A wireless carrier is already pushing bogus 5G technology

August 19, 2014

5GTechnology

Dating back to 2010, wireless carriers have been pushing their so-called 4G technology when the carriers didn’t come close to offering actual 4G speeds.

In 2010, the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) declared that nobody in the United States was actually deploying technology with 4G speeds. According to the ITU, only technology similar to LTE-Advanced, which was capable of speeds over 100 Mbps, could be considered 4G technology.

That didn’t stop T-Mobile or AT&T from telling the public about their so-called 4G networks. T-Mobile claimed that their 3G HSPA+ service was the “largest 4G network.” while Sprint and AT&T would pretend that their Mobile WiMax and LTE networks (from several years ago) were also “4G.”

3G4GDifference Graphs.net

In fact, AT&T got angry when T-Mobile started to promote their 3G 4G network.

“I think that companies need to be careful that they’re not misleading customers by labeling HSPA+ as a 4G technology,” says AT&T. - DSLReports

Speaking of AT&T, do people remember when the iPhone 4S magically became a 4G device when iOS 5.1 was released? All it took was a small line of code (as Karl Bode put it). In reality, AT&T simply wanted to make their HSPA network be called a 4G network and AT&T admitted to as much.

“AT&T has rolled out a nationwide HSPA+ network, and they refer to this high-speed network as 4G,” a spokesperson told us. “With iOS 5.1, iPhone 4S will now see this reflected in the status bar.” Compare that to the company’s own marketing materials for the new iPad, which refer to HSPA+ as being among “the fastest 3G networks.” Why the difference? The 4G LTE iPad itself offers the answer: there’s no need to maintain the fiction of HSPA+ 4G when there’s a real 4G network to sell instead. Still, AT&T’s Seth Bloom is adamant that the iPhone 4S’s new labeling is “essentially the same as many other current AT&T smartphones.” - TheVerge

One reason for AT&T’s change in stance was due to the ITU changing what was considered real 4G technology. The ITU released new rules which deemed just about any network as 4G if that network had a “substantial level of improvement in performance and capabilities” over existing 3G technology. This allowed wireless carriers to then proclaim that their networks were deemed 4G yet the speeds they offered were still barely above 3G speeds.

As CCInsight put it:

Anticipation for the roll-out of 4G services in some markets was diluted as a result of inaccurate network labelling. Some operators promised blazing fast “4G speeds” on their HSPA+ networks to prevent subscriber churn — marketing 3G technologies like HSPA as a 4G service was a fairly widespread practice in many countries. - CCInsight

Now, a wireless operator has begun marketing 4G as 5G. As we have discussed in the past month, we are not even sure what 5G technology actually means as a there are varying definitions for the technology.

Yet, we still have our first mobile operator claiming that 5G technology is being offered by them to customers.

Smart Communications, the largest mobile operator in the Philippines, announced last week that it’s gone live with 5G services in the country. The company’s press release explains that it’s now offering LTE-A services with speeds up to 1 gigabit per second, or “more than twice as fast as 4G services”. - CCInsight

cebufinest_timetomakethebigswitch_smartcommunications

Smart believes that their LTE-A network is deemed 5G by “leading global operators” yet you won’t find any significant organizational agreement on that definition. But that won’t stop the 5G hype from continuing to grow. Some researchers want the US to open up wave bands to start encouraging research if we are to “keep pace.”

Nevermind that the country at the forefront of trying to substantially upgrade 4G technology is South Korea and they don’t expect to see these upgraded “ultra-fast networks” to be deployed until 2018-2020.

Comments

  • Luka Mlinar

    If that’s 5G than my Zasatava Yugo is a Ferrari.

    • derp hurr-durr

      You don’t even know what 5G is.

      (Wasn’t that the point of the article?)

  • Defenestrator

    Stupid Smart. Incidentally, that carrier belongs to a group of companies who blame slow Internet speeds on its users’ preference for English-language websites: http://t.co/qlTqgj83eA

  • Krazonite

    That was a tad over-the-top. I get it; You’re pissed the ITU got over-ridden (how many years ago now…?) and acquiesced to the “new” definition of 4G.

    Get over it. It’s done. Move on already? Being mad about this was cool in 2010…

    Oh, and you failed to mention that one of the ” varying definitions for the technology” is, in fact, LTE-A (What the ITU used to consider 4G). This is both relevant and important because:

    Basically, Smart is simply going by the logical conclusion that if the ITU knocked “old” 4G down a peg, the previous 4G is now 5G. This is perfectly logical, an assumption held by *many* others, and it wouldn’t surprise anyone (but you?) if the ITU made it official at some point in the future.

    • heh

      But LTE-A networks are considered LTE by ITU. LTE is 4G, so LTE-A (aka LTE Category 6 and above) is considered 4G.

      • derp hurr-durr

        ITU consider’s HSPA+ and LTE as 4G. (maybe WiMAX?)

