Feeds

America demands definition of fourth generation

I did not have a 4G connection with that woman

Top three mobile application threats

A bill before the US congress will require mobile operators to state which technology they're providing, and how fast it is, as well as formally defining what's meant by "4G".

The "Next Generation Wireless Disclosure Act" has been proposed by Anna Eshoo (rep for California's 14th District), and calls on network operators to publish their minimum speed, reliability and content management policies, as well as the technology they've chosen to use for their network - pushing T-Mobile and AT&T's networks back into the third generation.

The first generation was analogue, so it's quite easy to spot the 2G networks (which are digital). With 3G things get a little more complicated, with EDGE slipping into the definition but still called 2G by most people. However, the US networks have been playing fast and loose with the definition of "4G", applying it to HSPA technology that everyone else agrees is third generation at best.

2G_3G_4G_GRAPH

Who says what is what, but not why

The ITU now accepts that WiMAX and LTE can be called "4G". Engineers can still be heard to mutter that neither is really fast enough to warrant a generational shift, but most of the world now recognises that LTE is the 4G standard of choice, and that's the stance taken by the new act.

But it's not just the underlying technology that Anna Eshoo wants published in the small print on every customer's bill. The bill (PDF, shorter and easier to read than expected) also asks that the FCC establish minimum speeds and reliability statistics for every operator, which that operator will be obliged to publish. Not only that but operator policies on content optimisation, and any content control, will also have to be shared.

Visibility is to be welcomed, and making everyone publish their policies seems to make sense, as does defining the term "4G". But one can't help feeling the act faces an uphill battle in getting the FCC to monitor operators, given the likely challenges to the impartiality of any such process.

Either way, the bill is now before the House Energy & Commerce Committee so we'll see what the rest of Congress makes of it. ®

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

More from The Register

next story
Virgin Media so, so SORRY for turning spam fire-hose on its punters
Hundreds of emails flood inboxes thanks to gaffe
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
AT&T dangles gigabit broadband plans over 100 US cities
So soon after a mulled Google Fiber expansion, fancy that
AT&T threatens to pull out of FCC wireless auctions over purchase limits
Company wants ability to buy more spectrum space in auction
Google looks to LTE and Wi-Fi to help it lube YouTube tubes
Bandwidth hogger needs tube embiggenment if it's to succeed
Turnbull gave NBN Co NO RULES to plan blackspot upgrades
NBN Co faces huge future Telstra bills and reduces fibre footprint
NBN Co plans fibre-to-the-basement blitz to beat cherry-pickers
Heading off at the pass operation given same priority as blackspot fixing
NBN Co in 'broadband kit we tested worked' STUNNER
Announcement of VDSL trial is not proof of concept for fibre-to-the-node
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.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
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.
SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.