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: Comment by A.H.
by WorknMan on Tue 12th Jul 2011 19:41 UTC in reply to "Comment by A.H."
Member since:

"34% of iPhone owners mistakenly think they already have 4G"

What a surprise.

Well, I'm an Android user, with a rooted phone and a custom ROM installed, and even I'm not sure what 4g REALLY is. All I know is that if a carrier advertises 4g, it's probably going to be faster than 3g, and will most likely drain the battery like a motherf**ker.

Basically, if it says 4g, that means faster than 3g. For non-geeks, is there really any reason to give a shit about the specifics? I'll probably look and see what the average data speeds are in my area for each carrier, but other than that, I don't give a ding dong didley about acronyms.

People that argue about the technical definition of 4g are probably the ones that get their panties in a wad when you don't put 'GNU/' in front of Linux. Honestly, some people need to just go outside ....

Edited 2011-07-12 19:43 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[2]: Comment by A.H.
by Neolander on Tue 12th Jul 2011 19:45 in reply to "RE: Comment by A.H."
Neolander Member since:

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. Otherwise, I agree that it's a bit of 3G++ : the protocol/pipe changes again, so what ?

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[3]: Comment by A.H.
by Morgan on Wed 13th Jul 2011 01:21 in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by A.H."
Morgan Member since:

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.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by A.H.
by phoenix on Tue 12th Jul 2011 21:33 in reply to "RE: Comment by A.H."
phoenix Member since:

A couple of months ago, HSPA (High-Speed Packet Access) which includes HSDPA and HSUPA (Download / Upload) was advertised by everyone as 3G. Which is correct.

Now, every wireless carrier that supports HSPA is advertising it as 4G. At least up here in Canada; should be the same down South. Which is false advertising.

And, all those carriers that support LTE or WiMAX are also advertising those as 4G. Which is just confusing everyone.

What's worse is that Rogers came out publically at the beginning of the year stating they would not call their HSPA network 4G, reserving that for their LTE rollout this summer. Thus, differentiating themselves from Telus and Bell that relabelled their HSPA networks as 4G.

Then, last month, they declared their HSPA network would henceforth be labelled 4G.

Last year, when I bought the LG Eve for my wife, it was a 3G phone, supporting 7 Mbps HSDPA. Last month, it was "upgraded" to 4G with a simple announcement on the Rogers Redboard site.

Is it really any surprise that people don't know whether they have a 4G-capable phone or not, when everyone's 3G (HSPA) phone has magically been "upgraded" to 4G? And everyone's new 4G (LTE) phone has been magically "downgraded" to 4G?

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[3]: Comment by A.H.
by sc3252 on Tue 12th Jul 2011 21:46 in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by A.H."
sc3252 Member since:

You would think they would at least call HSPA+ 4g and not plain Jane HSPA... Anyways the real benefit of LTE is the way better latency, like 90-140ms compared to 300ms+. Heck you can play games on 90-140, not so much on 300.

Reply Parent Score: 2

Excellent response!
by wocowboy on Wed 13th Jul 2011 09:11 in reply to "RE: Comment by A.H."
wocowboy Member since:

That was just about the best comment I have seen on this site in AGES! You are exactly right. I might add the various little groups that find aspects of software programs that are not "free and open source" enough to suit them, as has been debated ad nauseum on here over the years.

As regards EDGE/3G/4G/LTE, there isn't enough of whatever technology they are trying to pass off as "4G/LTE/HSUPA+ whatever" right now to make any difference to any customer. It's only available in a few very tiny areas of the U.S. in major metropolitan areas, surrounded then by 3G in the suburbs and towns over 75,000 population, leaving the vast rest of the country served by EDGE coverage if that area has coverage at all. The cellphone companies have never completed installation of ANY "G" system before moving on to the next big thing, and it does not look like this will be any different. You have to drill way down deep in any carrier's coverage maps to even find their 4G coverage.

You can't even see the 4G coverage until you drill down deep in any carrier's coverage maps, so I say again, it really DOES NOT matter right not.

Reply Parent Score: 1