The great thing about standards, as some wit once said, is that there are so many to choose from. Mobile phones have a multiplicity of standards, nested within one another like a messy set of Russian dolls filled with alphabet soup.
WTF is… 4G article tells about the newest hot mobile phone standard. The ‘generations’ of mobile networks are fairly loose, but appear roughly once a decade: the first, analogue, 1G cellular networks around 1981, then digital 2G in about 1992, 3G at the turn of the century.
And now 4G is the hot topic: 4G will be a pure packet-switched TCP/IP network, running everything over IPv6. Voice becomes VoIP. There are two competing 4G technologies: LTE and WiMax. Now it seems that almost everyone going with LTE. What will become the 4G mobile standard for the whole world is 3GPP Release 10: LTE Advanced. It’s a compatible enhancement of LTE to bring it up to the ITU stipulations.
The single most important characteristic of true 4G is that it doesn’t exist yet. Many of the current generation of 4G-branded phones in the US are not actually 4G, whatever their names may suggest.