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Short for fourth generation, 4G is an ITU specification that is currently being developed for broadband mobile capabilities. 4G technologies would enable IP-based voice, data and streaming multimedia at higher speeds and offer at least 100 Mbit/s with high mobility and up to 1GBit/s with low mobility (nomadic).

4G is an IP-based and packet-switched evolution of 3G technologies (such as WCDMA, HSDPA, CDMA2000 and EVDO) that uses voice communications. A number of technologies considered to be 4G standards include Long Term Evolution (LTE), Ultra Mobile Broadband (UMB) and the IEEE 802.16 (WiMax) standard.

While 3G is defined by ITU as IMT-2000, IMT-Advanced is being studied by ITU as 4G. IMT is now used as the generic name for 3G and 4G.

See "Technology Terms to Know for 2009" in the Did You Know...? section of Webopedia.

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