4.5G – What’s the Big Deal About Half a “G”?

Peter Jarich
Peter Jarich

Summary Bullets:

  • Every wireless technology generation fundamentally evolves before a new one materializes: GSM evolved into GPRS and EDGE, UMTS evolved into HSPA.
  • While LTE-A is an evolution of LTE, it will further evolve (with 3GPP R12/13 features) before we arrive at 5G.
  • The move to “4.5G” is different from previous evolutions, if only because 5G aims to address a more diverse set of requirements.

The concept of a “half-G” isn’t new. GPRS was often referred to as “2.5G,” with EDGE called out as “2.75G.” The same dynamic played out with 3G, and HSPA/HSPA+. It’s not surprising, then, that we’re talking about 4.5G in the run up to 5G deployments. (Note: while the term “4.5G” is being largely used by one specific vendor, we’re using it here more broadly.)

Yet if these previous evolutions suggest that this is simply the way the wireless ecosystem works, there’s a risk of ignoring the importance (and opportunities) of 4.5G. Continue reading “4.5G – What’s the Big Deal About Half a “G”?”