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How AT&T Totally Flubbed 4G

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the now-with-thirty-three-percent-more-g dept.

The Internet 199

adeelarshad82 writes "Turns out that AT&T may be lying about 4G. The company's two '4G' phones and its '4G' modem don't deliver 4G even by AT&T's own standards. In fact, test results show that the company is delivering '4G' devices that are actually slower than the carrier's own 3G devices. So how can they get away with this? Well, initially the International Telecommunications Union defined 4G as a bunch of super-fast technologies nobody used yet, but the ITU crumbled under pressure from various cell phone companies and now defines 4G as any cellular Internet network that's faster than what was considered the fastest technology in 2009. Between the revised 4G standards and a little fine print in its ads, AT&T is able to legally indemnify itself against the fact that its current 4G claim is totally worthless. While other carriers also claim that they have 4G networks, Verizon's LTE is the only technology which comes close to real 4G."

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I managed first (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35484054)

with my iPhone 3GS

Who cares about 4G (2)

toastar (573882) | more than 3 years ago | (#35484234)

Why can't they just quote what their average download speed is?

Re:Who cares about 4G (5, Interesting)

vlm (69642) | more than 3 years ago | (#35484308)

Why can't they just quote what their average download speed is?

Because then people will divide their 20 meg cap by their 20 meg marketing speed and assume they can only use their phone for one second, and "I'm not paying that much for 1 second of service". Even if the 20 meg speed is pure marketing and you'll actually achieve 9600 baud speeds under normal use.

Re:Who cares about 4G (1)

jdgeorge (18767) | more than 3 years ago | (#35484328)

Insightful! Is there a registry of "this is the download/upload speed I get for X network in my area"?

What is the acronym for 4G deployment? (4, Funny)

presidenteloco (659168) | more than 3 years ago | (#35484336)

4Gery

Re:What is the acronym for 4G deployment? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35484480)

Brilliant!!

Re:What is the acronym for 4G deployment? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35484614)

I see what you did there.

Patectic ITU (1)

Stumbles (602007) | more than 3 years ago | (#35484058)

Standards bodies have become nothing but the whore of businesses.

Re:Patectic ITU (4, Insightful)

Lev13than (581686) | more than 3 years ago | (#35484094)

Standards bodies have become nothing but the whore of businesses.

The main problem with standards is that they aren't.

Re:Patectic ITU (1)

The Grim Reefer2 (1195989) | more than 3 years ago | (#35484298)

Standards bodies have become nothing but the whore of businesses.

The main problem with standards is that they aren't.

Standards, like rules, are meant to be broken...

...depending on who you are.

Re:Patectic ITU (2)

murdocj (543661) | more than 3 years ago | (#35484584)

The best thing about standards is that there are so many to choose from.

Re:Patectic ITU (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35484236)

Just like politicians ...

Re:Patectic ITU (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 3 years ago | (#35484274)

I think most whores would take exception to being compared to politicians. I mean, at least SOME whores still have souls.

Re:Pathetic ITU (5, Interesting)

jd (1658) | more than 3 years ago | (#35484246)

What's more, the ICU charges a small fortune for said standards documents.

Part of the blame is on the ICU - the carriers started advertising 4G before the standards came out, forcing the standards to meet the claims. This is no different from how Netscape and Microsoft killed HTML 3.1 when it finally came out and forced the W3C to adopt a nonsensical bunch of crap as a replacement. The fragmentation that followed permitted Microsoft to kill Netscape and caused much of the crap that followed. The W3C will be picking up the pieces for years.

Standards bodies should be flexible but they must ultimately be the law enforcement of all technology and crafts. They are the modern version of the guild hall, the corporations are merely the apprentices within.

Re:Pathetic ITU (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 3 years ago | (#35484430)

Standards bodies should be flexible but they must ultimately be the law enforcement of all technology and crafts. They are the modern version of the guild hall, the corporations are merely the apprentices within.

Like The Sorcerer's Apprentice [wikipedia.org] ?

Re:Patectic ITU (4, Insightful)

Timmmm (636430) | more than 3 years ago | (#35484294)

Rubbish. They were too ambitious with their requirements for calling something '4G'. Seriously, 1 Gb/s connections? There was obviously going to be a generation between 10 Mb/s and that. If they had had their way we'd have that 2.75G nonsense all over again.

