Fourth Generation [4G]

In the wireless context, fourth generation (4G) is used to identify the fourth generation of mobile air-interface technologies.

The official ITU definition of 4G is contained in the IMT-Advanced specification, which sets peak speed requirements for 4G services at 100 Mbps for high mobility communication (i.e., from trains and cars) and 1 Gbps for low mobility communication (i.e., pedestrians and stationary users). The ITU has accorded the official designation of IMT-Advanced to only two technologies, LTE-Advanced and WirelessMAN-Advanced (commonly known as WiMAX 2). In response to 4G marketing efforts, however, the ITU announced in December 2010 that LTE, WiMAX and other “evolved 3G technologies” that do not fulfill IMT-Advanced requirements could be considered “4G” provided they represent forerunners to IMT-Advanced and “a substantial level of improvement in performance and capabilities with respect to the initial third generation systems now deployed.”

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