The big US carriers are making a lot of noise about their 4G networks, but Matt Buchanan of Gizmodo points out a wee problem: "None of these networks are actually 4G. Not by a long shot." There's technical standards for these things, and what's out there now or coming in the very near future does not meet them. Granted, the networks are faster than 3G, but to label them 4G is just "marketing," an analyst tells him.
One major group that decides such matters is the UN's International Telecommunication Union, which has a set of standards known as IMT-Advanced for 4G. "The fact is that there are no IMT-Advanced—or 4G—systems available or deployed at this stage," says an ITU spokesman. The pseudo 4G networks are "pretty good," writes Buchanan, but they'll look "downright pokey" when the real thing arrives.
(Read more 4G network stories.)