I don't understand why so many people are getting hyped on this "4G" revolution. Federal regulations don't have a standardized meaning for what speeds "4G" can be, and so it is possible for any telecommunications corporation to advertise "4G" speeds.
Take for instance, AT&T's new recent renaming of their 3G service into 4G, covered in the Wall Street Journal article here, where the title reads "AT&T Relabels Wireless Network, Speed Up Next Generation Rollout".
The key here is the word "relabel". It is very easy to misinform consumers into thinking that a company's "4G" speeds are significantly faster than their 3G speeds, when little or no changes have been made to support such a claim. However, some companies are in fact rolling out faster connection speeds for mobile phones. One of the nation's biggest cellular carriers, Verizon Wireless, has been working on their new LTE network, which is schedule to go live later this year. Such networks do have significantly faster speeds--but it makes me wonder if they will be called "4G" or tagged along with some other term to lure consumers in. Verizon apparently is calling their new network "4G LTE"--just the right combination of new technological terms (LTE) and old favorites (X-G speeds).
It gets even more interesting when looking at the overall picture and the cellphones that will have to advertise "4G Capability". In that perspective, the entire market seems to be pushing for faster network speeds; whether or not any of the titles slapped onto these networks are genuine indicators of their speed is another story. However, if there's a demand for faster speeds, you can sure bet that corporations will supply consumers with that speed. It's just a matter of who rolls out the faster network first.
In a way, it can be called a race for telecommunications corporations to win the speed race.