Huawei, Ericsson, others dabble with '4.5G,' but what is it anyway?

Ever since the days of 2G, the wireless industry has not been shy about adding more "Gs" to the lexicon. Now that everyone pretty much agrees that LTE and/or LTE Advanced equates to "4G" and the industry is starting to develop "5G" standards, some vendors have embraced an intermediate term of "4.5G" for network enhancements between now and 2020, when 5G networks are expected to be commercialized. Huawei and Ericsson (NASDAQ: ERIC) are using the 4.5G nomenclature. Huawei says 4.5G networks will support latency rates of around 10 milliseconds, peak downlink speeds of around 6 Gbps, and the ability to support 100,000 connections within a single square kilometer. Ericsson thinks Licensed Assisted Access (LAA) can be lumped into 4.5G. Yet not everyone in the industry is so keen to use the term, including Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU) and Nokia (NYSE:NOK). What does 4.5G even mean, what does it involve and will it be embraced by the industry as hype about 5G ramps up? Find out in this FierceWirelessTech special report