September 29, 2016 —
I like Nokia. I have known them for years and have worked with them since the early 2000’s in an editorial capacity. I have been poking tongue-in-cheek fun at them, lately, because they have been talking a lot about 4.5 to 4.9G technology, and frankly I have been mostly trying to figure out this “numbers” strategy.
Well, they have come around to explain it, and the technology certainly has its place. But calling it an iteration of 4G seems like a bit of hyperbole. As it turns out, these monikers simply refer to advanced 4G platforms. According to Phil Twist, VP, mobile networks marketing at Nokia. Things like putting a bigger engine in place to go farther with more carrier aggregation, higher order MIMO, better beamforming, 3G beamforming, and more is what this is all about.
All these incremental improvements in 4G hardware are where Nokia’s 4.5G Pro is positioned, and being touted as a 10x improvement over straight 4G with things like 10 millisecond latency (full 5G is offering a 100X improvement over 4G and 1 millisecond latency). It’s 4.9G is supposed to be an order of magnitude better than 4.5G when it comes out in 2017.
We have a few years to go before the metrics of 5G hit the infrastructure. Incremental improvements are always welcome. If Nokia wants to promote these as “transitional” technologies, that’s awesome. I just think hanging names like 4.5G and 4.9G is just a bit of a marketing game and we all know that. Nokia is big enough to stand on its technology without moniker-izing them.