What is 4G? Yes, it's fourth-generation mobile broadband at a "super-fast" speed, but what exactly qualifies a device to be labelled as a 4G piece of hardware? That's an issue consumers, and indeed networks, aren't entirely clear on.
So PC Mag thought they'd ask the President of industry body 4G Americas what 4G actually means to them in terms of hard numbers.
President Chris Pearson said: "At 4G Americas, our typical line is HSPA+ 21 and above."
Technically, the UK now has 4G going by that yardstick. For example Everything Everywhere already has an extensive HSPA+ 21 network. No need to worry about that Ofcom decision on the 1800MHz spectrum then, chaps... 4G is already here, it would seem. Except for the fact that O2 calls its HSPA+ network 3.5G, of course.
Pearson also added that: "[Consumers] don't really care. All they want is a mobile broadband experience."
And that's certainly true enough, whatever the deliver. If consumers see websites load in a flash, and can stream quality videos without stuttering, that's all they're interested in. But confusion over the definition and marketing of 4G is unlikely to help the average punter's understanding of next-gen mobile broadband.
PC Mag notes that in the US, carriers have even branded some HSPA 14.4 devices as 4G.
Source: PC Mag