iPhone 5 Likely to Support AT&T '4G', Widening Speed Gap Over Verizon

Discussion in 'MacRumors.com News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Jun 2, 2011.

  1. MacRumors, Jun 2, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 2, 2011

    MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Barron's reports on a new research note from Hudson Square analyst Todd Rethemeier, who claims that the fifth-generation iPhone due this fall will indeed support HSPA+ technology, a development that will allow the device to offer faster data speeds on GSM networks such as AT&T. (The currently shipping iPhone supports standard HSPA.) Despite the fact that HSPA+ is slower than the LTE standard being rolled out by major carriers, AT&T has begun marketing its HSPA+ network as "4G", meaning that the carrier could position the next iPhone as a 4G device despite it failing to offer LTE compatibility.


    The implications of an HSPA+ iPhone are significant in the United States, where Apple presently offers a separate CDMA iPhone running on Verizon. Even with both current models of the iPhone 4 limited to 3G networks, AT&T's HSPA data network is already faster than Verizon's EVDO data network. That disparity will be magnified with the next iPhone as AT&T users will be able to experience download speeds in the range of 5-10 Mbps under HSPA+ while users on Verizon will remain stuck on the carrier's current 3G network running in the neighborhood of 1 Mbps.

    And that advantage would continue to be significant even for the expected LTE-enabled sixth-generation iPhone until LTE networks are essentially built out, as AT&T users would be able to fall back from LTE to HSPA+ while Verizon users would fall all the way back to basic 3G when out of LTE coverage areas.
    AT&T notes that it is currently seeing "4G" speeds of up to 6 Mbps for HSPA+ devices connected to cell towers utilizing the enhanced backhaul connections needed to support such speeds. The carrier touts HSPA+ as an intermediate step on the way to LTE, a move that will enable it to be the only U.S. carrier to offer two layers of "4G" speeds on its network.

    Early reports have seen some users of "4G" HSPA+ devices on AT&T experiencing speeds slower than that seen on 3G, particularly when it comes to upload, although the carrier is still finishing building out its full HSPA+ capabilities. Consequently, it remains to be seen exactly just how wide the disparity would be between an HSPA+ iPhone running on AT&T versus one running on Verizon's network.

    Verizon executives have claimed that the next-generation iPhone will be a single "world-mode" model capable of operating on both GSM and CDMA networks. The CDMA iPhone 4 and iPad 2 already include a Qualcomm chip capable of supporting both HSPA+ and CDMA 3G standards, meaning that Apple would primarily have to focus on integrating sufficient antenna capabilities to support the number of frequencies required for both CDMA and GSM compatibility in a single device.

    Article Link: iPhone 5 Likely to Support AT&T '4G', Widening Speed Gap Over Verizon
  2. ratzzo macrumors 6502a


    Apr 20, 2011
    Why do they label anything as 4G nowadays when it clearly isn't? :confused:
  3. chrmjenkins macrumors 603


    Oct 29, 2007
    I have an HTC Inspire 4G and I see no faster speeds in the LA area.
  4. FriarNurgle macrumors regular


    Jan 2, 2011
    Feds need to step in and set limits to what people can call 4G. This crap is getting confusing.
  5. chrmjenkins macrumors 603


    Oct 29, 2007
    The international body that regulates the terms already ok'ed HSPA+ and greater and first gen LTE as '4G'. They use to require peak speeds of 100 Mbps, but no one liked that so here we are.

    Verizon's LTE network wasn't even in the original definition because the next version "LTE-Advanced" is considered to be the eventual goal of the technology.

    source: http://www.itu.int/net/pressoffice/press_releases/2010/48.aspx
  6. ToroidalZeus macrumors 68020


    Dec 8, 2009
    It's going to suck now knowing if you are on HSPA+ or LTE 4G.
  7. miles01110 macrumors Core


    Jul 24, 2006
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    The same thing happens every time there's a race to be the first to adopt a new buzzword.
  8. F123D macrumors 68040


    Sep 16, 2008
    Del Mar, CA
    So they can charge you more $$$$$ for it. Yay phone companies.
  9. Yvan256 macrumors 601

    Jul 5, 2004
    Can't wait to try LTE in Canada...

    probably in two or three decades, for the low price of only 100.00$ per month with an amazingly huge quota of 500 MB. :rolleyes:
  10. srl7741 macrumors 68020


    Jan 19, 2008
    In my world
    That and you should not be able to run TV Ads claiming the same when you dont even have 4G anywhere in an entire State. People walk into a store buy a 4G phone and never think to ask if they even have 4G service. They find out later "It's Coming". Total farse and deceiving to the average consumer.

