4G Network Icon for iPhone On AT&T

4G Network Icon for iPhone On AT&T
4G Network on ATT for 4GS ?

New 4G controversy surrounding AT&T – Apple for a little 4G indicator symbol that suddenly showed up on iPhones as of Wednesday.

It began with the release of iOS 5.1, Apple’s latest operating system for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch. iOS 5.1 became available for download Wednesday afternoon following an install of iOS update on their iPhones, many iPhone 4S users on AT&T’s network were surprised to see the letters “4G” next to the cell signal icon on the upper lefthand corner of their display screens. Had AT&T subscribers suddenly gotten a boost in data speed with their newest mobile OS !

Though AT&T offers the faster 4G (or fourth-generation) LTE service for some of its smartphones and tablets, the iPhone 4S does not have the proper internal chipset to connect to that network; instead it connects to the HSPA+ network, an older, though enhanced, 3G network whose peak data rates are slower than those on LTE, but which AT&T and T-Mobile both refer to as 4G on their website and advertising materials.

If you’re an AT&T iPhone owner, your download and upload speeds remain the same; so why are you now being told that your iPhone is 4G?

“The simple reason is that it’s a 4G device,” AT&T spokesman Mark Siegel told the Huffington Post in a phone interview. “AT&T runs two 4G technologies: One is called HSPA+ and the other is called LTE. This is an HSPA+ device, hence the 4G indicator.”

“It [the iPhone 4S] has always had that capability, and we’re glad it’s now displayed on the phones.”

And responding to the charge that HSPA+ is a 3G, not a 4G network:

“I’ve seen that criticism, but it’s been accepted for some time by a variety of standards bodies that HSPA+ is a 4G network,” Siegel said. “I understand what people are saying but [HSPA+] has been recognized as 4G.”

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