Linked by David Adams on Tue 12th Jul 2011 17:42 UTC
PDAs, Cellphones, Wireless A recent Retrevo Gadgetology survey suggests that users are unclear on what exactly 4G means, don't know whether their current mobile service is 4G or not, and even if they do know, are unsure of the benefit. It also seems that mobile device owners' loyalty to their chosen platform is more important to them than higher network speeds.
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RE[3]: Comment by A.H.
by Morgan on Wed 13th Jul 2011 01:21 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by A.H."
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Well, if 4G provided some functional advantages over 3G to the user (like 3G does over 2G, by allowing the internet connection to run in parallel with standard voice/text services), the name would make sense.

Except that not even all 3G services allow this. On Verizon's CDMA network, you can achieve what they call "3G speed" but the technology still doesn't allow for simultaneous voice and data. Verizon is really big in my area, and many of my friends and coworkers who have it are often frustrated by this, especially since Verizon isn't up front about it. They see me on my T-Mobile phone, or other friends on their AT&T smartphones, browsing while chatting via headset, and it blows their mind.

Speaking of T-Mobile, they are quite guilty of 3G/4G confusion tactics. This year all the phone-based data plans were renamed to "4G Data", even for 3G and EDGE devices. This is likely to make some users think they have a 4G device when they don't. Also, the only improvement I noticed when going from a 3G phone (Moto Cliq) to a 4G phone (MyTouch 4G) was a huge improvement in latency. On the Cliq I was lucky to get 1000ms pings no matter the server; on the MT4G I get a consistent 100ms or faster. As for download/upload rates, I haven't noticed a bit of difference. At home I get 2-3Mbps on both phones consistently, and at work it's ~700Kbps on both. Interestingly, when my MT4G drops to an EDGE or GPRS-only connection (rare, but it happens) I end up with the horrible lag I was getting on the Cliq.

Interestingly, for the few months I had a Nokia N900 I was getting about 7Mbps at home and nearly 2Mbps at work, until one day my speeds inexplicably dropped to EDGE and stayed there for two months straight. I called T-Mobile and they claimed they made no changes to my account and assured me I was nowhere near the data cap. They claimed it must be something wrong with the phone, and since they never officially supported the N900 they said I was on my own. I ended up selling the phone since it was useless as an internet device, and the guy I sold it to has not complained yet (he's in Colorado, I'm in Georgia).

So, count me in the crowd that is greatly underwhelmed by the move to "4G" by my carrier.

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