        LTE-A was the original definition of 4G; which no longer applies. It would not surprise me to see LTE-A marketed as 5G and the ITU dragged along (With folks like the author kicking and screaming all the way for nothing more than a name) just as it happened with 4G.

        It’s simply repeating history.

        In the end, why does it even matter what we call it? Call it Fred, ffs. I’ve never understood why people get so uppity about things like this.

        • gety

          People are already dumb, shit like this only confuses them even more.

        • heh

          It matters in this case because they dragged AT&T and T-Mobile into their press release, saying these two providers are calling LTE-A 5G, which in reality they haven’t (yet). So far, only AT&T is doing LTE-A trials, and TMo is still focused on refarming 2G and MetroPCS spectrum to LTE.

          I don’t know. This 5G thing is plain stupid, along other issues I have with Smart.

    • http://www.androidauthority.com/author/wneilsonjr/ William Neilson Jr.

      In the future? ITU doing anything to cater towards wireless carriers wouldn’t surprise me.

      • Krazonite

        In the future?

        I would hope not – since that’s exactly what happened in the past.

        “cater towards wireless carriers”

        You say that like it’s a bad thing….and yet the only complaint I’ve seen is about the naming – which has no practical effect for good or ill. It’s a name.

        So why is this such a bad thing?

        • http://www.androidauthority.com/author/wneilsonjr/ William Neilson Jr.

          Because when standards are set, we shouldn’t be helping companies attain goals by cutting those goals in half or even 75%.

          Many here have “4G” yet see speeds that don’t even match strong 3G networks.

    • Guest

      ITU did not knock the old 4G down a peg. They expanded the definition to also include “lower” level improvements in relation to 3G. That doesn’t make what was 4G before the new 5G. I don’t know how you say that’s supposed to be a “logical conclusion”.

      “Oh, your substantial improvement over 3G makes you 4G? Hmmm… that makes my MORE substantial improvement that’s currently considered 4G now 5G!!!” — No.

  • Smartbroken

    Thanks for the 8mbps “4G” speed Smart. Thanks for the slow and expensive internet service.

    • Defenestrator

      Hah, you’re lucky. I get 5 mbps tops in Metro Manila.

      • Dave

        5 mbps? Ako nga masuwerte na mag 2 mbps! #juicecolored

    • xoj_21

      i get 3.6mbps they label it as 3.5g

  • denverporia20

    5G? Hahahs Funny. What’s the use of their 5G if their service sucks?

    • dodz

      I Live in the Philippines and I can confirm Smart Telecommunications service sucks ass.
      they cant even manage to handle 3g well, and my note 3 looses signal when Im on LTE mode.
      I looked at their LTE map and my house isn’t even covered, and I live in the city.
      cant imagine them pushing 5g lol.
      even their broadband 4g internet barely reaches 5mbps tops.

      • RalfRia Nuptials

        Under *normal* circumstances I can reach 65+ with a huawei b593-s22 and a yagi antenna, but my house is about 80 meters from the tower.

        Unfortunately their system has been experiencing *massive* network faults for the last 6 days throughout the country, making those speeds nowhere near attainable; even with perfect signal. It was at *this* time that they announced the LTE-A — so it’s probably a marketing ploy to get people to buy more expensive devices.

        http://www.iloiloreviews.com/smart-lte-customer-disservice-nightmares/

      • epiquestions

        I reach 12mbps+ dloads on HDSPA+ at my house and more on LTE when I am in range (no LTE in Novaliches, at least in my subd) (xperiaz1 and smart lte sim). I am content with the speed for downloads. But yeah, internet services sucks in the Philippines and globe sucks more than smart. 3G gaming sucks because of high ping

    • AnaIvanovic2

      Globe and Sun’s service is worse. Globe’s is by far and clearly the WORST. Choose the lesser evil. Choose Smart.

      • SpecForce

        I can’t agree yet. I am a globe subscriber and you’re absolutely right! First, when it comes to sms, damn their service sucks! Some of my messages are sent, some are not. I even receive some texts waayyy later than when the sender sent me the text. Second, internet. Even in the middle of the big cities I can’t even feel the fast speed globe promises. It’s like the speed is closer to dial-up speeds than even 3G. I only experience 4G in very limited areas. In the case of smart though, is it really better? Looking at other comments it looks like it’s similar to globe. Either way, I believe this “5G” is a big BS.

  • Andy

    Think you need to check your info in the comparison chart, numerous errors for both columns (freq range, switching and architecture stand out).

  • Weee

    I hope their 5g is as fast as the standard 3g cause their 4g is as fast as 2g.. :)

    • dreddurius

      By Odin’s beard, did you even read the article man?

      • Romdude

        Did you even read his comment? It’s a joke, you know? A joke? Take a chill pill.

  • Badouken

    Thats funny… I learned in school even that 5G wont be out til at least 2020. With 1GB/s speeds… but alas probably will cost an arm and a leg in the US once that becomes reality…

    • chanman

      Gigabit, not Gigabyte.

      • Badouken

        oh ya my bad, fixed!

