4G is barely in its infancy and it has already been through so much. First it was fake, and then some solid lobbying on carriers’ parts convinced the International Telecommunication Union to sing a new tune that would allow telcos to call LTE, WiMAX and even certain 3G technologies “4G” without blatantly lying. Though 4G’s definition is now anything but clear, carrier marketing soon could be — new legislation currently in hands of the U.S. House of Representatives could potentially require U.S. wireless service providers to define guaranteed minimum data speeds that customers can expect of their networks. Since two tin cans and a piece of string can basically be called a 4G network according to the ITU’s loose guidelines, this bill — dubbed the Next Generation Wireless Disclosure Act — would be a big step toward weaving through marketing tomfoolery and letting customers know just how 4G their 4G network really is. While the benefits to subscribers are fairly obvious, whether or not the proposition might become law depends largely on how much lobbying carriers are prepared to do. More →
While Verizon Wireless just announced two new 4G LTE devices that are going to serve up insanely fast mobile broadband speeds, Samsung’s 4G LTE Mobile Hotspot is the first one in our hands. We’ve been rockin’ and rollin’ over Verizon’s 4G LTE network for a little while thanks to the new mobile hotspot, and we’re happy to report extremely fast speeds around 12Mbps down and 5.5Mbps up on average — the fastest speeds that the device is rated for. In terms of size, it’s just a tad thicker than the original Novatel MiFi unit we rely on for our mobile connectivity. We haven’t had enough time to test battery life for ourselves, but we’ll report back. The Samsung 4G LTE Mobile Hotspot is available online from Verizon Wireless starting today, and will be in stores beginning tomorrow for $99.99 with a two-year service agreement. Check out our hands-on gallery with some comparison photos!