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Old February 15th, 2011, 05:17 PM   #88 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Renee1228 View Post
Wow, outstanding post! Thanks for all the information and explanation. (Total noob question: Is WiMax and 4G the same thing? And how does LTE differ from regular 4G?)
Haha, that's actually a loaded question. 4G is a standard set by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU). It dictates the conditions in which a radio conversation can be deemed 4G.

Sprint's flavor of 4G is called WiMax. Verizon's 4G is called LTE. AT&T is about to roll out an LTE-based 4G network as well. They are different protocols that cannot talk with each other (no roaming) but have roughly the same speeds.

The problem is that no carrier even comes close to the 4G speeds set by the ITU. Some people say whatever... that the ITU standards are unreasonable and the ITU is irrelevant. Others say it's fake 4G and just a way for a carrier to get the 1-up via marketing.

What is known is that the carriers are marketing their 4G as the "next generation" in speed. Meaning, it's faster than their existing 3G network. And what's the next number after 3? 4.

Then there's the iPhone 4. It is not a 4G-capable phone (even for fake 4G standards). Yet some people think it's a 4G phone. It's actually the 4th iteration (generation) of the iPhone models. iphone, iphone 3g, iphone 3gs, iphone4. The current iphone4 available on Verizon cannot utilize the LTE network. It's a 3G phone.

The good thing about science is that it's true whether or not you believe in it. -Neil deGrasse Tyson

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