I was doing my daily news search when I came across a BGR article outlining telecom legislation that is making its way through the U.S. House. The proposed Next Generation Wireless Disclosure Act, or NGWDA for fans of acronyms, is in my opinion a step in the right direction as 4G gains momentum. If you have been reading tech news for the past few months, who know that AT&T and T-Mobile have been touting their 4G service, a service that AT&T seems to have created by simply adding “4G” to the name of their latest smartphones.
The most recent example of such branding is the remarkably small HP Veer 4G, which runs one of my favorite operating systems, webOS. The phone itself runs on an HSPA/UMTS network, so HSPA+ is really what customers are signing up for. T-Mobile’s latest ads champion a 4G network that has yet to be proven, maybe I am wrong, but I haven’t seen any evidence proving that they have speeds comparable to Verizon’s LTE network, which already has phones, most notably the HTC Thunderbolt, running on a network that I have used and can confirm that it is indeed more than just HSPA+.
When selling a phone and a network to customers, what is being advertised has to be there. I can’t imagine upgrading my phone only to find out that the network is not as advertised. Today’s smartphones make heavy use of 3G networks, unless you have a knack for finding free WiFi! Future phones will require even more, so accountability is paramount as customers look for the latest, newest, and best priced technology. The proposed bill will require wireless service providers to provide guaranteed minimum data speeds to customers which is important as the term “4G’ has been used so freely that it’s true value has yet to be realized by the most important people, the customer.