The truth about iPhone 4G network!

Hello all, we were hit this weekend with the new iPhone iOS 5.1 – my son did the update immediately and ran down to show me that he now has 4G on his AT&T iPhone 4S. Yippie! He was thrilled and I was surprised. iPhone running 4G? Could it be true?

My son's iPhone after the iOS 5.1 update!

Apple has been questioned for not offering a device that runs on the nation’s fastest networks -until the recent announcement of the 4G LTE-capable iPad it unveiled last Wednesday. Most people may not know that the iPhone 4S is capable of running on AT&T’s HSPA+ network — a technology that AT&T and T-Mobile both use to advertise their “4G” devices. HSPA+ is essentially 3G technology that’s been enhanced to run speeds close to those of 4G networks, but still runs slower than either LTE or WiMax. I learned about this today, so it was even news to me and I think that I know a thing or two about the iPhone 😉

I’m sure the new label raised questions for AT&T customers that didn’t really know that the iPhone was a “4G” device. Until now, all we’ve seen is that cool little “3G” symbol at the top of our screen. Seeing 4G was a nice surprise.

There’s actually a lot of debate as to what, exactly constitutes 4G since the International Telecommunications Union relaxed its definition in Dec. 2010. Before then, none of the technologies in the United States — LTE, WiMax or HSPA+ — were considered fourth-generation cell networks. Now, they are.

So we ran a simple test with my black iPhone 4 (on the left) and a white iPhone 4S (on the right) to see which was faster loading our Webpage in Safari. . .

As it turns out, my iPhone 4 was faster in all instances when we were surfing to several different sites than the iPhone 4S running in 4G mode- I cleared the cache on both phones, cleared the history, and of course turned off WiFi. Interesting to say the least.

Since this was a free, seemingly stealthy “overnight” upgrade – who’s going to complain? Well there’s a ton of debate on the internet right now about what is really going on – including rumors that it’s a typo in the code. Frankly, I personally don’t think that this was a mistake and I feel that we’re going to see a “real” iPhone with 4G before we know it!

Feel free to comment if you’ve got any other information to add about this topic!