How many bloody Gs are there? Ozzy Osbourne wanted to know in his Super Bowl commercial with Justin Bieber. Apparently, he isn’t alone.
At a recent House Consumer Affairs information meeting, Rep. John Payne asked a panel of wireless industry experts the burning questions: What is a G? How do I know if I have a good G? Is 3G better than 4G or should I wait for 5? How many Gs will there be?
With all the knowing nods from other committee members and the big smile on Minority Chairman Joe Preston’s face, Payne was not alone on this crazy train.
Panelist Gary Horewitz for Sprint’s government affairs cleared the air and explained a G stands for generation. In the wireless world, a G is a marketing term that has come to mean an individual company’s product has achieved the next iteration of innovation.
There are no industry standards for Gs. Therefore, a G from Sprint is different than T-Mobile’s G, which is different from the Gs offered by Verizon or AT&T. Each company has its own standards for upping their G and defining what constitutes the next level. One thing the wireless panel representing Sprint, AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon all agreed upon is that they agree to disagree on what constitutes say a 3G versus a 4G.
The G could also go to infinity and beyond. There could be an endless number of Gs. With the speed in which the industry is growing and innovating, consumers could theoretically see 100 G in a few years. Maybe every new year will usher in a new G or two.
Ahhh – lots of lightbulbs went on for committee members that never knew what a G really was.
A recent purchase of a Droid is what prompted Rep. Payne’s question and he does not want to see consumers disappointed who are expecting faster speeds with the higher number Gs. He is right to be concerned for consumers. In a recent blog by AT&T’s Chief Technology Officer, John Donovan, he talks about meeting consumer expectations for speed. He points to a recent survey of their Smartphone consumers showing 75 percent rank consistent speeds as a top concern.
This is not Rep. Payne’s chief concern. He has a background and experience in emergency management services. He sees the burgeoning consumer demand for Smartphones and iPads which increases the demand for data transmission. He wants to make sure that the data needs of first responders and 911 centers are met first and not impacted because people are downloading the latest episode of their favorite television show.
So kids, just because you have a higher number G, it does not mean it is better or faster than the next guy. It just means it is better than what that company had before. The bottom line it is part of how the industry peddles their product to outsell the competition.
While the mystery of the G is solved, it is important for the wireless industry and the General Assembly to stay committed to meeting the needs of consumers while not losing sight to first meet the needs of emergency management services.
So the next time you might think you’re going off the rails on this wireless crazy train, count on Rep. Payne to ask the questions we all want to know – or call Ozzy.