What happens to iphone 4 when AT&T Launches 4G network?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by richpuer, Nov 16, 2010.

  1. richpuer macrumors 6502

    Nov 15, 2010
    Are those of us who just recently purchased the new iphone 4 and still have over 16months left on the contract just basically screwed and stuck with old 3G technology for the next 2 years while others are getting 4G speeds?

    I heard from the att rep when i purchased the phone last week that the current iphone 4 is 4G network compatible and will be able to get receive the new speed without having to buy a completely new "iphone 4GS" or whatever they call the next release. he tells me all u will need is software update and u can run on 4G speeds.

    anyone have thoughts on this? or know if the current iphone4 really is compatible with 4G network?
  2. Neverbepeace macrumors 6502a


    Jan 14, 2009
    New York
    Wow......now 3g is slow? Lolololol people are never satisfied :D
  3. SDub90 macrumors 6502a

    Nov 9, 2009
    Long Island
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_1 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/532.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/4.0.5 Mobile/8B117 Safari/6531.22.7)

    The AT&T rep lied. And if AT&T does introduce 4G, it'll be at least a year later that an iPhone will take advantage of it.

    edit: I should also remind you that 3G was around for a while when the original iPhone was released and the original iPhone had only EDGE
  4. Mliii macrumors 65816


    Jan 28, 2006
    Southern California
    I think it's safe to say that 4g implementation on any significant segment of AT&T's network is several years away no matter what any sales person at AT&T told you. By then, your iPhone 4 will be sitting in a box somewhere in your garage or being used as an iPod touch!;)
  5. scaredpoet macrumors 604


    Apr 6, 2007

    First off, it's already been well established that there currently is no 4G on the table. Neither WiMax nor LTE meet the industry definition of 4G. It's all marketing at this point. At best, the ITU-R considers these technologies to be "Pre-4G."

    Second, even when LTE does roll out, it's going to be a long time before it becomes ubiquitous enough for it to be a concern for most iPhone users. In fact, it could well be 2 years or more before you start seeing significant coverage beyond just the major metro areas.

    I mean, look at 3G now: AT&T still doesn't have blanket network coverage of UMTS (and technically, even Verizon lacks complete homogenous EVDO 3G coverage, but they don't like to admit that, and that's a whole other discussion).

    In the sense there is no technology slated that meets the official industry definition of 4G? He's wrong.

    But, even in the marketing "4G" sense? iPhone 4 lacks LTE. So he's wrong there, too.

    What the iPhone is capable of is max download speeds of 7Mbps and max upload of 5Mbps on HSPA. Which isn't that bad, actually. And then there's WiFi where it go can way faster, and WiFi isn't going anywhere, anytime soon.

    The rep is wrong, but that shouldn't concern you at this point.

    It's a lot like wanting to buy an all-electric car right now because it's the new up and coming thing. Are those who buy new gasoline cars stuck with the "old technology?" Well, of course. But think of it this way: there's a LONG way to go before the nation's infrastructure is fully adapted to support all-electric cars. Until then, to make full use of your new electric car, you have to plan your trips so that you're never 30-50 miles away from a charging station that's compatible with your car and that you're allowed to use.... not mention being able to wait around a few hours while your car's batteries top off. On the other hand, those people using those "old" gasoline engine cars don't have to worry all the much about filling stations being nearby, and gas will continue to be available for at least a few more decades... well past the expected useful life of a car you buy today.

    Same is true on current cellular networks. You can buy a 3G/EDGE phone (or even an EDGE-only phone) today and use the whole network... or buy an LTE phone and use it in the few cities that LTE is available. Fortunately, it's expected that new LTE phones will have radios for the 3G and EDGE networks, so it's expected that you'll still have network access outside of these areas. But, in a 3G or EDGE-only area, that LTE phone isn't going to be any faster than an "old" 3G phone.

    So, buy your iPhone 4 and relax. By the time your contract is up, LTE might just barely be rolling out in enough places that it's worth upgrading, and chances are Apple might just barely be releasing a "4G" iPhone at that point.
  6. richpuer thread starter macrumors 6502

    Nov 15, 2010
    ^^^^great response! thanks...feel better about the commitment now
  7. TruckdriverSean macrumors 6502a

    Feb 28, 2009
    Texas, US
    Well after scaredpoet's post there's really not much I could possibly add...

    ...Except this:

    If a salesperson tells you it's raining, chances are good that he's peeing on your leg.
  8. maturola macrumors 68040


    Oct 29, 2007
    Atlanta, GA
    Relax, by the time AT&T 4 G network is actually useful and widespread iPhone 6 will be here with support for it, if you still stuck on iPhone 3 (a.k.a 3Gs) or 4 them that is your own fault to get "Stuck" on an old Tech (just like everyone who still using the original iphone and have chosen to stick with Edge).

