Nov 20 AT 4:09 PM Taylor Wimberly 55 Comments

“Right now, Sprint is the only national carrier with a true 4G network” #4Gwars

T-Mobile and Verizon claim to have a 4G network, but Sprint thinks their WiMAX network is the only true 4G network. The funny thing is none of these networks meets the actual definition of 4G as defined by the ITU’s Radiocommunication Sector, but the #4Gwars have already begun and there is no turning back now.

Sprint is expanding their 4G WiMAX network to Los Angeles and they posted a quick YouTube video to promote the faster speeds they are offering. In the clip Michael Galluccio, Sprint Sales Manager New York Metro, says that “Other carriers might claim to have a 4G network, but right now Sprint is the only national carrier with a true 4G network.

Mr. Galluccio continued to explain why Sprint had the best network. “How well it works depends on the size of your pipe. Fortunately, Sprint has a big pipe”.

T-Mobile is advertising they have the largest 4G network and Verizon says they have the fastest 4G network, but I’m not sure what Sprint’s claim to fame is. Maybe they should start marketing  America’s Biggest 4G Pipe or America’s Favorite 4G Phone – the HTC EVO 4G.

I’ve heard some crazy rumors that some consumer advocacy groups are already planning class-action lawsuits against some of these carriers over their “false advertising of operating a 4G network”, but nothing has been filed yet. I admit the term “4G” is starting to get a little confusing with carriers using so many types of technologies (HSPA+, LTE, and WiMAX), but what else do you suggest they to do? Should we be forced to call them 4G LTE, 4G WiMAX, and 4G HSPA+?

Should the carriers keep pushing their 4G message? Does it help anyone if the courts force them to remove 4G from their advertising and go back to 3G? Whatever happens, I’m loving the “4G speeds” on my new T-Mobile G2 and I’m sure we have a lot of satisfied readers who are quite happy with Sprint 4G as well.

Via: IntoMobile

Source: YouTube

Taylor is the founder of Android and Me. He resides in Dallas and carries the Samsung Galaxy S 4 and HTC One as his daily devices. Ask him a question on Twitter or Google+ and he is likely to respond. | Ethics statement

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  • http://Website Phil

    To me, Wimax and LTE should be called 4g since its a 4g technology. Hspa+ is NOT 4g.

    • http://Website UniqueNate

      Agree with this. HSPA+ just has 4G speeds and allows a lot of data. Verizon and Sprint at least are on the correct technical terms. Maybe not full 4G, but on the right path. I mean when 4G becomes pretty dominant and common who knows what it’ll be capable of. So why should T-Mobile say it’s 4G? They should say 4G speeds. Consumers will still get somewhat confused. Not every consumer are like us who know and infested these technical terms.

      Whatever sells right? Lol. As long as our favorite carriers are pushing out beast phones, then we’ll be happy campers I guess.

      • http://Website Jorge

        Clearly you don’t know what you’re talking about but try to sound like you do, I’m pretty sure you have no idea of how any of the networks work or how they differ from each other, yet you think you have any say on what each of them should be called.

    • http://Website Jorel

      Wrong, LTE & WIMAX are not 4G, Sprint nor T-mobile have real 4G they’re using it as a marking term

      “cellular system must have target peak data rates of up to approximately 100 Mbit/s for high mobility such as mobile access and up to approximately 1 Gbit/s for low mobility such as nomadic/local wireless access”

      Nobody has 100Mbits mobile (i.e. Moving Car, or train, etc) / 1Gbits stationary (i.e. Standing still), for their network, these are the number they have to hit to be called 4G.

      • http://Website Kyle K

        True. NONE of the carriers should coin the term “4G” right now. They are far from that standard right now. I think the term “LTE” fits the best in the case of Verizon and forth coming AT&T.

    • http://Website mmark27

      Agree. WiMax and LTE are different technologies than how data is processed with 3G. Ergo, 4G.

    • http://Website UMA Fan

      The reason Sprint and Verizon have to use different technologies to get faster speeds is because they can’t squeeze any more out of the current network technology they already use. T-Mobile and At&t can get all the way to 42Mbps using the current network infrastructure they have if they really wanted to… and T-Mobile, for one, is going to… so why not? Why should T-Mobile be at a marketing disadvantage when they will at the end of the day outperform networks marketed falsely as ‘next gen’ or ’4G’ in this case.

