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. (Read more 4G network stories.)