4G is a Lie – Here’s Why

March 27, 2011

4G this, 4G that. “We’ve got the most advanced 4G network,”says one. “We’ve got America’s biggest 4G network,” say another. Even most iPhone users think their iPhone 4’s are 4G, most likely because of the “4”. Well, we hate to break it to you, but we are a long way from true 4G. Real 4G would mean you could download a 700MB video in 9 seconds. So, it’s important that you know – the term 4G does little more than create unjustified marketing hype for the major companies employing it. While no carrier in the world has yet to reach true 4G speeds – a company in Japan called DoComo has just made available a 75Mbps mobile data connection, which is roughly 4 time faster than even the fastest speeds available in the USA, and is said to be the fastest cellphone network in the world.

Nevertheless, an American company, Root Metrics, has just released a thorough real-world study, using some of the latest Android hardware like the HTC Thunderbolt for Verizon’s LTE network, the HTC EVO for Sprint’s Wimax, the HTC Inspire for AT&T’s HSPA+, and the Samsung Galaxy S for T-Mobile’s HSPA+21, and found some very, very interesting things out. You see, it’s actually a complete fallacy for any network to accurately refer to their speeds as 4G. True 4G speeds are shockingly fast – like 100mbs fast.

Root Metrics was able to determine that Verizon’s LTE 4G network is the fastest – and by a substantial margin. Verizon’s network (at least in their location of testing in metro Seattle) consistently destroyed anything the competition could muster. Not only were Verizon’s download speeds amazingly fast, so too were their upload speeds, and all with near 100% success to boot. So, in a nutshell, Verizon’s LTE network is simply thus best at providing very fast downloading and uploading, consistently.

The report goes on to show that Verizon’s 4G network achieved download speeds nearly 400% that of even the closest competition. According to Root Metrics, Verizon’s LTE network, in the Seattle Metro area, was able to provide average download speeds of 17,160 kbps, while T-Mobile clocked in with the second fastest download speeds of 4,424 kbps, Sprint in third place with 4,400 kbps and AT&T’s HSPA+ clocking in last place with a paltry 1,182 kbps download speed.

The Verizon love doesn’t stop there. The data Root Metrics was able to dig up, demonstrated that average maximum download speeds are even more impressive on Verizon. Amazingly, the maximum burst speeds achieved during the tests demonstrated that Verizon’s LTE was somewhere between 3x – 9.6x faster than the competition at 22.2 Mbps. Unbelievably, Root Metrics found the Verizon to be faster in every single test, and in every single respect – far ahead of its major competitors.

You can find the full report here if you’d like to nerd out over some of the additional data, charts and background on how the tests were performed. Most importantly, remember that the Seattle 4G market doesn’t necessarily paint the most accurate picture, and is not necessarily indicative of other areas of the country. Furthermore, who’s to say how the network will perform when people actually begin to start paying their ridiculous high fees? With speeds like this, it’s certain that things could get out of hand. I mean, with these kind of speeds, it’s no wonder they love ‘tiered-data’. Offering an unlimited plan, while obviously amazing for bandwidth hungry power users, would mean certain death for the network, and for the costs incurred by the company itself.

Are these numbers enticing enough for you to make the jump to 4G? When do you think we will actually see ‘real’ 4G speeds?

Via: Root Metrics

Comments

  • Michael Sena

    It’s kind of like trying to keep up with the Jones’. Once one company proclaims 4G, it becomes embedded in the mind of consumers… the other companies had no choice to follow suit.

    But, what I want to know is – where is the reasonably priced data? Seriously? Like how about 6 gigs for 30 bucks? Come on guys! Another thing I want to know is how much do these guys pay for their bandwidth, and to whom? I can appreciate that building new networks is expensive, but they also make alot of money too.

    And lastly, I can see from the PATHETIC speeds of AT&T’s network why they are trying to buy T-Mobile.

    Great stuff guys! Keep it coming!

  • Beluga

    I’m not from the US. But no tele-company here claims they have 4G .. only 3G or HSDPA+. Yet, 5 mb is normal download speed here (Denmark). So i can only laugh at Sprint, T-Mobile and A&T ;)

    But a little critiscism about the article. Its tested in SEATTLED ONLY. Doesnt really tell anything about a huge country like US. Maybe in Boston the figures are completely different and so on.

    So the test is a bit useless i think ;)

  • http://trueacu.com acupunc

    no different than how the carriers are using the word “unlimited.”

    advertising in the US has gotten real shady as of late.

  • VZW Rep

    “Furthermore, who’s to say how the network will perform when people actually begin to start paying their ridiculous high fees?”

    What high fees are you talking about? Verizon’s LTE prices are the exact same as its 3G prices: $50 a month for 5gb or $80 for 10gb, both with $10/gb for overage.. Is that a ridiculously high fee for a service that is, as you put it, 400% faster than its closest competitor? Last I checked, VZW was competitive on its 3G pricing, meaning its 4G pricing is astoundingly good.

    • Outlaw71

      So 4G pricing is NO different than 3G pricing on Verizon? Awesome!!! I just signed up for the ‘$9.99 unlimited data for life’ promotion on Verizon back in January. I was very leary about whether or not it would carry over to a 4G device if I purchased one. Because I was certain they would be priced differently.

      Good to know they are no different. Now I can rest assured that my $9.99 unlimited data plan will carry over to the HTC Thunderbolt if I choose to got one. Thanks Verizon Rep!!!

  • Ulf Nilsson

    TeliaSonera, that was the first operator to launch 4G in the world, delivers 80Mbps in the downlink. The link is in Swedish but you can see the bit rate reference: http://www.telia.se/privat/produkter_tjanster/mobilt-bredband/

  • http://twitter.com/GaryMiddleton47 Gary Middleton

    i knew no one had true 4G.. verizon and the rest can run their mouth