AT&T iPhone 4S Becomes 4G After iOS 5.1 Update
Quite a lot of AT&T iPhone 4S users were in for a surprise when they used data from their iPhones after updating it to the latest OS – iOS 5.1.
Well, this doesn’t necessarily mean that the iPhone 4S has 4G “LTE” capability. The LTE is available on the new iPad only and will, in all probability, be supported in later iPhones. However, the nomenclature is an aberration and that is what is causing all the confusion. For the record, there’s no clear distinction between 4G and 3G these days. T-Mobile USA began tagging the HSPA+ network as 4G and thus began the confusion about what really differentiates 3G and 4G.
High speed networks like LTE and WiMax where first christened as true 4G connectivity. However, later on, as even HSPA+ was performing nearly as good as the LTE, it soon caught up to the 4G nomenclature too.
Recently, changes in AT&T’s nomenclature has led to the classification of certain HSPA+ speeds as 4G. Consequently, after the update of iOS 5.1 on the iPhone 4S, users have been seeing 4G instead of 3G on the notification panel. However, one must note that this does not indicate the 4G capability of iPhone 4S because, in the old sense of the word, 4G should mean LTE for smartphones.
Well of course, one can say that AT&T iPhone 4S is 4G because to AT&T, 4G is HSPA+ too.
So, if you have updated your iPhone 4S to iOS 5.1, you would probably see 4G instead of 3G when you use data, but rest assured that the service is merely a case of misnomers. Of course, you will be getting the same speeds as you had before.
A word on 4G LTE smartphones:
As of the moment, Google Nexus had been the one smartphone to boast of a 4G LTE support. The Samsung Galaxy S III is another smartphone which is expected to arrive with 4G LTE support. For Apple, the only device that has 4G LTE support at the moment is the newly launched iPad (4G LTE of up to 73Mbps). The iPhone 5 is rumored to support 4G LTE and with the feature available on the new iPad, it just looks like iPhone 5 will also have this feature on its cap.