Quite a few wireless operators in the U.S. and even some in the UK are claiming they have launched 4G networks or are undertaking 4G trials. This is simply not true as the ITU ( International Telecommunications Union ) have recently outlined what wireless standards actually conform to the requirements of 4G.
Currently, mobile or wireless operators are claiming 4G services are launched or are being trialled using standards called LTE and even HSPA+. Both these standards fall well short of what "True 4G" will offer. The ITU defines 4G wireless as needing to support gigabyte speeds when stationary as well as 100Mbps peak mobile data rates, ultra-low latency and channels of up to 100MHz.
The ITU has assessed all standards currently available and confirm that only two standards meet the requirement to be classed as IMT-Advanced, qualifying them as true 4G technologies. These standards are LTE-Advanced and WirelessMAN-Advanced ( WiMax2 ).
ITU secretary general Hamadoun Touré said the announcement was "a huge leap forward in state of the art technologies, which will make the present day smartphone feel like an old dial-up internet connection".
"IMT-Advanced would be like putting a fiber optic broadband connection on your mobile phone, making your phone at least 500 times faster than today's 3G smartphones," added the director of the ITU's Radiocommunications Bureau, François Rancy.