      Since Sprint didn’t meet 100% of the initial criteria for a ‘true 4G’ network it’s fair game to call something that performs just as well (outperforms in some cases) ’4G’ as well. For people not to understand this is foolishness.

  • Christopher Chavez

    I don’t even understand what 4G really means so I highly doubt your average consumer will either…. =/

    I’ve always thought 4G was anything 2 or 3 times faster than my current 3G speeds.

    (I’m a n00b) =p

  • http://Website alwx

    I think people need to worry about the real problems in the world instead of typing angrily from their chairs how technically “there are no true 4g networks “

    • Taylor Wimberly

      I agree with you, but this is sort of a tech blog so we create content for the geek crowd.

      • http://Website Alex

        I’m not arguing with your guys’ content by any means, i love this blog, i just think people can get pretty ridiculous. The whole idea that there may be Class-action lawsuits is pathetic.

        It’s all about marketing from the carriers perspective, so instead of bickering, how about comparing real-world speed tests (average speed, not the one guy that got 13 megs that one night) and ask the customer which 4g network they would like.

        Obviously if you ask the average customer which network they would rather have between 4g, HSPA+ or LTE, they’ll more than likely pick 4g, because that’s how their minds work: 2g, 3g, 4g!

        • http://Website Russell Holly

          Look at it this way – if companies are allowed to flat out lie to their consumers regarding the functionality of their product, where exactly does the line get drawn? Waving this off as a marketing thing that we should just adjust to is absurd. The reality of the situation is that customers are being lied to – and in Sprint’s case being charged additional fees – for a product they are not receiving. It’s not absurd at all that a Class Action lawsuit be in the works, since this is exactly what Class Action Lawsuits are there for!

        • chris0101

          This is false advertising … truth seems to be the first thing that is lost to marketing. Look at monitors today – millions : 1 dynamic contrast ratio? Lol.

          The problem is that nobody calls out advertisers on this – especially as firms develop ever more elaborate ways to try to get consumers to part with their money.

      • bethesdaadk

        You may want to look into the real issue, the important issue, of us EVO owners who are finally getting 4G in their area, turning it on – on our phones, and finding our phones turning to unusable bricks.

        Here’s a discussion I found on the Sprint boards and jumped into. It’s not just me. And it doesn’t appear to be a 4G issue so much as it is when one turns on 4G on your EVO, it gets slower and slower to the point of requiring a reboot…even if you turn OFF the 4G.

        Just think about that $10/month we’ve been paying – with no 4G service in Washington, DC. Finally getting it, and then finding out it ruins your phone.

        I’m figuring you have contacts at Sprint where, hopefully, they can acknowledge the problem and let us know they are trying to work on it.

        Thanks for helping.

        Adam in DC

  • http://Website JaylanPHNX

    Either no one can call their network 4G, or everyone can. That’s just the bottom line. It’s either a technical spec or an advertising term. No one can have it both ways.

  • http://Website Ron

    This is downright crazy. Who cares what you call your network, it’s all relative. The fact of the matter is, our existing 3G networks run about 1-3 Mbps on most devices. The “4G” networks double this speed in most cases. Perhaps we just need to get rid of the “4G/3G” names just like nobody ever called 1xRTT 2.5G or 3G – it was just slower than what we have now.

    The only thing that matters is that the operator you choose should have good reliable coverage where you are using your devices. If you live and work in the same town, you could probably care less about the “4G Wars” unless you have one of the carriers expanding to your town soon – NOTE: Verizon will not be in any smaller towns soon, but their current network is faster than many outer limit Sprint WiMax areas. So be your own judge.

    • Taylor Wimberly

      See that is why I think the “4G Wars” matters some to those in small towns. For example Clearwire, who is building Sprint’s 4G network, has no money and needs to repay billions of debt. They put on hold the expansion of their network to focus on the promised buildouts, reduced their staff by 15%, and decided not to release the two 4G phones they announced for the holidays.

      But yes to your point, it really only matters what you can find in your local area. Right now T-Mobile is the carrier with the largest “4G” network and they have two 4G handsets to chose from.

