See, the 4G standard the ITU established is fast as hell -- it was supposed to be an on-the-move (i.e., riding in a train/car/bus) data rate of 100MB per second. Standing still, you should get a data rate of 1,000MBps. That's freaking 20 to 200 times faster than the average broadband connection in the U.S.
Goddamn! Tell us where to line up!
Ah, not so fast. The "4G" plans that cellphone companies are plastering all over their ads are a fraction of that blazing-fast 4G standard. Verizon is currently capable of 32MBps maximum (though they only offer 12MBps to customers), and AT&T's is about the same (though that hasn't stopped them from trashing Verizon's identical technology). Sprint theoretically gives up to 10MBps, and T-Mobile can do up to 30MBps. Again, compare that to the between 100 and 1,000MBps we were supposed to get.
You can't mudsling if you're both covered in poop.
So why were these companies allowed to call that shit "4G" when it wasn't even 10 percent of the standard? Well, once they started using 4G as a marketing term, the ITU actually backed down and just said "Sure, fuck it, whatever" and retroactively applied the 4G moniker to the standards the carriers are actually using. Proving once again that if you say enough stupid shit, people will eventually give in just to shut you up.
"You're saying we at the ITU won't bend over and take it? Well you, sir, are about to get a surprise!"