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  • AT&T iPhone 4S Gets the 4G Indicator With iOS 5.1 Update

    3G or 4G? Make up your mind.

    One thing that caused a massive debate with the release of the iPhone 4S was whether or not the HSPA+ network AT&T uses to provide service to Appleís new smartphone should be considered 4G or not. The data speeds of AT&Tís HSPA+ network are capable of doubling the speeds the iPhone 4 could get on AT&Tís 3G network. It could also double the speeds the iPhone 4S was provided with on Verizon and Sprint. The iPhone 4S was shown at the Apple event in October of 2011 to be capable of reaching the same down link speeds as similar 4G smartphones of the Android flavor.

    A while after the iPhone 4S release, AT&T took advantage of this speed improvement in Appleís new smartphone to advertise it as a 4G phone, which at the time felt like false advertising. To this day, people will still argue that LTE (Long Term Evolution) is the only true 4G network and that HSPA+ should not be considered (or even advertised for that matter) a 4G network. In reality however, the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) made alterations to their network manual stating that the definition of 4G service will include WiMax, LTE and HSPA+.

    In todayís release of iOS 5.1, AT&T is finally getting their way. Apple has included in the update a 4G network indicator, which will show in the status bar next to the carrier name whenever you connect to AT&Tís HSPA+ wireless network. The indicator is only for AT&T as the Sprint and Verizon iPhone 4S still operate on the general 3G radio type. The AT&T iPhone 4S is capable of 14.4Mb/s download speed while Sprint and Verizon will only get a maximum of 7.2Mb/s.

    To clear up any confusion with the less tech-savvy people out there, the update to the status bar indicating youíre on a 4G network does not install LTE on your iPhone 4S. An LTE-compatible radio is a hardware piece and cannot be installed through a software update. We can probably expect to see LTE ship with the next generation iPhone.

    Sources: AppleInsider
    This article was originally published in forum thread: iPhone 4S Gets the 4G Indicator With iOS 5.1 Update started by Anthony Bouchard View original post
    Comments 46 Comments
    1. AlexD51192's Avatar
      AlexD51192 -
      So going by this we should be getting a 5gb limit for the "unlimited" plan... Oh how AT&T loves to screw with their customers..
    1. idkanymore's Avatar
      idkanymore -
      Quote Originally Posted by poa317 View Post
      I just updated my wife's phone and it still says 3G? She has the iPhone 4 with AT&T..
      Only the iPhone 4S has the "4G" so your wife's iPhone 4 won't ever show 4G
    1. iPod's Avatar
      iPod -
      Quote Originally Posted by Anthony Bouchard View Post
      You won't obtain any speeds. It's just an indicator. And yes the jailbreak will be gone.
      I'm sure someone will release a tweak that will show the 4G indicator. But definitely DO NOT upgrade as you'll lose your jailbreaK, and who knows how long it will be till we get a new one.
    1. trialnterror's Avatar
      trialnterror -
      So with AT&Ts new throttling plan then that would mean us 4s people don't get throttled until 5GB suck it AT&T
    1. Pepsolman's Avatar
      Pepsolman -
      Yay, now that means that AT&T is throttling my 3G phone that is capable of "4G" speeds. Yay for not proving a damn thing! Yay!
    1. TheDirtyDiddler's Avatar
      TheDirtyDiddler -
      The term '4G' has just about as much measurable meaning as the word 'fast'.


      Quote Originally Posted by trialnterror View Post
      So with AT&Ts new throttling plan then that would mean us 4s people don't get throttled until 5GB suck it AT&T
      That's actually an interesting point.
    1. Channan's Avatar
      Channan -
      "According to AT&T's info page, throttling occurs after 3GB of data for users who have 3G and 4G HSPA+ networks, and after 5GB of data for users who have 4G LTE phones."

