Nokia has announced a 4.5G Pro solutions that will support five-channel carrier aggregation. That’s nice, since we have 4.5G standards, right? But in the same breath, Nokia is coming up with “4.9G.” It seems like that is the marketing strategy direction they have been taking, for some time now, ahead of 5G.
5G is 5G; not 4.5G, 4.6G or 4.9G. In the race to get recognized as a leader in the 5G arena, companies are coming up with all kinds of marketing strategies that are on the path to 5G, but not quite 5G, but can be part of the 5G ecosystem once it gets solidified.
Nokia’s Samih Elhage, president of mobile networks was quoted as saying, “While the ever-connected world of people and IoT drives huge data demands, the speeds enabled by 5G will be a colossal step in operators’ network evolution. However, with our 4.5G, 4.5G Pro and 4.9G technologies, we will provide a smooth evolution path that will allow them to increase capacity and improve the user experience while creating new revenue opportunities.” A smooth evolution path. OK, I’ll buy that. But the constant mention of 4.5 to, now, 4.9G is becoming a bit redundant. I have a lot more respect for companies, like Ericsson, who simply say they are working along the 5G guidelines.
Advancing technologies are a simply part of the march of wireless. Almost daily, someone comes out with something that is a step up in wireless technology, or one of its peripheral arteries. Yet few claim this is an incremental step towards 5G.
What is interesting is that this announcement comes on the heels of Ericsson’s intent to release equipment based on the new radio (NR) 5G standards, supporting expanded massive MIMO antenna technology and advanced LTE.
So are we already at 4.5G, 4.75G, 4.9G? What’s next, 4.95G? Or just technological improvements on the road to 5G?