  • http://Website michael

    II’m a proud evo owner and I agree with this article. Well said. Avg “4g” speed at my house is around 8mbps. Anywhere else Avg 6mbps. Both carriers have fast connection IMHO. I prefer cheaper plans and good customer care. But all up to individual.

    • http://Website Yankee503

      If you prefer cheaper plans and good customer service then why are you with Sprint? Tmobile is superior in both those preferences and has a better selection of phones along with data speeds as fast or faster than Sprint with larger coverage. I have the same preferences when it comes to my carrier that’s why I’m 100% happy with Tmobile.

  • http://Website Max

    ITU has also defined 4G as any significant jump in mobile network technology.

  • Noice

    - T-Mobile has the Fastest Network in most large markets, and the fastest real-world technology of any 3G or 4G network.
    - Sprint has the only 4G Network based on technology, that happens to be slow and only in a few markets.
    - Verizon has a network in most markets.

  • http://Website alex

    sprint stop your rambling, because both t-mobile and verizon’s network is faster than yours with more coverage too :P

  • IHTCEvo

    I love this. Everything is gonna get competitive so more options for us. As for me I have the Evo and I’m pretty satisfied. Hey I wish for better battery life but I get to see Youtube HQ and webpages load in 3 seconds so I’m happy :) No one is 4g yet so its only gonna get worse.

  • http://Website Alex

    All I know is that here in St. Louis, my friend pulls 3 megs on his epic 4g, and i pull 6.3 megs on my nexus one on t-mobile. Another friend has an iphone 4 and barely breaks 1 meg.

    So for my area, t-mobile has the best 4g network, despite my not having a HSPA+ phone, I can still pull increased speeds.

    In my opinion what makes t-mobile the best is that you don’t have to purchase a 4g phone to gain the benefits of their new network, whereas with Sprint and Verizon you do.

  • http://Website BPRhythm

    That quote is wrong. If anything it’s a 1/16th step to 4G. 4G is classified officially as 100mbps. No carrier will ever reach that in quite awhile. Sprint is personally responsible for starting the 4G problems. First, they claimed 4G before it was set, so now to everyone, 4G is 2-6 mbps. The rest of the world is pissed because no one truely has 4G and is angry at marketing. But they should honestly stop complaining. It’s over and done with. Now it’s all about the backhaul, speeds and coverage, not technology. So In essence, T-Mobile and Sprint, and soon verizon are 4G carriers.

    No one gives a f— about technology, except a small group of people who actually understand this. Consumers think about speed. So honestly, Sprint, you started it. Now get over the fact that everything you’ll do is going to cost so much just to transition to a technology that doesn’t even allow voice and data simultaneously. All to yell “FIRST!!!”

    It’s nice to have faster speeds, and not pay 10 dollars more.

    • http://Website Phil

      T-mobile Even more plus with unlimited web (cap 5gb speeds) 500 is $79.99.
      Sprint’s Everything data 450 with UNLIMITED web $69.99 + 10.00 is 79.99.
      $10 more for Sprint’s 4g but its comes out the same price as T-mobile.

      • http://Website swazedahustla

        Umm you forgot one important fact…..sprint also has unlimited any mobile to any mobile so that is essentially unlimited minutes. Definately the best value.

    • http://Website riper

      “The rest of the world is pissed because no one truely has 4G and is angry at marketing”.

      we’ve had it in sweden since december 2009 and now even 2 more operators started their networks.

      The US has always been behindwhen it comes to mobile technology. :)

      • http://Website brook

        if the u.s. carriers only had to worry about an area roughly the size of california, they could keep up, but the sheer expanse of the U.S. makes it cost prohibitive most of the time. Sweden is 4.5% of the size of the U.S. So yeah… I can see why most other nations could have faster mobile speeds implemented quicker.

  • orginn

    I have gotten 5k kbps in my area in Augusta ga

  • http://Website Jonathan

    Why don’t they just call it by name? What’s wrong with the actual names of each technology and advertise the speeds each delivers? Let them compete over what customers actually get instead of these bogus merketing terms.

  • http://Website EpicOwner4G

    What good is 4G to me if I can’t use it without killing my battery?

    I’m a Los Angeles resident and an Epic owner but as I understand it I cannot leave my 4G radio and make it through the day on a single charge. That means it’s next to useless and I’d prefer a “non-4G” (e.g., T-Mobile) that I could use without worrying about managing the radio.

