I was recently reading about Verizon's "XLTE" and it got me thinking about the marketing side of technology and specifically mobile technology.
Essentially XLTE is not a new technology, it is just Verizon's deployment of LTE over 20MHz of spectrum. This is something many other countries have deployed from day one, but in the US it has become a big marketing deal. I imagine Verizon paid a lot of money for that additional spectrum and quite a lot to upgrade eNodeBs and antennas, so in order to get a return of investment a big marketing campaign was put into place. But how do you market 20MHz of spectrum? Here in the UK, EE has marketed it as "double speed" (double as their initial deployment was over 10MHz). But I guess that is quite boring. "XLTE" sounds much better.
All this of course is not new. To my recollection, it started with HSDPA. How do you market HSDPA? Surely not as High Speed Downlink Packet Access. A few terms appeared, there was 3G+, 3.5G, Super 3G, Turbo 3G. As HSDPA evolved, we also had HSDPA+ and some operators even called it 4G!
What about WB-AMR? "Do you want a phone that supports Wide Band Adaptive Multi Rate Sir?" Probably not. HD Voice however sounds great.
Needless to say, this will continue. LTE Advanced with Carrier Aggregation is just around the corner (actually launched already in Korea). So, XXXLTE maybe? 4.5G? 5G even? Let's see..