T-Mobile USA customers can now purchase a 4G Mobile Hotspot device enabling up to five wifi devices to connect to its network. The device is available on a two-year contract at a cost of $79. It features a memory card slot, weighs 74.8g and has a four-hour in-use battery life with 100 hours of standby time.
But the launch has once again brought to the fore the controversy over 4G branding in the marketplace. While rival Verizon’s 4G network is based on LTE, T-Mobile’s next-gen service is based on HSPA+. Meanwhile, Sprint also markets its WiMAX based network as 4G.
It’s all pretty confusing and in fact, the ITU-R organisation has set the standard for true 4G as providing 100Mbps when mobile and 1Gbps for low mobility situations, speeds which no current service currently provides.
In a forthcoming interview with Telecoms.com, Dan Warren, senior director of technology at the GSMA took umbrage at operators leaping to describe their services as 4G, stating that, “the use of 4G now is marketing at its laziest”.
According to Informa statistics, T-Mobile USA currently has a 10.8 per cent overall market share compared to 30.9 per cent for Verizon Wireless, while Sprint has 16.31 per cent of the US market.
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