U.S. House Democrat proposes bill to require mobile carriers to detail actual ‘4G’ speeds

“New legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives would require mobile carriers to detail their ‘guaranteed minimum’ data speeds and their network reliability statistics to potential customers,” Grant Gross reports for IDG News Service.

“The Next Generation Wireless Disclosure Act is designed to give mobile customers more information about new 4G services, said Representative Anna Eshoo, a California Democrat and bill sponsor,” Gross reports. “There’s no standard definition of 4G mobile service, giving customers ‘vastly different’ speeds depending on the carrier and location, Eshoo said in a statement.”

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Gross reports, “The bill would require mobile carriers to offer potential and existing customers information on pricing, including caps on so-called unlimited data plans, and it would require carriers to disclose what technologies they use to deliver 4G service. Carriers have marketed several technologies including LTE (Long Term Evolution), WiMax, and HSPA+ (Evolved High-Speed Packet Access) as 4G, Eshoo said. The legislation would require the U.S. Federal Communications Commission to compare the prices and speeds of 4G data service at the 10 largest U.S. mobile carriers and provide consumers with a side-by-side comparison.”

“CTIA, a trade group representing large mobile carriers, said the bill adds a ‘new layer of regulation’ to mobile service. The legislation ignores ‘the fact that wireless is an inherently complex and dynamic environment in which network speeds can vary depending on a wide variety of factors,’ Jot Carpenter, CTIA’s vice president of government affairs, said in a statement,” Gross reports. “Carpenter called on Congress to focus on the ‘real issue’ — making sure carriers have enough wireless spectrum.”

Read more in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews readers too numerous to mention individually for the heads up.]

32 Comments

    1. In December of last year major mobile carriers bribed standard entity to downgrade definition of 4G from 100 Mbit/s to whatever lower values like 15-20 MBit/s — so their marketing money would not be wasted for the long-time false advertisements they were already doing for some time.

      So now formally they already have official right to call it “4G”.

    1. He’s got proven family connections with Ireland. You gonna suggest that the Irishman gets kicked out of the Whitehouse and see where that gets you? Ignorant racist shithead.

      1. Maobama SUCKS!!!!! And that’s a massive understatement. Can’t wait to watch him lose in 2012 and put you commies back in your place. You socialists live to make laws to steel hard working American’s private property and money. You make the working stiffs slaves to the US Government and you low lives that feed off of us through the government. Slash government by 2/3 now!

        1. Yes, that’s why taxes now are lower than they were when Reagan was in office.

          Do you even know what “socialism” is, or is this just something you’ve heard on Fox?

          Where were you when the Bush White House and the Hastert Congress were hiding two wars off the books whilst still spending like a drunken sailor and cutting taxes (the only admin and legislature to push ahead with tax cuts during one war, let alone two)?

          Clearly not getting an education.

    2. Also, orangutans are Asian, not African. They are native to Indonesia and Malaysia. Aside from those living in captivity, a very few survive in the rainforests of Borneo and Sumatra.

      They’re capable of intelligent tool use. Something, if your use of a computer is any indication, you are not.

    1. Consumer protection?!…

      How about freedom protection from an ever over-reaching government run by political hacks from both parties!

      http://bushmonkey.ytmnd.com/

      Funny, I never heard of any outcry when this was being disseminated, probably by some liberal loser, progressive prick, Daily Kos reading, George Soros ass kissing piece of shit!

      1. Freedom protection? You mean, freedom to lie, cheat, and steal? Government regulation is always a result of companies not being honest or good. It’s like a parent grounding a child when they do something that they know they’re not supposed to do. If the kid is good, they don’t get grounded and get to keep their freedom. If the kid does something they know is wrong… Grounded! When companies act good and honest, they get to keep their freedoms too. It’s when they take advantage of people, and lie, cheat, or poison them is when they get their freedoms taken away. Or should everyone have “Freedom Protection”, robbers, killers, swindlers,…? I don’t understand why conservatives think that companies should get to skate free when they swindle people?

        But then you conservatives aren’t ones to “think”. For example, while lambasting liberals for disseminating that Bushmonkey link, you didn’t even realize that YOU’RE the one disseminating the link in your frickin’ post two lines before!

        I wish the government could regulate stupidity.

  1. The technical industry is one of the most competitive in the world, if not THE most competitive. Speed claims and marketing rarely survive long in the wild if the company behind them can not support the claims. Competitors call ‘foul’ quicker than a US Senator can speed dial his prostitute.

    Why the government feels they need to intervene is beyond my understanding. Except that it makes these bozos feel relevant.

    1. I agree Brian, same thing as the mileage figures for cars. These things are not the government nannies business how a used car dealer operates. The same thing with the FDA, it is up to me to figure out if my food is contaminated. Damn nanny dems them idiots. Leave us alone, we is plenty smart by ourselves. And doctors should not need no government licenses. Waste of money all the stupid regulations. Oh yeah.

  2. One one hand being able to compare carriers using real speed numbers would be very, very helpful to consumers. In fact, it would not be unlike the milage rating that EPA assigns to vehicles. It keeps everyone honest.

    However, the carriers have a point in that speed varies based on factors other than the type of “4G” they are employing. Too many users can slow things to a crawl as well as distance from the tower, etc.

    Finally, do we really need to create another freakin’ government bureacracy to do something? I think not.

    1. “Finally, do we really need to create another freakin’ government bureacracy to do something? I think not.”

      Yep. Sure don’t need no government rules to stop mobile companies charging what are about the highest prices on the planet, bullshitting and outright lying about speed, advertising untruthfully about unlimited plans and much more. Yep. Sure do love and trust those mobile execs. Competition will keep them honest and give us decent prices – yeh, right.

      “Speed claims and marketing rarely survive long in the wild if the company behind them can not support the claims.”

      In fact, they can survive FOREVER in the wild, if the companies involved collude over certain matters. So they “compete” in defined areas, while having an understanding over much else.

  3. From what I understand, “3G” “4G” isn’t a speed but a technology generation.

    It would be nice if there could be independent speed tests per carrier for all “G” generations.

    1. Yeah, it is cellular Internet generation. I would predict the 4th generation of cellular Internet (4G) would be faster than the 3rd generation of cellular Internet (3G). Yes there are standards for these speeds now too.

  4. Well, the problem is real. There is no definition for “4G”, and too many companies are applying the term to any incremental improvement that they make. As mentioned above, theoretical speeds for a technology do not play out often in the real world. My opinion is that there are plenty of sources, freely available on the internet where the descriptions, pros & cons, and other information about these technologies can be found by anyone who really cares about it. How about we, as consumers, put in a little effort to decide which technology and product is worth investing in. Otherwise, we are going to end up with cell phones with stickers reading “Your milage may vary” and other disclaimers stuck all over our gear. Frankly, this smells of a new revenue stream for class action attorneys.

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