Basically now 4G = LTE. I'm fine with that -- especially as it is more than a just a speed upgrade, e.g. it has (supposedly) lower latency, and is fully IP-based.

Most ITU and ETSI standards are free (1)

dingram17 (839714) | more than 3 years ago | (#35484822)

The ITU offer a heap of standards for FREE, which you don't get from the IEC or ISO. ETSI, who set the GSM and UMTS standards, also release these for free.

Pop along to www.3gpp.org and have a good read. For free.

In other words (1)

Scareduck (177470) | more than 3 years ago | (#35484064)

4G is in the eye of the beholder. As it always was.

Re:In other words (2)

Nadaka (224565) | more than 3 years ago | (#35484170)

Beauty? fear? death? sleep? anti-magic? disintegration? transformation? levitation? slowness? suffering? Sure.

Now they get WIMAX as well?

Re:In other words (1)

mordenkhai (1167617) | more than 3 years ago | (#35484186)

You can always have a face to face with them about it, I hear they enjoy meetings.

Re:In other words (1)

meerling (1487879) | more than 3 years ago | (#35484752)

Don't you mean: Charm Monster, Charm Person, Disintegrate, Fear, Finger of Death, Flesh to Stone, Inflict Moderate Wounds, Sleep, Slow, Telekinesis, and Antimagic Cone.

I had to use 3.5 stats since I can't find an old v1 mm.

(Contrary to popular belief, they do have a blind spot, unfortunately it's directly beneath them.)

Re:In other words (1)

Nadaka (224565) | more than 3 years ago | (#35484802)

I was going for a more artistic interpretation, and only rattling off a few that popped into my head, but yes.

Re:In other words (1)

0100010001010011 (652467) | more than 3 years ago | (#35484254)

I'm holding out for 6G Bieber Fever.

Re:In other words (2)

The Grim Reefer2 (1195989) | more than 3 years ago | (#35484316)

I'm holding out for 6G Bieber Fever.

I'm waiting for 640G. It's all anyone will ever need. ;-)

Re:In other words (1)

FlapHappy (937803) | more than 3 years ago | (#35484462)

Ahhh Bill, we'll never let you live that one down ;)

Re:In other words (1)

Stormwatch (703920) | more than 3 years ago | (#35484536)

He denies ever saying that, mind you. See here. [google.com]

Re:In other words (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35484648)

The rich have always been rewriting history.

Re:In other words (1)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 3 years ago | (#35484940)

Does he deny saying The obvious mathematical breakthrough would be development of an easy way to factor large prime numbers. [wordsyoudontknow.com] ? Because I've still got a dead-tree copy of The Road Ahead that says exactly that... (I believe the wording was changed in later editions. If you don't know what is wrong with "factoring primes", you don't deserve to be on slashdot.)

Re:In other words (1)

SirMasterboy (872152) | more than 3 years ago | (#35484580)

Except he never actually even said that.

http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Bill_Gates#Misattributed [wikiquote.org]

Re:In other words (1)

Bucky24 (1943328) | more than 3 years ago | (#35484650)

Because wikipedia is COMPLETELY accurate on those things. Right?

Re:In other words (1)

The Grim Reefer2 (1195989) | more than 3 years ago | (#35484686)

Ahhh Bill, we'll never let you live that one down ;)

Speaking as one of the many who had to deal with the repercussions of that decision, no I won't.

Re:In other words (1)

meerling (1487879) | more than 3 years ago | (#35484770)

Popular with tween girls, but otherwise completely useless?

This still doesn't answer the question... (0)

Baloo Uriza (1582831) | more than 3 years ago | (#35484258)

...and I think it's one that everybody's wanted the answer to. "What's a Bieber?"

Re:This still doesn't answer the question... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35484426)

...and I think it's one that everybody's wanted the answer to. "What's a Bieber?"

It's a unit used to measure the field of talentless suck commonly emitted by pop tarts and American Idol contestants. It exerts a linearly proportional attractive force on vapid teenage girls and their mothers.

Note: the Bieber has replaced the earlier "BoyBand" unit but is otherwise interchangeable.

