ITU Declares that WiMAX and LTE can be Classed as 4G Networks
Published on: 22nd Dec 2010
Note -- this news article is more than a year old.
Contrary to the technical specifications and in a move that will delight marketing people, both LTE and WiMAX can now officially be called 4G technologies. The decision was taken at the ITU World Radiocommunication Seminar 2010 (WRS 10) held earlier this month.
In the opening statement, the ITU determined that "LTE-Advanced" and "WirelessMAN-Advanced" should be accorded the official designation of IMT-Advanced. This accords them the status of 4G technologies, as far as the technology side is concerned.
However, the ITU also that that although it is recognized that 4G can also be applied to the forerunners of the IMT-Advanced technologies, LTE and WiMAX, and to other evolved 3G technologies that offer a substantial level of improvement in performance and capabilities with respect to the initial 3G systems now deployed.
The detailed specifications of the IMT-Advanced technologies will be provided in a new ITU-R Recommendation expected in early 2012.
The decision of the ITU to adopt a more marketing based approach to a technology decision will be especially good news in the USA, where T-Mobile has been touting its HSPA+ network as being 4G, and drawing ire from the LTE and WiMAX operators who were trying to reserve that declaration for their own "not quite 4G either" technologies.
That still wont excuse PR firms regularly sending us press releases about their latest 4G product without also specifying which technology platform it is based on.