Is 4G a gimmick? Is it everywhere?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by patent10021, Mar 15, 2012.

  1. patent10021 macrumors 68020

    patent10021

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2004
    #1
    So I have an iPhone on SoftBank Japan. It is/was 3G. That means a 3G carrier signal no? If SoftBank isn't a 4G network then having a 4G phone wouldn't matter right? How do I know if SoftBank is 4G capable without actually going into the store and asking them?

    I thought I was reading somewhere that carriers are advertising 4G when they're not 4G. What does this comment mean?

    Thanks
     
  2. Buckeyestar macrumors 6502a

    Buckeyestar

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    Sep 17, 2011
    #2
    No carrier has real 4G. AT&T and T-Mobile bill their HSPA+ as 4G, while everyone acknowledges LTE as 4G. But neither are. The actual standard would only apply to LTE Advanced, which is not offered by carriers yet.
     
  3. r.j.s Moderator emeritus

    r.j.s

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    Location:
    Texas
    #3
    You could look at Softbank's website to see if they offer 4G, but it wouldn't matter yet - to you - as you do need a 4G capable phone to use it.

    Real 4G is not a gimmick - it is fast, but carriers here in the U.S. have advertised networks that aren't quite up to the 4G spec as "4G." Eventually, the standards organization caved and redefined 4G to include these lower standards.

    And, no, it is not everywhere.
     
  4. Jb07 macrumors 6502

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    #4
    Both Verizon and AT&T have LTE 4G.
     
  5. Interstella5555 macrumors 603

    Interstella5555

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    Jun 30, 2008
    #5
    Yes and no. It's a gimmick in the same way that 3D is a gimmick these days; no one really has a standard for it (see: Difference between Toy Story 3/Avatar and Alice in wonderland), but everyone can claim they have it, no matter how poor the implementation is. 2 or 3 years down the line we may have a standard for what actually constitutes it, but now everyone will just say they have it since it's the new thing.
     
  6. r.j.s Moderator emeritus

    r.j.s

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    Texas
    #6
    Yes, but the original 4G standard did not include that version of LTE.
     
  7. JUMPINTHEGUN macrumors newbie

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    Jan 2, 2008
    #7
    I just noticed this as well... we just got 3G in my area for AT&T (yes, a rural area) and I bought a 4S a few months ago... I noticed today that the band on the phone changed from 3G to 4G... I didn't think that the 4S was even "4G" capable... even thought Apple/At&T touted that their 3G was faster than most others 4G - true or not, I don't know... It did just update to 5.1 last night, so maybe that's it; a change in the display based on data speed?
     
  8. Zwhaler macrumors 603

    Zwhaler

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    #8
    I think that technicalities aside, the speeds offered by the current "4G" LTE are fast enough to make customers feel as though it is the next step up from 3G, whereas HSPA+ really just isn't.
     
  9. ixodes macrumors 601

    ixodes

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    Location:
    Pacific Coast, USA
    #9
    The best answer is to do your own research instead of asking individuals in an Apple forum. There's too much guessing & assuming amongst individuals, it's a waste of your time.
     
  10. rjohnstone macrumors 68040

    rjohnstone

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    PHX, AZ.
    #10
    It simply means the tower you are connected to supports HSPA+ (4G).
    AT&T has been including HSPA+ radios on all their 3G towers even if the backhaul has not been upgraded yet.
    One less thing they have to come back and do later.

    At the end of the day, that's all the symbol means. Signal type, not actual speed.
     
  11. lordofthereef macrumors G5

    lordofthereef

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    Boston, MA
    #11
    It's time we quit quibbling over the standard and start going with network definition and user understanding. I think it's clear that the OP is asking either about HSPA+ or LTE. Does it matter that neither of those are "true 4G standard"? I think not.
     