      So you still won't get 5GB on the 4S. =/
    1. djrobstephens's Avatar
      djrobstephens -
      Is there gonna be a JB for the 5.1 update?
    1. SPLucas26's Avatar
      SPLucas26 -
      Hope theres an untethered soon.

      Quote Originally Posted by ipodtouchman77 View Post
      I'm sure someone will release a tweak that will show the 4G indicator. But definitely DO NOT upgrade as you'll lose your jailbreaK, and who knows how long it will be till we get a new one.
      There's a couple things on cydia that have been there for a while now that change the "3G" indicator to "4G" using winterboard.
    1. hadzo's Avatar
      hadzo -
      ^ you can even change it manually I think without winterboard
    1. fatalcrixer's Avatar
      fatalcrixer -
      Gayyyyyyyyyyy
    1. PorthosPirate's Avatar
      PorthosPirate -
      Quote Originally Posted by justibackwardsn View Post
      Can anyone confirm this for the iPhone 4s? Maybe they made the necessary alterations for devices to be able to distinguish the two. I want an indicator when I'm using the faster technology but it does nothing if it can't distinguish. I don't care what it's called(4G or 3G+... I just want an indicator.)
      They made no such changes. In fact the reports are that whenever you had a 3G indicator previous to 5.1, you will now have a 4G. Exactly the same as their Hotspot. The real telling factor is that they removed the "3G Data" toggle in settings if you have a 4s on AT&T.
    1. brokenartist's Avatar
      brokenartist -
      I mean does it really matter? the 4s is not a 4g LTE phone. Maybe the 5 will be. Time will only tell.
    1. Bluemoldycheeze88's Avatar
      Bluemoldycheeze88 -
      I live in what At&t Coverage calls 4G Network.

      My Best Speed has been 5.62 Mbps (Down) 3.37 Mbps (Up) on a iPhone 4s.
      My Worst Speed has been 2.34 Mbps (Down) .75 Mbps (Up) on a iPhone 4s.

      Their decent speeds, but not LTE speeds.
    1. TheDirtyDiddler's Avatar
      TheDirtyDiddler -
      How long before there is a hack in Cydia to make it say '3G' again? Like it matters...
    1. BenderRodriguez's Avatar
      BenderRodriguez -
      Quote Originally Posted by TheDirtyDiddler View Post
      How long before there is a hack in Cydia to make it say '3G' again? Like it matters...
      Just go change the image file Doh
    1. Rpjr's Avatar
      Rpjr -
      The only True 4G is LTE-A. LTE is not capable of reaching the definition of True 4G thus does not meet the requirements to be called 4G IMO.
    1. PorthosPirate's Avatar
      PorthosPirate -
      Quote Originally Posted by Rpjr View Post
      The only True 4G is LTE-A. LTE is not capable of reaching the definition of True 4G thus does not meet the requirements to be called 4G IMO.
      Ahh.. but the "definition" that you are relying on just changed:

      Quote Originally Posted by December 2010 View Post
      ...the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) loosened its definition of 4G to include LTE, WiMax, and HSPA+.

      "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 ITU said a statement.
    1. Simon's Avatar
      Simon -
      Guess they only changed the symbol for ATT. I am on a HSPA+ network and it still says 3G.
    1. daytonaviolet's Avatar
      daytonaviolet -
      only the 3gs has different radio components right? so both iphone4s and iphone4 should get the same signals and speeds? but only the 4S will get the 4G logo with ios5.1


      Cellular and Wireless Specs Compared:

      iphone4s
      Cellular and Wireless
      UMTS/HSDPA/HSUPA
      GSM/EDGE
      CDMA EV-DO Rev. A
      Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n
      Bluetooth 4.0

      iphone4
      GSM model: UMTS/HSDPA/HSUPA
      GSM/EDGE
      CDMA model: CDMA EV-DO Rev. A
      Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n
      Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR

      iphone3gs
      UMTS/HSDPA
      GSM/EDGE
      Wi-Fi 802.11b/g
      Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR