Print 21 comment(s) - last by Lakku.. on Feb 23 at 1:05 AM

Make that: "4G*" coverage maps

AT&T has begun posting maps of its "4G" HSPA+ nationwide coverage on its website

According to iClarified, the list of cities is currently limited to those that have undergone the full backhaul upgrade. HSPA+ has been deployed to AT&T's entire network, but the higher speeds can only be taken advantage of near sites where the "enhanced backhaul" upgrade has been completed.

On AT&T's website, if you hit "Coverage" and then hover over the cities where HSPA+ is fully functional, it allows you to click for more detailed local 4G coverage. The areas include Bay Area, Calif.; Los Angeles; NorCal, Calif.; Houston; Dallas; Chicago; Baltimore; Buffalo; Boston; Providence, R.I.; Charlotte, N.C.; and Puerto Rico.

The only problem with the new coverage maps is that AT&T's claims to "4G", like T-Mobile's (which has also deployed HSPA+), deserve quotations or, at the very least, an asterisk. For much of the past year, AT&T repudiated T-Mobile's labeling of HSPA+ as "4G", with an AT&T rep stating, "I think that companies need to be careful that they're not misleading customers by labeling HSPA+ as a 4G technology. We aren't labeling those technologies as 4G."

Then, earlier this year, AT&T changed course -- likely realizing that Verizon's burgeoning LTE network could spell bad news for a company that was still advertising 3G -- and branded its HSPA+ network as "4G".

Turns out, none of the wireless carriers can truly brag about 4G, despite the boldest claims of their marketers.

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Great going, guys...
By killerroach on 2/21/2011 3:24:18 PM , Rating: 2
...but you still don't have 3G where I'm at, let alone 4G... in a city whose greater area approaches 200,000, that's just embarrassing, and one of the reasons I've never even remotely considered AT&T.

RE: Great going, guys...
By RjBass on 2/21/2011 5:07:33 PM , Rating: 2
And what city is that? The 3rd largest city in my state has a population of about 250,000 and they just got 3g last year.

RE: Great going, guys...
By killerroach on 2/21/2011 5:59:10 PM , Rating: 2
Kalamazoo/Portage, Michigan. Pretty much nothing for 3G south of I-96 and west of US-27 in Michigan from AT&T (then again, T-Mobile has pretty much nothing north of I-96, making GSM carriers a bit dicey if you're traveling much in the western part of the state).

And to the other commenter: I know what the ITU standard is for 4G, I'm just using the marketing terminology for the sake of convenience.

RE: Great going, guys...
By quiksilvr on 2/22/2011 3:35:56 PM , Rating: 2
I lost my virginity in Kalamazoo...just throwing that out there.

RE: Great going, guys...
By mcnabney on 2/21/2011 5:14:55 PM , Rating: 2
HSPA+ is NOT 4G.

T-Mobile started the lie because they were almost a generation behind and AT&T continued it since their LTE deployment has fallen so far behind Verizon.

Theoretical speeds:

LTE 100Mbs down / 50Mbs up
Wimax 128Mbs down / 56Mbs up
HSPA+ 56Mbs down / 22Mbs up

That is why HSPA+ has been called 3.5G since it doesn't measure up to the other two. HSPA+ has crappy latency too, which is something else LTE really improves on.

RE: Great going, guys...
By heffeque on 2/21/2011 6:56:28 PM , Rating: 2
Well... LTE actually downloads at half it's theoretical speed. Wimax is far behind from that, that's for sure. Actually Wimax is more or less the same speed as HSPA+ and Wimax is considered as 4G. The thing is that, personally, I don't know why Wimax is even considered as 4G when its speed is actually not on par with LTE.

RE: Great going, guys...
By mcnabney on 2/21/2011 7:34:09 PM , Rating: 2
Wimax could go a lot faster if Sprint didn't criple it. You can't get decent speeds when Sprint is only paying for a couple T1s to the tower. You HAVE to get fiber, which Sprint is too cheap to install.

And all the lies about HSPA+ being 4G just slow down the REAL jump to 4G.

RE: Great going, guys...
By sprockkets on 2/21/2011 10:43:02 PM , Rating: 3
HSPA+ is NOT 4G.

Yeah, it isn't. But who gives a sh it? It's just happens to be 382 times faster than what "3G" started out at. What's your point? NONE.

Stop thinking Gs = speed! Nobody cared about 1x and EVDO (both misleading names) both being 3G yet one happened to be around 8x faster.

RE: Great going, guys...
By Lakku on 2/23/2011 1:05:07 AM , Rating: 2
I live in a town in central Texas of about 60k. And we have had 3G, and now 4G, for years now. Just saying, guess it depends on where you are.

By bwave on 2/21/2011 5:19:34 PM , Rating: 2
No Philly, No DC, No NYC, No Richmond/Norfolk - if you can't even cover the most densely populated areas.....

RE: really?
By Jedi2155 on 2/21/2011 5:51:52 PM , Rating: 2
Poor Nebraska. Nearly your whole state has been ditched by AT&T.

RE: really?
By joex444 on 2/21/2011 8:22:50 PM , Rating: 2
IDK man, I'm not that great at geography but look at the map. Except for Richmod, which is the lamest city you mentioned, they look covered. Maybe not mentioned in the "included" list in the article, but that list is not stated to be exclusive nor exhaustive.

RE: really?
By bwave on 2/21/2011 8:36:55 PM , Rating: 2
Not by 4G - I mention those cities because they surround me. All of those except Norfolk/Richmond have "4G" coverage already with Verizon.

By dagamer34 on 2/21/2011 2:27:55 PM , Rating: 2
This is as shady as it gets.

RE: Ugh
By morphologia on 2/21/2011 2:38:48 PM , Rating: 5
Of course, the fallacy won't dissuade people from hopping onto the bandwagon until the suspension gives out, because what most people want is to be able to brag about how they belong to the current trend. It doesn't matter to them if the trend is an utter farce, so long as they have their share of the logos and gimmicks.

RE: Ugh
By scottymyboy on 2/21/11, Rating: -1
We need to have our calls not-dropped first.
By corduroygt on 2/21/2011 4:00:50 PM , Rating: 2
What's the primary use of a phone? To talk of course, and that's a pain in AT&T network due to dropped calls. Instead of rolling out 4G, where the 3G speed is pretty decent around ~2Mbps for me, they should fix the calls getting dropped.

On another note, does the iphone 4 have HSPA+?

By killerroach on 2/21/2011 4:05:56 PM , Rating: 2
No, the iPhone 4 does not have HSPA+ support. It's being rumored for the iPhone 5, however.

By Fancarolina on 2/22/2011 1:04:11 AM , Rating: 2
I wonder how accurate that map is. I know when I switched to Sprint expecting 4G/WiMax coverage I was disappointed to find that their maps and reality were very different.

Not a 4G Map...
By eek2121 on 2/22/2011 7:40:47 AM , Rating: 2
The fine print says:

"Map depicts current and future 3G coverage. 4G coverage not depicted."

It's not 4G
By fic2 on 2/22/2011 12:59:10 PM , Rating: 2
It's Faux-G.
Coincidentally saw this article yesterday in the Denver Post where the author tests Sprint 4G vs AT&T Faux-G. Basically the highest download speed AT&T could do was 740k vs 7M for Sprint. Only measured at three places in the city, but AT&T was always 1/10 or worse than Sprint.

"A politician stumbles over himself... Then they pick it out. They edit it. He runs the clip, and then he makes a funny face, and the whole audience has a Pavlovian response." -- Joe Scarborough on John Stewart over Jim Cramer

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