About the 4G Network Indicator on iPhone 4S
Posted March 26, 2012
Many are puzzled when "4G" is displayed on their iPhone 4S, after updating to iOS 5.1. Note that the cellular network speeds have not changed. In fact, nothing has changed except for the name.
This is due to the fact that AT&T wishes to market their network as 4G. The iPhone 4S can handle HSPA+ networks, and has always been able to. This is the same network you once knew as 3G, it just now appears as 4G. Again, this only affects AT&T models of the iPhone 4S, because they (AT&T) believe that HSPA+ qualifies as 4G. Verizon and Sprint models still display 3G. So once again, rest assured that your AT&T iPhone 4S is running on the same network as it was before.
<Edit 4/13/13> T-Mobile iPhones on HSPA+ now also display "4G" while on HSPA+, as of yesterday when T-Mobile first started carrying the iPhone.
The only true 4G Apple device out there is the 3rd generation iPad, which can attain 4G LTE speeds. This is considerably faster than HSPA+.
<Edit 10/14/12> The iPhone 5 also has 4G LTE capabilities. More devices are likely to follow.
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