iPhone 4S with iOS 5.1 begins advertising AT&T HSDPA as '4G'

in iPhone edited March 2014

iPhone 4S users on AT&T who update to iOS 5.1 will see their network indicator state they are on a "4G" network when utilizing the carrier's high-speed HSDPA network.

Apple released iOS 5.1 on Wednesday, and one of the features listed for the update is an "updated AT&T network indicator." But Apple's release notes gave no further indication as to what that means.

However, after upgrading to iOS 5.1, AT&T users connected to the carrier's HSPA+ network on an iPhone 4S will see a "4G" icon in the upper left hand corner.

Rumors first arose last October that AT&T wanted Apple to add a "4G" indicator to the iPhone 4S status bar. That's because the iPhone 4S is capable of 4G-like speeds, even though HSDPA is not a "true" fourth-generation network.

The change will allow AT&T to further differentiate itself from competitors Verizon and Sprint, which run CDMA networks and do not offer HSDPA connectivity. However, "true" 4G remains exclusive to long-term evolution devices, like the third-generation iPad unveiled by Apple on Wednesday.

A redesigned antenna that allows for faster HSDPA connections is one of the major features of the new iPhone 4S that debuted last October. However, at the company's keynote presentation, Apple executives did not outright declare that the iPhone 4S is a 4G phone.

U.S. carriers AT&T and T-Mobile have advertised their own HSPA+ networks as having "4G" speeds, even though they aren't true fourth-generation technology. AT&T is currently rolling out a true LTE 4G network in the U.S., and is available about 75 million people, while Verizon's LTE network reaches over 200 million people.

[ View article on AppleInsider ]



  • Reply 1 of 50
    ivan.rnn01ivan.rnn01 Posts: 1,822member
    Unbearable. See ya in court AT&T.
  • Reply 2 of 50
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    Originally Posted by ivan.rnn01 View Post

    Unbearable. See ya in court AT&T.

    Besides there being no law governing what a cardinal number followed by a consonant means even the ITU says HSPA+ is 4G.
  • Reply 3 of 50
    jd_in_sbjd_in_sb Posts: 1,600member
    Big mistake because now people will say that AT&T's "4G" is slow when compared to other, real 4G.
  • Reply 4 of 50
    macdevilmacdevil Posts: 52member
    Wow, I'm a bit surprised Apple would cave and help AT&T with it's campaign of disinformation about 4G. Apple is usually pretty good at remaining independent of its carrier partners.
  • Reply 5 of 50
    ivan.rnn01ivan.rnn01 Posts: 1,822member

  • Reply 6 of 50
    ivladivlad Posts: 742member
    Originally Posted by jd_in_sb View Post

    Big mistake because now people will say that AT&T's "4G" is slow when compared to other, real 4G.

    It's actually pretty fast. I was surprised when my friend's 4G Windows phone on Verizon was slower than my 4S on At&t in DC Metro area. Maybe it depends on areas.
  • Reply 7 of 50
    woodewoode Posts: 67member
    Wow, this just makes everyone look slimy, including Apple.
  • Reply 8 of 50
    Originally Posted by Woode View Post

    Wow, this just makes everyone look slimy, including Apple.

    Why? 4G is an entirely invented term. It has no meaning. Lots of other phones market as 4G with this tech, why should Apple restrict itself artificially?
  • Reply 9 of 50
    deleted as another thread answered me.
  • Reply 10 of 50
    jmgregory1jmgregory1 Posts: 474member
    We were told previously that they were going to do this. For those areas where AT&T has implemented hsdpa, service should be significantly faster than before. I'm getting the 4G symbol but not really seeing the increased speed that was promised with the hsdpa service. I really don't care either way, as long as I can talk and browse or send emails at the same time.
  • Reply 11 of 50
    bearbear Posts: 27member
    Originally Posted by Woode View Post

    Wow, this just makes everyone look slimy, including Apple.

    Apple is only using AT&Ts designation for AT&Ts network. This is a business decision really to compete with the other AT&T phones that are labeled 4G.

    AT&T is a US cell phone company, of course it's slimy. I'm surprised that the US cell phone industry isn't used as an example for slimy in the dictionary.
  • Reply 12 of 50
    neosumneosum Posts: 113member
    I don't know why people are crying "lawsuit" over this. Other HSPA+ phones have been marketed as 4g devices and the ITU has classified it as 4g technology. There won't be any lawsuits nor will there be any merrits for one.

    It shouldn't make any difference at all. Personally, I'd rather it be marked by speed rather than G. Although the iphone 4s is capable of up to 14.4mbps download speeds, it's far from reality on ATT's network. However, LTE 4g speeds on ATT are pretty impressive, at least it is for now.
  • Reply 13 of 50
    s8er01zs8er01z Posts: 144member
    Don't other companies already do this??? Calling their "3G" technology "4G"? Tmobile comes to mind here but I could be mistaken.
  • Reply 14 of 50
    29922992 Posts: 202member
    HSPA(+) marketed as 4G in the US..... HAhahahahhaahhaaaaaaa...

    (nobody has been ever checking the 3GPP/GSMA over there?! really?! C'mon....)

    Oh, and... I am really curious what kind of technology is used to magically turn iPhones over night from 3G phones into 4G phones....

    PS: I am not trolling here, but I cannot help myself when I see this HSPA+ marked as 4G. How ATT will then market LTE? 4.5G? or 5G? Or? How about LTE-A? Jeeeezz....
  • Reply 15 of 50
    euphoniouseuphonious Posts: 303member
    So what about every other network in the world which uses HSDPA? Are they going to get the 4G treatment as well, or will every network apart from AT&T continue to show 3G?

    If the latter, that's grossly misleading.
  • Reply 16 of 50
    pendergastpendergast Posts: 1,358member
    Does Apple really have a choice here? AT&T is calling their service 4G, and competing phones using the same technology are calling themselves "4G".

    Explains why the Apple iPad video says "4G LTE" which sounded like a Verizon commercial
  • Reply 17 of 50
    My 4s did get a speed increase from the 5.1 update. I went from 1down 1up to 5/1 . It could have just been a tower update or something but it did increase my speeds.
  • Reply 18 of 50
    therbotherbo Posts: 70member
    Haha, LTE isn't even 4G, and that comes from the people who make it (GSMA)

    The only 4G is LTE-Advanced, a technology has to reach above 100Mbps to be classed as 4G, LTE in the US is NO WHERE near 100Mbps.

    My 4S reaches 11Mbps down, which is faster then most get on "4G" LTE.
  • Reply 19 of 50
    It was one thing when they called LTE 4G (really 3.9G)

    It was one thing when they called HSPA+ 4G (really 3.5/3.75G)

    but we accepted and moved on.

    But calling HSDPA 4G???!!?!? And Apple of all people?!?

  • Reply 20 of 50
    jd_in_sbjd_in_sb Posts: 1,600member
    When millions of people's iPhones switch from 3G to "4G" without any speed increase, AT&T is going to get lots of negative publicity.
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