AT&T Renames Its 3G Network a 4G Network

Marketing move could be driven in part by rumored Verizon iPhone

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff

Posted Jan 6, 2011 3:06 PM CST

(Newser) – AT&T pulled off the cheapest network upgrade ever yesterday, changing its 3G network into a 4G one by… renaming it. Yep, in a move that’s sure to make the term “4G” even more meaningless than it already was, AT&T has rebranded its existing network, and will begin selling new phones with the 4G label soon, all without upgrading its technology at all, the Wall Street Journal reports.

AT&T can get away with the marketing move because the International Telecommunications Union hasn’t actually set firm standards for what constitutes 4G. AT&T has also announced that it’ll speed up work on its “Long-Term Evolution” network boost, but that still won’t be ready until the end of 2013. The company also slashed the price on the iPhone 3GS to just $49, in anticipation, the Journal suspects, of competition from the upcoming Verizon iPhone.

In this Jan. 26, 2010 photo, AT&T phones are advertised in San Francisco.
In this Jan. 26, 2010 photo, AT&T phones are advertised in San Francisco.   (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
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