Re:This still doesn't answer the question... (1)

snspdaarf (1314399) | more than 3 years ago | (#35484550)

Bieber (n): Common tabloid topic. See "Bat Boy"

Re:This still doesn't answer the question... (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#35484598)

Supposedly, AC prefers "shaved biebers" but I'm not really sure I want to know what that is, given his propensity for goatse man.

Not 4G. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35484070)

The currently available technology is all 3G. Someone needs to sue these asshats for claiming 4G. Another example of marketing trumping engineering.

Re:Not 4G. (2)

lwsimon (724555) | more than 3 years ago | (#35484140)

Even as a marketer, I agree. This is fraud, pure and simple.

It was questionable before there was a published spec, but no longer.

Re:Not 4G. (1)

jdgeorge (18767) | more than 3 years ago | (#35484460)

Marketing solution: "The first HD cellular data network"

Re:Not 4G. (1)

lwsimon (724555) | more than 3 years ago | (#35484722)

Yep, that's fine. You can define all the words you want, just don't redefine ones that already have meaning.

News of the Hour (1)

Dyinobal (1427207) | more than 3 years ago | (#35484072)

News of the Hour Corporations Lying hear more at 11. Honestly I am not even surprised I look at almost anything that's advertised these days and I'm so jaded I can't help but think what's the catch. Even on simple things like 2 for the price of 1 taco sales.

Re:News of the Hour (2)

sjames (1099) | more than 3 years ago | (#35484474)

This is the real downfall of society. We have so little care for the truth that we now take as a given that any business offer is a lie.

Good morning you say? What's the catch?

I have the Motorolla Atrix 4G on AT&T and . . (1)

drsmack1 (698392) | more than 3 years ago | (#35484076)

... the Internet speed stinks on ice.

At this moment the "Speed Test" app from speedtest.net shows 1173kbps down and 196kbps up.

All other aspects of the Atrix are great. I love it vs my old iPhone 3GS.

Re:I have the Motorolla Atrix 4G on AT&T and . (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35484146)

I know it sucks, but that's better than my Qwest DSL connection. I've had it for 2 years, and for 2 years I've been getting ads telling me to upgrade, but when I call, they tell me that they'll have better speeds in my area shortly.

Re:I have the Motorolla Atrix 4G on AT&T and . (1)

drsmack1 (698392) | more than 3 years ago | (#35484300)

Are you getting the speed that they say you should? With the local DSL provider it is common for people's modems to be be arbitrarily set at a lower speed than what the modem and line can support.

The DSL provider here is supposed to be providing 5mb down and 768k up. In the probably 1500 DSL homes I have worked in, maybe 5 were set to 5mb down. The average was 1.5mb - with a large percentage set at 768k *down*.

I don't know about your area, but here they are statically set - in theory they are set to the maximum that the line conditions and distance from the station dictates. Most times they were randomly set by very poorly trained simians who installed them.

Re:I have the Motorolla Atrix 4G on AT&T and . (1)

Amouth (879122) | more than 3 years ago | (#35484418)

any modern ADSL+ modem should be able to negotiate line speed on its own.. and your billing set the max at the dlsam side.. if they have their installers setting things like that on the modems then they have bigger problems.

Re:I have the Motorolla Atrix 4G on AT&T and . (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35484250)

Wow, thats unfortunate that AT&T's "4G" speeds are that poor. My DroidX is getting 1100kbps / 700kbps right now.

Re:I have the Motorolla Atrix 4G on AT&T and . (1)

br4nd0nh3at (1082179) | more than 3 years ago | (#35484748)

Funny thing about all of this that is that I get better speeds than AT&T 4G phones.

Speedtest 2Mb down and 1.7Mb up on ATT 3G

Re:I have the Motorolla Atrix 4G on AT&T and . (1)

toastar (573882) | more than 3 years ago | (#35484266)

... the Internet speed stinks on ice.

At this moment the "Speed Test" app from speedtest.net shows 1173kbps down and 196kbps up.

Wow, After loading a slimmed down firmware on my G1, I get over 3 mbps

Re:I have the Motorolla Atrix 4G on AT&T and . (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35484452)

On my Motorola Backflip (AT&T's first Android device) I get 3 Mbps, maybe it is your location or the amount of data users on your cell tower.

This is innovation (5, Informative)

MetalliQaZ (539913) | more than 3 years ago | (#35484080)

I'm sure glad our government doesn't kill innovation by forcing carriers like AT&T to actually deliver on the promises they advertise for their networks. AT&T is free to "innovate" a way to sell the same crap with a shiny new label.