  12. Dmunjal macrumors 65816

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    Jun 20, 2010
    #12
    Who cares what it's called, it's fast! It's available everywhere I need to go (most major metropolitan areas in the US) from both Verizon and AT&T. Once you use it, you'll never go back to 3G. It is as fast as WiFi with the same low ping rates. In fact, it is probably faster than any public WiFi hotspot. I find that only my home and office offer faster speeds than than LTE. Even Starbucks is slower.
     
  13. Stealthipad macrumors 68040

    Stealthipad

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    Apr 30, 2010
    #13
    Did you update to 5.1? If so that is what changed your AT&T phone to show 4G.

    This is all an advertising thing so AT&T can compete with Verizon.
     
  14. r.j.s Moderator emeritus

    r.j.s

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    Texas
    #14
    I'm not quibbling, merely answering the OP's question:

    And, you're right, it doesn't matter, as we won't see the "original intent" 4G for a few years. Hell, I don't get those speeds at home on cable.
     
  15. Thedeathbear macrumors 6502a

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    Apr 18, 2010
    #15
    The telecom companies payed to change the standard of what 4G is. LTE is 4G.
     
  16. takeshi74 macrumors 601

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    Feb 9, 2011
    #16
    Google. Here's a hit that came up right away for me:
    http://www.theverge.com/2012/2/20/2812955/softbank-launch-4g-network-japan-axgp
     
  17. lordofthereef macrumors G5

    lordofthereef

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    #17
    Not you, just everyone in general. This is the number one thing I here people say in response to questions about 4G; that we don't actually have "true 4G" to begin with. This has become a point of semantics and I was merely pointing out that I don't find it helpful. The general public thinks 4G is what the teclos say it is. For all intents and purposes, we may as well accept that.

    ----------

    I don't know that they paid for the change, but it's clear that the change was influenced by how they started defining it. In any case, I don't see much of a point in dwelling in the past. It is what it is today. Maybe it will be different tomorrow too. Who knows? At the end of the day, I think 4G, to the average consumer, means nothing more than "significantly faster than 3G", and it is that.
     
  18. Markyboy81 macrumors 6502a

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    Oct 30, 2011
    #18
    Here in the uk I'd be happy to have consistent 3G signal let alone 4G!
     
  19. Spectrum Abuser macrumors 65816

    Spectrum Abuser

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    Aug 27, 2011
    #19
    The standard has changed. HSPA+ is now considered to be 4G. Although I would rather say HSPA+ is just a faster protocol of 3G considering HSPA is considered 3G after all. Long term evolution on the other hand, advanced or not, is indeed '4G'.
     
  20. cynics macrumors G3

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    Jan 8, 2012
    #20
    I couldn't imagine actually needing more then LTE for some to class it in with HSPA+. Technically LTE might not be 4G but it's a damn sight better.

    It's typically 2x as fast as good residential broadband. Unless you just have garbage broadband who is sitting around saying "40 - 70 mb down?!? Pssshhhh this is 3.99G".

    I think this is why no one has really complained about the terminology of 4G when used with LTE. There was mild upgrades between 2G, 3G etc etc then a huge leap so no one was looking up the definitions and IUT standards etc etc. Now AT&T took one of there mild upgrades and compared it to something that's much better.
     
  21. patent10021, Mar 15, 2012
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2012

    patent10021 thread starter macrumors 68020

    patent10021

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    Apr 23, 2004
    #21
    たけしさん、こんにちは。リンクを教えて頂きどうもありがとうございます。サイトを参考にします。
    Why are there so many forms of this technology? Why the heck is all this stuff so fragmented? It7S like the Android of carriers.

    All great posts. Thanks guys.
     
  22. RotaryP7 macrumors 6502a

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    Aug 31, 2011
    Location:
    Miami, FL
    #22
    It's actually 3.5G but then again, why would anyone call it that? It's closer to 4G so I guess it's called 4G. :rolleyes:

    Fun fact, T-Mobile's HSPA+ averages faster speeds than Verizon's 4G LTE. Google that if you want.
     

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