You see that H+ on your new blackberries and ‘4G‘ on your iPhone 4S after iOS 5.1 update?
They’re both the same. They’re both HSPA+, that is. They are not LTE or WiMAX, the ones that were initially declared as 4G.
Is HSPA+ a 4G? (are Iphone 4s 4G? Are my new blackberries 4G?)
- Yes according to telco providers like AT & T, and fact is:
- No! - sorry to say, according to the newly (2012) approved official specification for IMT-Advanced (Next Generation, 4G).
Let’s use another name for 4G, its requirements/specification name - IMT-Advanced – Now approved by the ITU. It’s official.
Quote from a very good article http://www.readwriteweb.com/mobile/2012/01/meet-the-real-4g.php :
To understand IMT-Advanced, you need to know how we got to this point. If IMT-Advanced is truly the fourth generation of wireless technology, there obviously are three generations that preceded it. Let’s take a quick look at the history.
1G (Pre-1990): Analog Mobile Phone System and Frequency Division Multiple Access (AMPS & FDMA). The forefather of all cellular technology. Think of satellite or car phones or those really big things that used to require a brief case to lug around. I am always reminded of Martin Cooper and the original one-pound cellphone and how people used to gawk at him while he walked down the street in New York City chatting away.
2G (1991-2000): Time Division Multiple Access and Code Division Multiple Access (TDMA & CDMA). This is where the great rift between AT&T and Verizon originated. Ma Bell used the TDMA standard while Big Red has been built off of CDMA and its evolutions. This is the era when cellphone became more commonplace but by no means ubiquitous. Cellular adoption ramped up through the 1990s as phones evolved, going from the relative blocks of Kyocera and Nokia to the concept of flip phones that would dominate well into the first half of the 2000s.
2.5G (2000-Present): General Packet Radio System (GRPS) and CDMA 1x. The rise of the data packet, BlackBerry and the first versions of the mobile Web through Wireless Access Protocol (WAP). Speeds at 2.5G were about 156 kilobits down per second.
2.75G (2003-Present): Enhanced Data Rates For Global Evolution (EDGE). The iPhone was originally an EDGE phone. This is a Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) standard employed by AT&T and T-Mobile.
3G (2000-Present): Universal Mobile Telecommunications System (UMTS) and CDMA 2000. This is where we really started getting speeds that could handle full Internet data packets, up to 8 megabits per second down. This is also where the precursor to what the ITU calls “4G.” Before announcing the standards for IMT-Advanced, the last standards that the ITU approved were for IMT-2000, what is generally considered to be 3G. GSM and CDMA continue to be separate and incompatible. This is also the beginning of the rise of in your face marketing from the carriers in the United States all claiming to have the fastest 3G networks.
3.5G (2006-Present): High Speed Packet Access (HSPA) and Evolution-Data Optimized Revolution (EV-DO). The approved 3G standard starts to evolve and speeds get faster and data is carried over cellular connections more reliably. This is the foundation that the current app economy is based on.
3.9G (2008-Present): Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access
(WiMax), Long Term Evolution (LTE) and HSPA+. When the carriers shout, “my 4G is blazing fast!” this is what they are talking about. Though this is not technically 4G, the ITU begin allowing carriers to market these technologies as 4G in December 2010 stating that any technology is that a significant advancement to the 3G standard can be called 4G. Speeds here have the potential to be up to 45 to 80 megabits per second down under ideal circumstances, which basically never exist. Currently, the best these standards can operate under real world conditions is about 14.4 megabits per second down. Sometimes higher, mostly lower.
Based on the last pink (purple? Fuchsia?) sentence it seems that ITU ‘allowed’ carriers to call them 4G, but just so you know… It really isn’t the next Gen after the official IMT-Advanced.