    People think that 4G will be here next year, don't eat all the marketing BS, next year will be very limited markets and a lot, I repeat A LOT of issues.
  9. dccorona macrumors 68020


    Jun 12, 2008
    The receiver in the iPhone 4 is capable of faster 3G speeds than most people are getting right now. Most ATT 3G operates at 3.5mbps but the iPhone can handle the faster 7.2mbps that is in some markets. When it spreads to your area, you will be able to utilize it. This is likely what the rep was told, and they didn't understand it fully, and thought it meant 4G.
  10. jav6454 macrumors P6


    Nov 14, 2007
    1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
    Nothing. The iPhone 4 keeps getting it's 3G signal. Pre-4G LTE signal will be sent through the newly acquired 700MHz band.
  11. samven582 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 2, 2009
  12. lucifiel macrumors 6502a


    Nov 7, 2009
    In your basement
  13. JD914 macrumors 6502a


    Sep 24, 2007
    Dutchess County NY
    Reps will say anything and lie to make a sale. They bank on uneducated and clueless people to make their money. I always laugh at people that actually believe what store reps say.

    OP, your a gullible person.
  14. ecschwarz macrumors 65816


    Jun 28, 2010
    I agree with everything that everyone has said, and T-Mobile's "4G" network is really just a high-speed 3G network. 4G is the new, sexy marketing term, thrown around first by Sprint, and now others are trying to catch up because 4>3. That being said, AT&T's network still works with GPRS (aka 2G) or EDGE (aka 2.5G), and most upgrades are still backwards-compatible for at least awhile.

    In fact, since LTE is GSM-based, you could, in theory roam on a Verizon LTE network if they enabled backwards-compatbility and it was on the right frequencies. Either way, the iPhone is going to be a 3G-based device for the next few years.
  15. FX120 macrumors 65816


    May 18, 2007
    Doubtful. Both Verizon and ATT intend to continue using their existing 3G networks for voice service, and their LTE deployments are in different parts of the spectrum.
  16. mobiletech macrumors member

    Nov 17, 2010
    For those who do not know 2G technology was created some 30 years ago( not a mistype) with its full potential only seen in 2003 with EDGE or 2.75G.

    3G technology was first researched in 1992 with a launch in 2001 to the public. But the major popularity was only truly seen in 2007. Even today the full potential of 7Mbps is not even seen or used, passed R&D

    By comparison true 4G technology was only recently started research, based off of the other time scales and including moore's law. We can see that at earliest real 4g will probably be launched somewhere between 2015 and 2020. With full utilization being seen towards the end of the 2020 decade.

    So when will we see an iphone 4G? probably right after the iphone that can read your mind via front facing thermal camera, with double gyroscopes so it can control your car for when your too lazy, or drunk.
  17. zephxiii macrumors 6502

    Jun 21, 2010
    That is incorrect, the entire network has had 7.2mbps air interface for nearly all of this year, now the majority of the network is currently HSPA+ (21mbps for compatible devices).

    I have personally hit 5mbps in my little Indiana crap town.
  18. maturola macrumors 68040


    Oct 29, 2007
    Atlanta, GA
    I hit 27 Up, 18 Down once.....:eek::eek::eek:


    I know, I know that is technically not Possible!... :(:( Something must have gone wrong on the test, still was pretty cool to see it.
  19. alent1234 macrumors 603

    Jun 19, 2009
    newsflash, LTE is not 4G. it's more like 3.9G

    real 4G is still years away
  20. mad-dog-one macrumors 6502

    Aug 14, 2009
    They get overheated and explode when 4G data is sucked through their 3G architecture.:D
  21. topmounter macrumors 68020


    Jun 18, 2009
    FEMA Region VIII
    Go back and kick that AT&T Sales Rep as hard as you can in the sack. Otherwise these morons are going to continue to breed.
  22. Consultant macrumors G5


    Jun 27, 2007
    iPhone 4 already can access the improved 3G (which some people are falsely calling as 4G).
  23. dryja123 macrumors regular

    Aug 20, 2009
    Same thing that happened when people purchased the 1st gen iPhone and the 3g came out. Next gen phone will most likely be the iPhone 4G.
  24. maturola macrumors 68040


    Oct 29, 2007
    Atlanta, GA
    There fixed! ;)
  25. thetexan macrumors 6502a

    May 11, 2009
    The only thing LTE has related to GSM are the people behind the technology. LTE is not compatible with GSM. There will be a time when AT&T shuts down the GSM network thus making the iPhones bricks, though that time is many many years away.

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