Re:This is innovation (4, Funny)

jd (1658) | more than 3 years ago | (#35484120)

Definitions:
New: The price went up
Improved: The price went way up
New and Improved: If we sell any, our CEO will make for Forbes top 10 list

Re:This is innovation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35484388)

+1 Hilarious - If I had karma, I'd log in and mod this up

Re:This is innovation (1)

MetalliQaZ (539913) | more than 3 years ago | (#35484136)

And, yes, I _AM_ talking about net neutrality.

"real 4G"? (1)

Platinum Dragon (34829) | more than 3 years ago | (#35484108)

"Real 4G" is clearly whatever the cell service providers want it to be. Between the meaningless buzzwords in ads and promotional literature, and the alphabet soup of acronyms used to name specific data transmission schemes, it's no wonder so much confusion reigns about which service is "the best".

Re:"real 4G"? (1)

Isaac-1 (233099) | more than 3 years ago | (#35484174)

Exactly, 3G and 4G are nothing more than marketing speak trying to dumb down the issue to the point the common consumer can understand.

Re:"real 4G"? (1)

AshtangiMan (684031) | more than 3 years ago | (#35484272)

Isn't AT&T doing to 4G what Verizon did to 3G? It is my understanding that what Verizon sells you as 3G service really isn't (1.0 Mbps, no simultaneous data/voice) where AT&T's version meets the 3G specification (even though somehow they still suck, but IMHExperience the 3G network at AT&T is really good, I've had no data connectivity issues since going to the 3GS, admittedly my iPhone 3G sucked balls on network speeds).

Re:"real 4G"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35484486)

Isn't AT&T doing to 4G what Verizon did to 3G? It is my understanding that what Verizon sells you as 3G service really isn't (1.0 Mbps, no simultaneous data/voice) where AT&T's version meets the 3G specification (even though somehow they still suck, but IMHExperience the 3G network at AT&T is really good, I've had no data connectivity issues since going to the 3GS, admittedly my iPhone 3G sucked balls on network speeds).

I dunno. I'm on VZW and I am fairly certain I can still take calls while using my Palm Pre+ 3G hotspot with my netbook.

Re:"real 4G"? (1)

brobins8 (2012422) | more than 3 years ago | (#35484496)

Pretty sure the ITU defines the revision of CDMA that Verizon and other carriers use as 3G.

Re:"real 4G"? (1)

AndrewNeo (979708) | more than 3 years ago | (#35484540)

The way you're using 4G and 3G is kind of confusing. The numbers themselves are rather broad, and technologies differ between GSM and CDMA. You probably want to refer to things like EDGE (3G)/HSPA+ (3.5G) (for GSM networks) and EVDO (for CDMA networks). And Verizon isn't doing anything wrong, inherently, the speed and lack of simultaneous data and voice is part of EVDO's standard and you'll notice that Sprint too has the same problems.

Re:"real 4G"? (1)

sjames (1099) | more than 3 years ago | (#35484518)

That's fine if and only if it's also fine with them if I pay in gum wrappers. *I* say they are a monthly payment, that should be good enough.

news? (1)

cfriedt (1189527) | more than 3 years ago | (#35484114)

The average consumer would already know this if they spoke about "4G" with anyone from the academic community. It isn't here yet.

How does anyone get away with anything? (1)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 3 years ago | (#35484116)

Public relations.

Also helps to have a non-discerning customer base who are too willing to believe every iteration is better than the last instance.

Re:How does anyone get away with anything? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35484256)

Public relations.

Also helps to have a non-discerning customer base who are too willing to believe every iteration is better than the last instance.

This is why I don't watch ads. Because it is all bullshit.. "Movie #1 of the year", "99.9% germs killed", "it wipes straight off", etc... And why is it allowed? Because no one is doing anything about it, including me (other than not carrying to watch ads anymore.) And is cost too much to regulate. So it is a lose/lose situation.

But we should stand up one day and say, "enough is enough." If we can get off the couch..

