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AT&T is engaging in WISHFUL THINKING AND BAD MARKETING.  Yes Verizon is a year ahead of AT&T with its LTE construction but thats no excuse of cause USER CONFUSION by putting a FALSE 4G DATA INDICATION  on the IPhone 4S when its NOT TRUE.  I have been watching my iphone ever since it changed to IOS 5.1 to see if it indicated 3G AND 4G (HSPA+) and unless  HSPA+ has totally saturated the SF Bay Area It is a false indication.  This is just SILLY AND DISENGENIOUS AND FOR WHAT.  Everyone knows 4G is LTE and the IPhone 4S DOES NOT HAVE  LTE.  So why confuse the public with false information.   Yes HSPA+ TECHNICALLY  meets the spec for the absolute bottom level of 4G Data rates (14mb)  but does not come even close to LTE (70-100 mb).  Why then would AT&T engage in FALSE INFORMATION that will cause a lot of CONFUSION WITH THEIR CUSTOMERS????  I LIKE AT&T BUT I AM DISSAPPOINTED WITH THEM IN THIS INSTANCE.  I want accuate information as to what network I am connected to: EDGE, 3G, HSPA+ or in the NEXT iPhone LTE.  Is that too much to ask? 

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Message 1 of 17


pfc1990 wrote:

First of all, yes, the "standards board" originally defined "4G" as 100 mbps or higher, then very suddenly had a change of heart and decided that HSPA+ is also "4G". The iPhone 4S supports HSPA+ networks at a rate of 14.4 Mbps (theoretical). I can't say with certianty if AT&T's network is 14.4 or 7.2 HSPA+...someone else is going to have to confirm or deny that. I will say, however, that when Apple released iOS 5.1, the update changed the AT&T indicator from "3G" to "4G." This update only applied to the 4S and only applied to iPhones with the AT&T carrier file. There are 4Ss in use on HSPA+ networks all over the world, but as of this update, only the AT&T iPhone 4S actually displays the "4G" icon when using an HSPA+ network. Because AT&T is the only carrier for which Apple has made this change, it is really difficult to believe that there isn't any marketing involved here. Remember that AT&T was Apple's first iPhone partner, and we all know the two companies share a special relationship. And just because the all the andoid phones say "4G" doesn't change anything; it only means that AT&T has convinced Google that HSPA+ is a 4G network before Apple finally decided to conceed to AT&Ts marketing and place a 4G indicator on the 4S. 


I think I join a lot of people when I say that I, personally, do not believe that HSPA+, an advanced 3G technology, should be labeled as "4G." This is absolutely nothing but marketing, which T-Mobile started by advertising their HSPA+ network as "the nation's largest 4G network." Per the "standards board," LTE isn't a 4G technology either, but would I argue otherwise. I'm not as concerned with speed upgrades as I am with actual network upgrades; thus I believe LTE is 4G because it is an entirely new system, hardware and all. 


In any case, I hate to ramble. Regardless of what the "standards board" has defined as 4G, I think it is very bold to assume that AT&T had nothing to do with this "4G' indictor on the iPhone. I say this because AT&T has been trying to convince Apple to do this for years. No other iPhone 4S on any other HSPA+ network in the world shows "4G," only an AT&T iPhone 4S. Not marketing? Please...

Just to clarify, LTE is a completely natural evolution of 3G and HSPA wireless technologies, its not the degree of "new" that you suggest. In everything else i basically agree, its all the doing of ATT through pleading with apple, although no they have not been trying to get apple to do this for years, they would've been if they had a reason to, but the iphone 4s is the first iphone capable of taking advantage of HSPA+ speeds, so its the first that by any standard or definition can be called 4g. Yes other iphones can be on a HSPA+ network, but they cant actually take advantage of those speeds so thats why you only see the 4s showing that change, even if your iphone 4s is showing 4g and is connected to a HSPA+ network but only getting a miserable .5mb downlink speed, its still completely legit, the 4g etc. is a indication of the network technology and its potetential it doesnt inherently mean you should be getting a certain speed, we expect it too but you can even be on LTE and getting miserable speeds, it doesnt just change to showing 3g instead of LTE if you get crappy speeds, as long as you are connected to the LTE network or the HSPA network in this case, it will show that indicator, regardless of the speed you are getting, the key is that you now have the POTENTIAL for the greater speeds.

Message 16 of 17


AT&T badgered Apple to add the 4G indicator when connected to HSPA+ towers until Apple finally relented in one of their software updates.


Flip131 wrote:

I don't believe that ATT is to blame (believe me I have more reasons to not defend ATT then anyone else on these blogs) the FALSE 4G icon on the iPhone 4S is being caused by APPLE and this is true on the basis that iTunes updates are required for that to appear and that the phone when purchased from ATT does not say 4G anywhere on it nor has it even been advertised by anyone from ATT who knows what they are doing as being 4G capable (unfortunatley its only a very, very small percentage of ATT employees that actually know what they are doing). No spectulation is even needed as to why Apple would continue their on going tradition of misleading its customer base because Andriod/Google is killing Apple in the wireless industry and to this point in time the only thing that Apple can do is mislead their customers even further to make an attempt to not fall any farther behind Andriods in the wireless race.

Message 17 of 17
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