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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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