 

AT&T has a crappy data network? (1)

FlapHappy (937803) | more than 3 years ago | (#35484132)

*gasp* Who would have thunk it? People knew that the moment the iPhone came on the scene, and they STILL stink!

buzzwords (2)

brenddie (897982) | more than 3 years ago | (#35484156)

the 3gees are no longer fashionable. 4gees wheres at now. even managed to offer less bandwidth with this "upgrade". AT&T has customer screwing down to a science

AT&T - whats the point? (1)

metalgamer84 (1916754) | more than 3 years ago | (#35484162)

Data caps and deceitful marketing eh? Sounds great. Why do so many people give them their money again?

Re:AT&T - whats the point? (1)

AndrewNeo (979708) | more than 3 years ago | (#35484556)

Well, a lot of them are still locked into their iPhone contract, until they can switch to Verizon.

Re:AT&T - whats the point? (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#35484636)

Because around here all the GSM providers suck, and if you buy your own phone with a CDMA provider you're stuck buying a new one or signing a contract if you want to switch. I had significantly better service with Sprint, unfortunately that did not extend beyond the network to customer service.

AT&T has standards? (1)

Chas (5144) | more than 3 years ago | (#35484176)

LIES!

ALL LIES!

4G isn't even real. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35484180)

I've always heard that "4G" is just a marketing buzzword and has no real technical definition. If this is true, how the heck can AT&T be misleading people?

Re:4G isn't even real. (5, Insightful)

Sir_Sri (199544) | more than 3 years ago | (#35484408)

4G had a definition. 100 Mb/s for high mobility, 1Gb/s for low mobility.

Which were basically impossible goals to reach with current technology.

Enter HSDPA, LTE and EV-DO.

These technologies are significantly faster (or at least can be) than traditional '3G'.

So here's the problem. Are they 3.5G? 3G enhnaced? Are they close enough to 4G to warrant being called that?

The answer is... change the definition of 4G. Because, and lets be realistic here, No one is rolling out True 4G networks, not even close. But they are rollilng out technologies that are 2, 3 (even more) time faster than the current technology. To consumers, doubling performance or tripling it warrants more than 0.5. Which is a problem, because well, 4G actually means something. But once one guy starts using 4G, if you aren't either you fight with them in court, or you start using '4G' and let the definitions be damned and change them.

And when true 4G rolls around, it will itself probably be 3x faster than the current tech.

nonsense from the start (5, Insightful)

tverbeek (457094) | more than 3 years ago | (#35484188)

This whole "G" stuff has been vague, undefinable nonsense from the beginning, or at least since before anyone outside of the telecom industry had heard the term. The debates about whether EDGE was 2G or 2.5G (as if generations were subject to real/fractional values) was proof enough of this. Calling the 2nd iPhone model the "iPhone 3G" has proven to be a misstep on Apple's part, rather effectively confusing the heck out of its model generations, and forcing them to resort to nonsense like "3Gs" before reverting to something more sensible: an integer indicating which generation of the device it is. How about calling a phone technology by... its name. LTE, CDMA, EDGE, ETC. If you want to make a boast about how fast it is, do it like they used to do with modems: give us an actual numeric speed (e.g. 1200bps, 19.2kbps). Because this xG marketing nonsense is useless... and always has been.

Useless?? (1)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 3 years ago | (#35484268)

Because this xG marketing nonsense is useless... and always has been.

As long as it sells units and makes money it has a purpose.

You're just not ruthless or cynical enough to see that.

As for me, I'm jaded by the knowledge.

Re:nonsense from the start (1)

Obfuscant (592200) | more than 3 years ago | (#35484304)

If you want to make a boast about how fast it is, do it like they used to do with modems: give us an actual numeric speed (e.g. 1200bps, 19.2kbps).

You mean like the 56k modems that couldn't legally do 56k, they were capped at 53.something? Or the 56k modems that wouldn't achieve even 53.something unless you were on a pristine copper pair 30 feet from the central office? You mean honesty like that?

Or honesty like Qwest, who advertises all their speeds for DSL in 'megs'. Forty smeggin' megs of what? Bits? Bytes? Bauds?

No love for WiMax? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35484198)

Don't forget about Sprint, they're running over Clearwire's 802.16 network. I can get 8Mb down and 2.5Mb up here in Denver (Although that's the FASTEST I've ever seen, it's usually in the neighborhood of 4-6 down 1-1.5 up).

