Are the cell phone companies playing a numbers game?

We have all seen the TV advertisement where a cell phone carrier touts that it is now offering 4G. I must admit that I am G ignorant when it comes to what they are talking about, so I read with interest a recent article that attempts to explain the differences in technology. Is there a real difference, or are the cell phone companies playing another numbers game?

One may recall the MHz game that Intel once played, in which there was a blur as to the actual difference between CPUs. I remember when we were in the 1000 MHz arena in which one would think that this CPU would be 10 times faster than a 100 MHz CPU. Unfortunately this was not the case and AMD sought to change the game by leading us to believe that its lower speed CPUs were just as powerful as Intel’s higher numbered CPUs. Our only saving grace is when the chips no longer could obtain a higher speed so the game switched to adding cores instead.

The cell phone providers seem to have stumbled on this magical formula and are using a new numbers game to confuse the masses.  So good are they becoming at changing the game, that they are even setting their own standards as to what 4G is. In one recent article they describe the G game as:

“So where does this all leave us? In short, carriers seem to have won this battle: the ITU recently backed down, saying that the term 4G “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.”

Whether WiMAX 2 and LTE-Advanced will ultimately be called “4G” by the time they’re available is unclear, but our guess is that they won’t — the experience you’ll have on those networks will be vastly different from the 4G of today. And let’s be honest: the world’s marketing departments have no shortage of Gs at their disposal.”

For those of you who read this post and still use your cell phone to make phone calls, you don’t need to worry about the G. But if you are a data hound the G may become more important to you as time passes.

In the meantime, expect that we will be bombarded with more 4G commercials trying to convince us that one cell provider is better than another provider.

Let AT&T, Sprint, Verizon, T-Mobile, and others fight the battle of the 4G network. The most important part of any cell phone, smartphone, dumbphone, feature rich phone, super smart phone, or whatever is how well it works for you.

Comments welcome.

Source – Engadget