4G or Not 4G: That Is the Question

Ainsley Jones

T-Mobile went on the offensive this week with the launch of its myTouch 4G and new ad slogan of "America's Largest 4G Network." T-Mobile CTO Neville Ray added more fuel to the fire by touting that his HSPA+ network is a better option than LTE or WiMax in an interview with Om Malik at GigaOM.


AT&T and Sprint have both issued retorts to T-Mobile's claims. In an e-mail to InformationWeek, an AT&T spokesperson said:

T-Mobile's claims about 4G are based on the same HSPA+ technology we have deployed to 180 million people today, more than T-Mobile's reported 140 million, and we'll have it rolled out to 250 million people by the end of this month, substantially more than the 200 million T-Mobile says it will have by year-end.

Sprint's 4G President Matt Carter kept his comments short and sweet:

Halloween is over-it's time for T-Mobile to stop dressing up like their favorite super hero-Sprint 4G.

Wayne Rash, writing for eWEEK, examines whether T-Mobile's HSPA+ network or any of the other carrier's networks is really 4G. If you prescribe to the International Telecommunications Union, which has drafted the basic tenets of what constitutes 4G, then none of the carriers offers or is in the process of offering 4G. On the other hand, analyst firm Yankee Group essentially defines 4G as meaning "really fast" and qualifies all three carriers as providers of 4G.

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