Tell me it isn't so!!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35484226)

You mean T-Mobile's spokesbimbo is lying to us???? If you can't trust hot chicks who can you trust?

FSCK IT! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35484232)

We're goin' to 5 G's!!

Re:FSCK IT! (2)

vlm (69642) | more than 3 years ago | (#35484392)

We're goin' to 5 G's!!

Only 7 more marketing campaigns until we reach "hexadecimal B"-gees. Complete with "that 70s show" tv commercial tie-ins and a coupon for a free pair of levis bell bottoms and a village people DRMed ringtone download. I can't wait!

get an uncrippled device on their network (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35484240)

Nexus one: tether, browse and download at very consistent speeds. Up to 3.3 down and 1.1 up.
Their software is bloatware focused not performance driven.
list this under #epicfail #att
The problem is the comparison culture, i have connection and faster speed than crippled 3gs and 3G iphones.
Still remember when i was not sure to drop the $566 upfront on the phone.
today i reallize is totally worth it.

Because it's still operating on a 3G network (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35484262)

A 4G phone doesn't necessarily mean the network it runs on is 4G. AT&T hasn't expanded their 4G/LTE coverage yet. Yeah you have a 4G phone but it's still on a 3G network at least for a bit. http://www.wireless.att.com/learn/why/technology/4g-lte.jsp

Marketing took over. We need to kill the xG tag. (2)

hellfire (86129) | more than 3 years ago | (#35484284)

In the wired internet landscape, one number matters to this day... bps. When it was about modems, there were some slight variations in speed, but it was all about bps of your modem and the max bps of the carrier. Comcast beat Verizon DSL like a redheaded stepchild with bps until Verizon came out with FIOS, and Verizon returned the favor. They keep exchanging blows as to who is faster, but you can look up clearly on their website and find out which was faster. bps is like MPH, you know what it was and could explain it to someone simply.

However, this 3G/4G crap is just like the Justin Bieber/Ozzy Ozborne commercial. It's rapidly changing, confusing and stupid. The only reason to call something 3G vs 4G is to create new marketing speak. So I say kill the xG tag. Phones should be rated by how fast they can go, period, not by some nebulous xG bullshit. It only serves to confuse the customer and make it seem like it's better even though it's not, and thus give companies a reason to ever increase their prices unnecessarily.

Re:Marketing took over. We need to kill the xG tag (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35484724)

It only serves to confuse the customer and make it seem like it's better even though it's not, and thus give companies a reason to ever increase their prices unnecessarily.

Why would the carrier want to change this? Unless there is either retaliation from customers, or regulations enforcing a standard, I see no reason why a company would voluntarily decide to give up a practice that is making them money. Unfortunately, I don't see any of those scenarios happening in the near future.

Re:Marketing took over. We need to kill the xG tag (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35484766)

"It only serves to confuse the customer and make it seem like it's better even though it's not, and thus give companies a reason to ever increase their prices unnecessarily."

I think you just found the argument FOR using the xG tags right there. Most people won't question it or will be confused by it and at&t will happily take their money without offering anything new or useful.

Re:Marketing took over. We need to kill the xG tag (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35484838)

Landline carriers typically deliver roughly near their advertised speeds. Wireless carriers always used to advertise theoretical maximum speeds that no one ever saw outside of a lab. Using the labels 3G and 4G makes it a lot easier to defend than advertising "up to 20Mbps!" when typical throughput is more like 2Mbps.

4g bahhh (1)

Is0m0rph (819726) | more than 3 years ago | (#35484286)

My sister was all hyped up to get the Sprint 4G phone. Only to find out there was no 4G coverage in her area (Phoenix metro area).

Re:4g bahhh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35484398)

Too bad for her. Perhaps she should have checked 4G coverage before getting all hyped up about the Sprint 4G phone. Works great (>6mbps) in all six cities I live in or travel to for work.

Lol (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35484352)

AT&T, where 97% of the country has coverage, and 100% are unhappy with it.

Lies... (1)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 3 years ago | (#35484396)

Lies, damn lies, statistics and marketing.

Bashing AT&T, or pushing iPhone 4? (1)

balbus000 (1793324) | more than 3 years ago | (#35484458)

This may be the case for many devices on AT&T other than the iPhone 4.

The average consumer likely doesn't realize that the iPhone 4 is not actually 4G. The article really should have stated this explicitly.

