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4G Or Not 4G, That Is The Question

Ericsson’s and TeliaSonera’s announcement of the first commercial LTE deployment provoked an intensive debate on LinkedIn’s LTE group. Is LTE really 4G, or is it 3.9 or even 3.8?

Few things triggers more discussion than terms and definition. On one hand, you have a group of professionals that believe that the usage of a term has to be defined strictly in technical terms, and if a technology doesn’t meet the definition to 100%, it is non-compliant. Don’t say it is 4G, if it is not compliant to ITU’s definition, they claim.

The other camp, and I belong to this group, simply say that the new generation of technology is defined by both technical and commercial means. The 4th generation of mobile infrastructure is underway. LTE has a completely new air interface and a completely new core. In practice, the backhaul segment is also re-engineered. This is a huge new investment by mobile operators and the consumers have to buy new handheld devices. A new page in the history book of mobile infrastructure is being turned. I call that 4G.

The debate continues though. You can make your opinion heard here.  Or you can consider contributing to the wikipedia definition of 4G.

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