It looks like Ericsson engineers took offense at Sprint's 4G claims - several engineers contacted us and gave us details about their 28Mbps 3.5G service. A couple of weeks ago, we ran a story in which we criticized Sprint for branding their WiMAX service as a 4G one. In our comments section, you could read the debate what is and what should not be considered as 4G. In Sprint's terms, WiMAX clearly qualifies for 4G, even though that "4G" moniker is the defined standard as Long Term Evolution or LTE - data and voice technology to be used in next-gen of cellphones and smart devices.
People inside Swedish technology giant Ericsson obviously took offense at Sprint's claims and we got contacted by several engineers, working in different departments of the company. It turns out that Ericsson started to deploy 3.5G equipment to the city of Milano, Italy. Using MIMO technology and HSPA protocol [High-Speed Packet Access], Ericsson plans to cover the city of fashion with up to 28Mbps [3.5 MB/s] downstream and 5.8 Mbps [828 KB/s] upstream Internet connectivity service. The company recently successfully tested 56Mbps [7MB/s] and should be able to upgrade firmware of its latest MIMO HSPA equipment in order to enable those speeds to.
When asked about "the real 4G" development, we received assurances that the announcements should be made soon. We would stay away from the conflict that obviously brews on engineering meetings. However, when we asked about pictures and screenshots of 4G LTE equipment or data transfers and similar backings to their claims, we received silence.
For now, Ericsson is deploying MIMO HSPA in Milano, Italy at the speeds of 28Mbps, potentially upgradeable to 56Mbps. Is that good enough? Only time will tell.