To most people, the article will read as "These other phones are supposed to be faster than the iPhone 4 because they are newer, but the iPhone 4 still rocks!"

Oh for two? (1)

jimmerz28 (1928616) | more than 3 years ago | (#35484508)

Boy AT&T you sure aren't doing well in the news today...0/2

In case you didn't notice...its AT&T (1)

Bob_Who (926234) | more than 3 years ago | (#35484558)

Thats the PHONE COMPANY. When did they ever meet anyone's expectations for very long? When did a regular customer not feel ripped off? When did the failure consumer protection, anti-trust laws, and monopoly markets ever feel like a good deal with a capital G?

Can you hear me now? Was that a pin that dropped? You just paid another $4G's for another 2Y contract for the very same FREE electrons that were once broadcast into Gilligan's Island reruns on channel 2. Now we're paying for that network bandwidth, while marooned on a desert island with real cannibals.....and on hold forever.

4G is one more G than 3 and twice as many as 2G. Thats a lot of G!. Now that you have 4G, and its still a cell phone that sucks 4 times as much, you better buy some more G or else you'll be a tiny little "g" and everyone will laugh at you....

"How many bloody G's are there?" (5, Funny)

wcrowe (94389) | more than 3 years ago | (#35484572)

I have a 7G phone. I just took out a sharpie and wrote 7 G's on it. You may now bow to my 7G superiority.

BTW, the volume on my stereo goes to 11.

Now, if you will excuse me I need to return to surfing on my "50meg" hi-speed internet connection.

Verizon Fanboy (0)

Moderator (189749) | more than 3 years ago | (#35484704)

"Verizon's LTE is the only technology which comes close to real 4G."

Kiss my ass Verizon Fanboy, I've been using WiMax for THREE YEARS now. This is the same network that Sprint uses for 4G, and I get around 12Mbit/s down. It may not be everywhere, but it's a lot more pervasive than Verizon's LaTE.

Re:Verizon Fanboy (1)

faedle (114018) | more than 3 years ago | (#35484904)

I wouldn't defend WiMAX so strongly. We're all going to be on LTE eventually, even Sprint [gizmodo.com] .

Just like 3G (1)

StikyPad (445176) | more than 3 years ago | (#35484862)

3G and 4G are both marketing terms under the guise of technical specifications, using the minimum of actual specifications. It's like defining a particular fastener as "a length of material with a pointy end." Nobody can use that specification to create anything useful, or say anything about the product that technically meets that specification. The standards for both 3G and 4G are so broad as to be essentially useless for anything other than marketing, which is just the way the telcos want it. They want consumers to say "Oh look, a bigger number! I want a phone with the bigger number on it! Do they come in shiny? I'll take two!"

AT&T Allocates More Down Than Up, News At 11 (1)

rsmith-mac (639075) | more than 3 years ago | (#35484932)

In spite of what the intentional vague summary may hint at, this is all about upstream bandwidth, not downstream. AT&T's "4G" devices are competitive with similar HSPA+ 14.4 devices when it comes to downstream bandwidth, which is why TFA doesn't even bother to mention it. It's upstream bandwidth that's capped: everything but the iPhone 4 is capped at 384Kbps.

However from AT&T's perspective they didn't flub 4G. As far as they're concerned they're running a content delivery network, not a content creation network. Every MHz they can deallocate from upstream bandwidth to downstream bandwidth is that much faster downloads their customers receive, which as most people are content consumers are all they care about in the first place. This is just AT&T realizing what wireline broadband providers have known for a long time: only the geeks care about highly asymmetrical connections.

Not to excuse any of this as being "good" - it makes a total farce of 4G among other things (not that T-Mo, VZ, and Sprint helped). But if the fact that carriers are moving to highly asymmetrical connections surprises you in any way, you haven't been paying very good attention to the state of the broadband market.

Complain to the FTC. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35484950)

https://www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov/

If you or someone you know were misled by this commercial and you relied on that to buy the product, tell the FTC or have that person tell the FTC. They don't resolve individual complaints, but if they get a lot of complaints they bring lawsuits against companies for misleading consumers, and companies change their ads (and may have to pay fines, etc...)... AND future companies learn not to mislead consumers in the same way.

It's not perfect. But it's useful, sometimes.

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