INDEX

The ITU Indirectly Admits That Its Use of "4G" Was Wrong

Dec. 10, 2010, 1:02 p.m.
ABI Research

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Buried in a multi-purpose press release , the ITU has backed away from its use of 4G.

"Following a detailed evaluation against stringent technical and operational criteria, ITU has determined that “LTE-Advanced” and “WirelessMAN-Advanced” should be accorded the official designation of IMT-Advanced. As the most advanced technologies currently defined for global wireless mobile broadband communications, IMT-Advanced is considered as “4G”, although it is recognized that this term, while undefined, may also be applied to the forerunners of these technologies, LTE and WiMax, and to other evolved 3G technologies providing a substantial level of improvement in performance and capabilities with respect to the initial third generation systems now deployed. The detailed specifications of the IMT-Advanced technologies will be provided in a new ITU-R Recommendation expected in early 2012."

WiMAX (802.16e) and LTE are 4G technologies, of course. But the ITU moved from one mistake to another. It is essentially saying - without specifically naming the technology - that HSPA+ is 4G. But this is wrong. It's a 3G technology. The ITU even acknowledges that it is a 3G technology in the very same sentence. To paraphrase:

"A 3G technology is a 4G technology."

This doesn't make sense, and it is apparent that they ITU has not learned from its first mistake. The ITU should stick to IMT-2000 and IMT-Advanced and stop trying to use the 4G label for political reasons.