    I have several people a week brag to me about their 4G smart device and I smile while telling them good job, we don't even have 4G anywhere in the entire State you moron.
  11. Popeye206 macrumors 68040


    Sep 6, 2007
    I'll believe it when I see it....

    and more.... I'll care when 4G is actually out there in more than a few major areas.

    Wake me up in a year.... 4G is so oversold right now.
  12. Full of Win macrumors 68030

    Full of Win

    Nov 22, 2007
    Ask Apple
    AT&T can cram it with walnuts if they use this minor bump in speed to break existing unlimited plans.
  13. trekkie604 macrumors 65816


    Feb 25, 2008
    Vancouver, Canada
    Rogers is already rolling out their LTE network.
  14. *LTD* macrumors G4


    Feb 5, 2009
  15. GENTLEB macrumors newbie

    Feb 3, 2011
    This is so funny .... I'll take Verizons "slow" 1Mbps CDMA 3G over AT&T's EDGE 2G any day of the Week/Month/Year.

    ^^^ That's the bottom line here

    I love the "fall back" to HSPA+ ROFL in reality it's a fall back to EDGE
  16. Yvan256, Jun 2, 2011
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2011

    Yvan256 macrumors 601

    Jul 5, 2004
    I'm probably not that far off with the monthly cost and quota, however. ;)

    What makes me sad is that they say "With maximum download speeds of up to 150 Mbps and upload speeds of up to 70 Mbps", while Télébec here (only choice of ISP, if you call that a choice) is proud to sell me "high speed cable internet access" at speeds of 2, 5, 8 or 12 Mbps with 35GB/month quotas (uploads+downloads).
  17. techweenie macrumors member

    Feb 22, 2011
    West LA
    I haven't had a dropped call yet with Verizon after dumping AT&T on the first day I could. I was getting an average of 3 dropped calls a day via AT&T in West LA. Their answer: "turn off 3G."

    Really noticing the data speed drop with Verizon and don't like the incoming call management, but I can have conversations without interruption, and that kind of trumps the other issues.
  18. dlee96 macrumors newbie

    Feb 4, 2009
    Fantastic! Now we can burn through a 5GB data plan faster than ever!
  19. maclaptop macrumors 65816


    Apr 8, 2011
    Western Hemisphere
    They do that because of all the buzz in the market place. It's no different that any other rather false advertising we have on TV, the Net, the print media and other sources.

    There is no "Official" 4G standard, therefore it's even easier for them to use the label "4G" in their advertising. They all do it, because all carriers are in the same business, and they have very little to use as a key differentiator for their company.

    It's like rental car companies, they all do the same thing so they have to grab at straws to stand out in the crowd. To bring in the volume of business they seek.

    If at some point relatively soon there is an agreement on a Standard, by which all are measured, then and only then will we be able to truly know what to expect, and what to demand from them.
  20. Michael73 macrumors 65816

    Feb 27, 2007
    Apple is famous for concentrating on user experience rather than pure hardware specs. We all know that 3G drains the battery faster than EDGE, imagine what HSPA+ and 4G LTE will do! I sure as heck hope they figure out how to support HSPA+ and 4G LTE without a piss-poor battery life.
  21. ipoppy macrumors 6502

    Oct 12, 2006
    Can someone tell me what is the benefit of 4G (LTE). Yes , its fast but what you going to do with all that speed. 3G not fast enough? Tether perhaps? Yes, that will be good as long as you got jailbreak in unless you want to pay ridiculous rates per MB used.
    Any more useful stuff?
    I am not surprised that Apple is slow with all this...
  22. Papajohn56 macrumors 6502

    Aug 13, 2005
  23. chrmjenkins macrumors 603


    Oct 29, 2007
  24. ghostface147 macrumors 68010


    May 28, 2008
    Speak for yourself. Where I live, there is no edge. All 3G.
  25. riverfreak macrumors 6502a

    Jan 10, 2005
    Earth, mostly.
    Coverage first, speed second.

    Flat out, AT&Ts coverage is abysmal.

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