that if one carrier does it they all have to to do it to compete even though they are all lieing through their teeth. check out this article to clarify what everything actually is. 4G - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
      I will try to clarify this as simply as I can:

      The "4G standard" does not exist.

      The ITU standard IMT-2000 defines characteristics of what most people think of as 3G, although 3G and 2.5G, 3.5G, etc. are not terms that are defined by any formal standards body. They are common language terms. As an example EDGE meets these characteristics but is generally not referred to as 3G as it does not meet the common use of the term.

      The ITU standard IMT-Advanced defines characteristics not yet matched by current mobile technology. When companies (starting with Sprint in the US) began using the term 4G to refer to their current offerings, the ITU basically released a press release saying the standard is called IMT-Advanced, and any use of the undefined term "4G" was done at the discretion of providers to refer to things faster than their original IMT-2000 offerings (which remember, includes EDGE).

      So I say there is no such thing as 4G standard as it is not ever going to be standardized.

      The standard is called IMT-Advanced.

      The term "high speed Internet" is more of a standard than the term 4G as there are actual limits on it's use in advertising here in the US.

      4G is a meaningless marketing term. Pass it on.
    1. norfskate's Avatar
      norfskate -
      does it really matter? If it performs at 4G speeds then what's the problem?
    1. NooK's Avatar
      NooK -
      Quote Originally Posted by dhamien View Post
      Does it really matter? True 4G doesn't exist yet. It's a standard that no one lives up to, so what radio each phone uses doesn't matter and if one company can call 14Mbit 4G, then everyone can.
      Yes. Even though the definition of 4G has changed anyone who believes HSPA+ and even LTE is 4G is kidding themselves.

      People need to put one thing in their minds, 4G does not exist yet. The original (and in my mind the only) definition of 4G was set to be LTE-Advanced (Which reaches 1 gbps and has been demonstrated recently by Ericsson) and some form of Wimax.

      The fact that companies can call HSPA+ and LTE is a stupid technicality which exists because stupid companies are too greedy (Surprise, Surprise) and the ITU probably crumbled under their lobbyists.

      Fact is IMT-Advanced = Real 4G and nothing else. Don't take my word from it, just look it up yourselves.

      Regards
      NooK

      Quote Originally Posted by norfskate View Post
      does it really matter? If it performs at 4G speeds then what's the problem?
      Really? Does it do 100 mbit while moving and 1 gbps standing still?
    1. Turnamental's Avatar
      Turnamental -
      Isn't T-Mobile's entire "Nations largest 4G Network" built on the HSPA+ standard?!

      Besides, I don't give a crap really, as long as I'm getting faster speeds! Lol
    1. NooK's Avatar
      NooK -
      Quote Originally Posted by krosis View Post
      ....and any use of the undefined term "4G" was done at the discretion of providers....
      Actually from what I understand the definition of 4G does exist and is done by ITU but it has been changed.

      http://www.phonearena.com/news/ITU-says-LTE-WiMax-and-HSPA--are-now-officially-4G_id15435

      Quote Originally Posted by Raybeast View Post
      I know I sound super clueless but can someone give me an explanation on what is 3G and what 4G.All I know is 3G you pay monthly and get internet anywhere.Whats 3G actually though, and what is 4G?
      3G and/or 4G has nothing to do with how much you pay. They are both standards for mobile networks. It's like USB 1.0 and 2.0, they both have to perform similar tasks but 2.0 gives you much faster speed and more benefits and eventually ends up replacing 1.0 completely (but until then both co-exist).

      3G and 4G are in the same situation. They are both mobile standards and basically refer to the order they came. The "G" stands for generation, so 4G means the 4th generation of mobile network technology.

      4G has as some of its goals to allow for 1gbps speeds (100 mb at high speed movement) and much lower latency. As most transitions, initially you will find that 4G, as the new kid on the block, will be much less accessible and will not have as much coverage area compared to 3G but eventually this is a problem that goes away.

      Hope that helps.
    1. GmAz's Avatar
      GmAz -
      Quote Originally Posted by dhamien View Post
      Does it really matter? True 4G doesn't exist yet. It's a standard that no one lives up to, so what radio each phone uses doesn't matter and if one company can call 14Mbit 4G, then everyone can.
      Pretty sure Verizon LTE is a true 4G connection at over 20Mbps.
    1. trevorrawson's Avatar
      trevorrawson -
      If other companies can call what they have 4G then in all fairness so can AT&T. Is it right? No...but is it fair to consumers? I think so. As far as the typical consumer is concerned if its twice as fast then it's 4G. They don't care if it's HSPA+ or LTE. It's twice as fast, what it's called is meaningless. When and if a true 4G ever comes about then name it something else and watch everyone flock to their provider for the new and faster phone. I for one prefer this because it's available almost everywhere immediately.