When it comes to internet data transmission, speed wins, which is why you can't watch a commercial television program without seeing an ad for a new 4G phone. Sprint was first with its ad showing dominoes falling as it unveiled the new improved faster 4G mobile phone with the only 4G network on the planet.
Well guess what. According to a report on CNN, written by David Goldman, 4G is a myth. It doesn't exist except as a concept that may one day be available in the future.
So then what are these phone companies talking about? There are 4G ads from T-Mobile and Verizon all claiming to be even faster than Sprint's 4G network.
The International Telecommunication Union is responsible for setting global wireless standards and it has determined last month that 4G is defined as a network capable of download speeds of 100 megabits per second (Mbps). For the rest of us that means it's fast enough to download an average high-definition movie in about three minutes.
Well guess what. Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon don't even come close with their so-called 4G phones. Sprint, which was the first to launch a network it called 4G, could only transmit data somewhere between 3 and 10 Mbps. Then, T-Mobile launched its 4G network with speeds up to 12 Mbps. And Verizon plans to launch its 4G network any day now but it's not going to be any faster than T-Mobile's.
Maybe that's the problem. No one knows who's supposed to be watching over this stuff. We need a gadget czar to protect us unwitting techno-illiterates from getting taken.
So called industry experts don't know any better either. The best they can come up with is that it's a PR issue. What's that supposed to mean? What it really is, is a scam.
The wireless carriers have basically showed complete disregard for reality and have decided among themselves that 4G will be whatever they want it to be as long as it's faster than 3G which only offers speeds up to 1.5 Mbps.
Basically Sprint and Verizon have new, faster networks that are faster than 3G but technically are not 4G. Meanwhile, T-Mobile has a network that is actually based on 3G technology but refurbished to give it extra speed.
Apple gets the prize for causing the most confusion. It calls its new iPhone the iPhone 4, but it's a 3G phone. What's up with that?