  • http://Website Sniffs

    T-Mobile calling their HSPA+ 4G is a farce and a play on consumer’s.. the #1 thing the carriers do the BEST is confuse consumers.

    4G is fouth generation. IMO the ITU can shove it.. WiMax is Sprint’s fourth generation network, 1st was analog, 2nd was digital, 3rd was revA CDMA and now 4th is wimax.. Sprint can lay claim to having a 4G network because it’s their 4th generation of network.

    T-mobile should be sued.. 1. It’s calling it’s HPSA+ the largest 4G network.. wrong. AT&T’s HSPA+ covers like 40 million more people. 2. HSPA+ is not their 4th generation network..

    I hope AT&T sues T-Mobile to stop them from calling HSPA+ “4G”.. and when I hear people call it 4G I real that there goes another sucker.

    BTW, if you think T-Mobile’s HPSA+ is 4G, I have a big green bridge I want to sell you.

    • http://Website Jonathan

      The difference is that WiMAX has to be built alongside their existing CDMA network instead of on top of it and it can’t be used to replace that network WiMAX it’s data only. This is why your Evo doesn’t last through the day with the WiMAX radio turned on since you are literally running two network radios off a single battery simultaneously. This is also why Sprint has also expressed interest in abandoning WiMAX in the future.

      T-Mobile is no better for calling their HSPA+ “4G”, but they do have the advantage because it’s faster than WiMAX and the high data speeds can be achieved with a single radio while still allowing calls.

      Verizon will be closest when LTE lights up, but the data speeds still won’t come close to the speed requirements for several years.

    • http://Website UMA Fan

      You forget, T-Mobile’s HSPA+ runs at a modulation of 21mbps where as At&t runs at only 14mbps.

      Yes, they both use HSPA+, but at different speed modulations…. See the difference?

      From what I’ve heard, T-Mobile did extensive research to make sure that it was legally acceptable to call their HSPA+ 4G. They are NOT a stupid company.

      T-Mobile’s confident in their claim to the largest 4G network simply because everyone will always be one step behind them since next year they said the modulation is getting an upgrade from 21mbps to 41mbps, so every other carrier will be always be playing catch up.

    • http://Website Mocha K

      Also at&t doesnt have any phones that take full advantage of there HSPA+ network

    • http://androidandme tommytmo

      I’m going to start my own cellular company. First my customers are going to yell really loud to communicate to others. (First generation). Then I’ll upgrade to megaphones. (Second generation). Next will be soup cans and string. (Third generation). Then I’ll offer 1990′s quality cell phones leaps and bounds ahead of soup cans and I’ll market it as 4G because it will be my 4th generation of technology. Wow brilliant strategy on my part.

  • http://Website Ivan

    This is so true, Sprint does have the only true 4G network in America.

    • Noice

      And it’s painfully slower in most areas than basic 3G. HPSA+ is absurdly faster on a capable phone.

      • http://Website swazedahustla

        Slow……lol. so im guessing the fact that most of tmobiles users are only getting edge means only a small percentage of people are speaking for the network as a whole. I get 10-12 mbps consistently in baltimore so its far from slow.

  • http://Website rod p

    Omg Im tired of dis 4g mess. Who cares… Juz show me the speeds… Then 3g,4g,5g, or whatever won’t matter…

  • http://Website elarella

    It basically comes down to technicalities. No matter how either of the carriers get there, (LTE, WiMax, HSPA+, etc), if the speeds are there, then I feel they can call it 4G. Yes, I know that technically 4G is at least 100mbps, but the average consumer doesn’t really care. For them, a “bigger is better” mentality is what sells, so they’ll drop a ton of cash to obtain the latest and greatest (e.g. Sprint’s Evo 4G). However, I do feel that T-Mobile’s 4G is the most flexible since it is backwards compatible with their current phones. They may not see the true speeds of HSPA+, but most phones nowadays caps off at 7.2 mbps. For my purposes, that is quite fast already.

    • http://Website UMA Fan

      ….and it’s better on your battery since you’re using your existing cellular radio. A separate LTE or WiMax radio on a cell phone in today’s handsets just to get the same speeds as HSPA+ is an instant battery killer and makes it pointless. Running LTE or Wimax anyway on a cell phone is similar to having your gps radio on your phone at all times constantly tracking your position. Good luck getting through the day, Sprint and Verizon users.

