Feeds

WiMAX and LTE grab 4G moniker

Talkin' 'bout MY generation

Security for virtualized datacentres

The ITU has decided that both LTE and WiMAX may be known as "4G" technologies, despite neither properly qualifying as part of the fourth generation of mobile technologies.

The International Telecommunications Union decided in November that only LTE-Advanced and its WiMAX equivalent (WirelessMAN-Advanced2) offered enough speed to qualify as fourth-generation technologies, but with network operators already playing fast and loose with the term the ITU has now decreed that the preceding technologies can also be known as 4G networks.

While the separation between the first generation; analogue, and second generation; digital, networks is clearly defined, their descendants have a less radical evolution with a handful of technologies sitting uncomfortably between generations as engineers developed incremental progressions, and marketeers sought revolutionary claims.

Those marketeers sought so many revolutions they were forced to subdivide the generations, introducing "2.5G", "3.75G" and so forth, despite the terms having no meaning at all.

DailyWireless.org presents a particularly good example from a T-Mobile advertisement.

The ITU makes specific requirements of a technology before it will bestow a generational change, creating definitions based on speed that, for example, allow GSM EDGE to slip in to the definition of 3G (and thus enabling Apple to claim that even the first iPhone was a 3G device) despite the fact that no-one outside the industry considers EDGE to be a 3G technology.

When it comes to 4G the discrepancy is the other way - only LTE-Advanced and WirelessMAN-Advanced2 fit the profile for 4G as defined by the ITU (100Mb/sec in motion, 1Gb/sec when stationary), but that hardly matters when everyone outside the ITU (including this publication) is already referring to both ordinary LTE and WiMAX as 4G technologies.

So the ITU has relented, admitting that "it is recognized that [4G] ... may also be applied to ... LTE and WiMax". But not content with stopping there, the ITU admits that the term may also be used to refer to "other evolved 3G technologies", basically giving the marketeers free rein to use the term as they feel fit.

Which is what they where going to do anyway, of course. The ITU has no power to prevent anyone calling their technology 4G, 5G or anything else they like. This change in policy will simply prevent the few geeks who thought they knew better from pointing the use of incorrect generational terms out to others who don't really care anyway. ®

Protecting against web application threats using SSL

More from The Register

next story
Brit telcos warn Scots that voting Yes could lead to HEFTY bills
BT and Co: Independence vote likely to mean 'increased costs'
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
New 'Cosmos' browser surfs the net by TXT alone
No data plan? No WiFi? No worries ... except sluggish download speed
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
Blockbuster book lays out the first 20 years of the Smartphone Wars
Symbian's David Wood bares all. Not for the faint hearted
Bonking with Apple has POUNDED mobe operators' wallets
... into submission. Weve squeals, ditches payment plans
This flashlight app requires: Your contacts list, identity, access to your camera...
Who us, dodgy? Vast majority of mobile apps fail privacy test
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL
Discussing the vulnerabilities inherent in Wi-Fi networks, and how using TLS/SSL for your entire site will assure security.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.