Get Garcia: The 4G Fake Out

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    NEWSLETTERS

    A consumer watchdog group plans to file a complaint with the Federal Communications Commission, asking the FCC to order the cell phone companies to disclose the actual true speeds on their marketing and website and retail stories. Ana Garcia reports for NBC4 News at 11 p.m. on August 22, 2012. (Published Wednesday, Aug 22, 2012)

    The Consumer Watchdog of Santa Monica on Thursday will file a complaint against the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) accusing the entity and cell phone carriers of “misleading the public” about the speed of so-called 4G wireless service.

    The Get Garcia team, which tried to crack the 4G code in July, obtained an advance copy of a complaint filed against Federal Communications Commission. The document has not been released to the public yet, but you can read it here.

    Get Garcia: Cracking the "4G" Code

    [LA] Get Garcia: Cracking the "4G" Code
    If you're confused about what the term 4G means, you're not alone. The term remains largely undefined in the telecommunications industry. Consumer advocate Harvey Rosenfield explains how watchdog groups are trying to keep cell phone carriers accountable for their advertising. Ana Garcia reports for the NBC4 News at 11 p.m. on July 25, 2012. (Published Thursday, Jul 26, 2012)

    “We want the FCC to order the cell phone companies to disclose the actual true speeds on their marketing and websites and retail stories so people can understand and compare,” said Harvey Rosenfield, the attorney who filed the complaint.

    Cell phone carriers advertise their 4G service under different names such as HSPA+, LTE or WiMax. But is one faster than the other and, if it is, by how much?

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    Marti Garcia saw three bunnies when she was shopping in Santee Alley, but noticed the little rabbits were in the blazing hot sun. The Get Garcia Team's hidden cameras found bunnies too young to be weaned being sold to families, a practice experts say is deadly for the tiny rabbits. Ana Garcia reports for the NBC4 News at 11 p.m. on Aug. 13, 2012. (Published Tuesday, Aug 14, 2012)

    “All the mobile companies are advertising their service as 4G,” Rosenfield said.

    They say their service is “three times faster, 10 times faster, but faster than what?” he asks.

    The Get Garcia team first went to Rosenfield shortly after the United Nations agency in charge of setting international standards for wireless communications loosened the rules for 4G. The International Telecommunication Union confirmed to NBCLA that “the term 4G remains undefined.”

    “Now 4G means nothing,” Rosenfield said.

    The ITU does require 4G service providers a “substantial level of improvement in performance” over 3G. But that is not enough says the Consumer Watchdog, which is filing a complaint with the FCC to require carriers to reveal their data speeds for every city in which they provide service.

    The complaint asks for a lot of changes and the major service carriers have yet to comment on the proposed reforms. CTIA, the International Association for the Wireless Telecommunications Industry did not return calls for comment.

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