Feeds

WiMAX and LTE grab 4G moniker

Talkin' 'bout MY generation

High performance access to file storage

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. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
A black box for your SUITCASE: Now your lost luggage can phone home – quite literally
Breakfast in London, lunch in NYC, and your clothes in Peru
Broadband Secretary of SHEEP sensationally quits Cabinet
Maria Miller finally resigns over expenses row
Skype pimps pro-level broadcast service
Playing Cat and Mouse with the media
Beat it, freetards! Dyn to shut down no-cost dynamic DNS next month
... but don't worry, charter members, you're still in 'for life'
Like Google, Comcast might roll its own mobile voice network
Says anything's possible if regulators approve merger with Time Warner
EE dismisses DATA-BURNING glitch with Orange Mail app
Bug quietly slurps PAYG credit - yet EE denies it exists
Turnbull leaves Australia's broadband blackspots in the dark
New Statement of Expectations to NBN Co offers get-out clauses for blackspot builds
Facebook claims 100 MEEELLION active users in India
Who needs China when you've got the next billion in your sights?
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
HP ArcSight ESM solution helps Finansbank
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.