    • heh

      In the PH where Smart competes, you’ll need more cash to spend for Internet. Smart doesn’t even offer data plans above 2GB. The fastest wireline Internet we have costs 500 US dollars a month for 100Mbps (and it’s offered by its parent company), and the other company offering mobile internet can provide up to 15GB data for 65 US dollars a month – which is not bad if you earn like an American, but c’mon 1 of 5 people here earn a dollar a day.

  • gabrielth555

    Wow…for a moment there I thought it was somewhere irrelevant like the middle of the Pacific!

    • MasterMuffin

      Irrelevant for you, not for everyone :)

      • gabrielth555

        I’m sorry… did I just say Pacific? …I meant the South Pole!!!

  • Walid El Baouchi

    Even if it’s not ‘real’ 4G, 27 MB /s is a big improvement for me and I don’t care what I have to call it.

  • The Bastard Christ

    HAHAHA, crook motherfuckers! Philippines has the SLOWEST, the most EXPENSIVE, the MOST UNRELIABLE and the MOST UNSTABLE broadband/data connections in southeast asia. Just go do a google search and you’ll see how pathetic the situation of it there currently is.

    • Romdude

      Same thing with the “broadband” cable or dsl. It’s painful.

    • Raymund Victor Aguilar

      i’m not gonna argue with you on that one… at times it feels so slow, i thought i went back to dial-up…

    • SpecForce

      Yeah. This 5G is a big BS to be exact

  • Say What?

    LOL….can’t wait for 14G. I don’t give a rats ass what “G” I’m on as long as my apps and web pages load quickly.

  • Andrew T Roach

    0.2 seconds on LTE vs 0.1 seconds on LTE-A to load a mobile site.

    Twice as fast downloads!

    WHO CARES.

    • Bob

      You’ll care if the carrier who has LTE-A can’t even offer data plans beyond 2GB. Get throttled to EDGE for as fast as 80 seconds.

      • Andrew T Roach

        Data limits literally had nothing to do with my comment so HERE’S A COOKIE.

  • Bryce

    I’ve come to the conclusion that life is all about lying and misleading people so that you can get their money.

  • KLC

    what is the use of 4G 5G xG if the limit is only 1 FUCKING GIGABYTES! still fucking useless also we have monopolized Internet Services.

  • Jojo Santiago

    I used to be a smart postpaid sub, base on experience I can say that they are the worst and slowest internet provider. Although they are the best liars, deceiver and theif, they charge exhorbitant fees but can not provide decent service, shame on you smart, the inly winner here is mvp he gets money by telling lies! 5g your @ss

    • dreddurius

      I pay more than Php1,100 so I can stare at loading screens and 504 errors. Smart FTW.

  • thesummitexpress

    Actually, the press release of Smart is correct saying that LTE-A is now running on its network (some sites only) for trial purposes. However, contents from news release of different websites are very misleading to the public. Users think that switching to ’5G’ from their current subscription/ experience is easy. Let’s thank Smart and other operators because they are pushing for the the next phase of mobile communication. Read more here: http://www.thesummitexpress.com/2014/08/facts-and-review-smart-goes-5g-lte-advanced.html

    • Bob

      The point of this article is that LTE-A is a 4G technology, and should never be marketed as 5G as it will confuse consumers once legitimate 5G technologies get implemented by 2018-2020.

    • The Bastard Christ

      next phase my rosy white ass!!! their 3g and 4g is broke as fuck, coverage is pretty much pathetic. connection? forget about it! prices? LOL. singapores best 3g connection will run circles around this motherfucker.

  • Raymund Victor Aguilar

    when Smart said they were going “5G” maybe they really meant you’ll have to spend 5 grand a month on service that sucks worse than a vacuum cleaner during spring cleaning…

  • arndentified

    NAKAKAHIYA TONG SMART. DI KO NGA MAGAMIT ANG BULOK NA HSPA+ SIGNAL NILA E. ./.

  • Paolo T.

    3G at 50kB/s. (And that’s on a GOOD day.)
    4G at 400kB/s. (And that’s on a GOOD day.)

    The Smart (Philippines) Network in a nutshell.
    True story.

  • Anjo’ng Bulabog

    LOL. lets say for an instance you can give us the speed of 1gig per sec at its top speed but the problem is the poor service plus the so called “Fair Usage Policy” that limits your download to 15 f**king gig per month. TAKE NOTE, PER MONTH. what the hell is wrong with those guys? even if you give us 100g per secs it is still useless because of your internet capping that limits the user to enjoy the thing they are paying.

  • blitzkrieg

    Basically you need to have a smartphone that supports LTE-A to enjoy 5G. Only a handful as of now and surely expensive.
    In fairness to Smart, it delivers more than the other networks in terms of LTE service.

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  • カール

    Instead of introducing newer technologies, I think they should be working on the quality and range of their internet service. Implement a full, stable 3G/LTE service throughout the Philippines or all major cities at the very least. If they improved their service to a point where people no longer complain about slow internet, then they can start introducing newer techs for the benefit of their subscribers.