Is 4G Really 4G? or Is It Desperate Marketing?

Feb 09, 2011 01:30 PM EDT

The mobile industry's move from 2G to 3G was calculated. It was based on industry standards and somewhat easy to verify based on those standards.

The jump to 4G network speeds has not been nearly as compliance based. Desperate operators hoping to acquire 4G early adopters have jumped the gun by releasing devices and marketing campaigns claiming to offer 4G speeds. None of the carriers guarantee the 4G performance customers are expecting. Many reports claim 4G is a myth. That can really damage the success of a marketing message.

Many reports claim the performance is better than 3G in most cases but not what carriers have been touting. Months ahead promise improved network results but the present leaves users wanting more.

So, why jump the gun? Marketing teams are driving the message. They feel their customer base is not informed enough to research the issue and their message is strong enough to pull the wool over. It's a calculated risk carriers are opting to take to compete. 

AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile have 4G phones on the market, and Verizon Wireless is launching a bunch this year too. But the "4G" term doesn't denote any particular technology or performance level. All will have different performance — it's really just a marketing push.


Customers should be cautious to jump in based on 4G claims. Speeds will be much better than 3G over time, but a rapid decision based on misinformation can leave much to be desired.


Is 4G Really 4G? or Is It Desperate Marketing?

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