Following a decision by the mobile network operator T-Mobile USA to advertise its network as the largest 4G network in the US the rest of the industry has now begun to argue over the definition of Fourth Generation or 4G technology.
An ever increasing number of network providers are either working on or are already deploying new 4G services throughout the US and it is now becoming vitally important for both businesses and consumers that these 4G mobile broadband networks are rolled out as quickly as possible by network operators.
The definition of 4G has, however, now been brought into question within the industry because of a single mobile network provider. Even though its mobile broadband technology is not officially seen as being a 4G service T-Mobile USA has still begun referring to its network as the largest 4G network in the US.
Network providers like AT&T and Verizon, who will both be deploying networks using Long Term Evolution or LTE in the future, and providers like Sprint Nextel and Clearwire, which are currently using WiMAX technology, are the only network operators to have the definition of 4G applied to their services. The reason for this is that when compared to the current 3G network the newer 4G technologies offer far higher data transfer speeds.
Even though it is claiming that it is now a 4G operator, T-Mobile is still using HSPA+ technology rather than the LTE or WiMAX technologies that are being used by providers that are being classified as true 4G operators. The definition of 4G can, however, be justified in some respects by the speed of its HSPA+ network which has achieved an average download rate of 5Mbps. A statement from a T-Mobile official said “When consumers look at 4G … if you ask nine of 10, they’ll say it’s about the speed.”
Source – Biz Journals