  • http://Website aandy

    I got 5mb/s down and 1mb/s up in Newark NJ today with an Evo compared to the 2mb/s down from 3g. It may not technically be 4g specs, but it definitely feels like a next gen network.

  • http://Website jk

    all i can say is “so what?” lol

  • themetatron

    Honestly, I’ve only seen 100mb/s speeds on major research university campuses ie
    Chicago university , Texas Austin campus, and u of Penn. How many people have 20+ in their home? Maybe 1%, expecting the mobile carriers to upgrade before your land based ISP is naive, if not plain stupid.

  • http://Website Christopher Earle

    I dunno about the technical definition, but when I get back to Denver after spending time in Seattle, the xG in Denver (I call it 3.78G) is FAR FAR better than the 3G in Seattle. Both, however, are better than no-G…

  • http://Website watbetch

    I didn’t even notice it myself but why is this liar and that broad talking about all of this big footprint of coverage, and how fast it is is when they’re video chatting, not on WiMAX, not on 3G, on WIFI at the end of the video. LOL! No 4GGG Signal to carry that data session?

    Their network has so much capacity that they have to throttle their WiMAX connections. They need to cut the bull and admit that their network is no different, it’s not tru4G. Coverage is terrible to boot.

  • http://Website hoosiercub

    I think something everyone seems to be forgetting about LTE is exactly that, Long-Term Evolution, meaning its going to get improved and better over time, that way it doesn’t live strong and become an obsolete technology like WiMax.

    Technically none of the carriers have 4G, according to a bunch of lab coat wearing, pen-pushing, radiocommunications majors and experts. 4G could simply mean the fourth generation of their networks, that just so happen to have higher speeds than their 3G network. Think about it.. its perfectly ok, because its not necessarily referring to 100Mbps.. IS-95 —> 1X —> EV-DO —> LTE.

    I’m tired of all this ridiculous ‘controversy’ over what is and isn’t 4G, because the average consumer doesn’t care, so why should we, our speeds are getting faster, and pushing competitors to try that much harder. If Sprint really wants to stick with a peaked technology like WiMAX and ride it til that plane goes down, let them have their big head about it. If They hadn’t aquired the EVO, the Epic, and soon to be the new “EVO Shift” People would still have HTC Hero’s and would still be left with the bitter taste of a mid-range device that is finally getting brought up to usable standards for consumer end usability. The Hero was slow, thats a fact, in stock HTC Sense form, because the average consumer isn’t going to go to the effort or root, custom ROM, etc etc.. I know of a few Sprint users that jumped ship because of the Hero and went to the iDon’t because they wanted something that just worked.

  • Laura_Sprint2010

    Hi my name is Laura and I represent sprint as their SprintCareGuide. Thanks for help spread the word about and praise about Sprint and our 4G network! It is true, we think it is important to supply our customers with not only the best service and products, but it is also necessary to show our customers how to utilize and customize their phones so the device will meet their every need. Thank you for your support!

  • http://Website mihavitmalakai10

    IMO why is t-mobile trying to compete now with the other 3 major carriers. i look at things in a certain perpective when i sign or agree over the phone for another 2 year contract. gloating about speeds u cant use is pointless without proper coverage. quick example: if u walk in a building and u dont have 3 to 4 bars on ur phone with the 3G or 4G symbol at the top of ur phone. tell me what good is ur phone then without the coverage that ur service provider is suppose to be covering? another question, how do u feel if u are under contract with 1 of the top 4 cell phone providers and someone with a metro pcs phone has more coverage than u?

  • charles vogt

    I bought my new Sprint evo 4g and there is no 4g in my area . Sprint’s commercial says its the first 4g phone and doesn’t say on the commercial where 4 g is available leaving the customer thinking its 4 g across the board . That’s false advertising and looks very Bedford Sprint when people say to me ” is that the new 4g phone ? ” and I say ” yea but there’s no 4g in Tahoe ” and they say that sucks why did u buy it? I guess I bought because of FALSE ADVERTISEMENT ! LAWSUIT? WHO’S IN ?

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