4G. 4G, 4G, 4G, 4G. 4G4G4G4G4G4G4G4G4G4G4G4G4G4G4G4G4G! Tired of hearing about 4G yet? You better not be, because the 4G onslaught has only just begun....
You've read about 4G and LTE. You may have scoffed at my and other critics' warnings against buying an iPhone 4 from Verizon because it isn't 4G. But I don't get the sense anyone shares my amazement of just how radically the coming of 4G to Verizon and AT&T (and Sprint's year-old WiMAX 4G network) is going to change our lives. In fact, despite all the ground-breaking tech changes that came last year (detailed in Part I of this review), I believe people will remember 2010-2011 primarily for being the foundational years of 4G connectivity.
No other two-year span in the history of consumer electronics has both wrought and promises as much radical change as last year and this new year. While there may have been years with one or two significant product introductions and advancements — 1920: the first radio broadcast, 1939: the introduction of TV, 1947: the invention of the transistor, 1982-83: the introduction of the CD and launching of the first cellphone systems (click here for a list of memorable tech years) — no two-year span has been as chuck full of potentially behavior-changing technology in television, digital imaging, car electronics, gaming and especially cellphones. There is so much happening on so many fronts, even I'm having trouble keeping up with it all. But we can narrow our time frame even further — more like 18 months, from the near simultaneous introductions of the first 3D HDTVs and the iPad last spring to AT&T's pending launch of its 4G LTE network sometime this summer. In between — a series of stunning technological leaps. Here's what I think has and will make 2010-2011 the most memorable tech years ever.
Ooh, isn't T-Mobile clever? The company's new MyTouch 4G "piggyback" commercial mocks and borrows the stark white gestalt of Apple's now defunct Justin Long/John Hodgeman "I'm a Mac" commercials. It uses a pretty young thing representing the MyTouch 4G to sympathize with a guy carrying a bigger guy on his back — that's the iPhone saddled with AT&T's over-burdened 3G network. Poor iPhone. T-Mobile's answer, of course, is her, the MyTouch 4G, and its 4G network, which the company hawks as "America's largest 4G network." There's just one problem. T-Mobile's network isn't 4G.
Watch out, the fourth largest mobile carrier just tossed a 4G grenade at its enemies. T-Mobile announced yesterday that it officially flipped the switch for its 4G network in six more U.S. cities. Are you ready for 4G?