AT&T is pretending like 5G is already here - and misleading users

James Marshall
January 11, 2019

Meanwhile, Verizon CEO Hans Vestberg delivered a keynote address that highlighted how companies like Disney and The New York Times are using high-speed 5G technologies, according to an announcement.

All four major wireless carriers in the USA are gearing up to launch the first nationwide 5G network, but phones capable of connecting to 5G won't be available for another few months.

The carrier said it'll brand the real 5G with mmWare technology as "5G+". Although there are now industry standards specifying exactly what 5G networks must meet, dubbed "5G NR", there are still some grey areas, particularly when it comes to marketing. Only to find out that 5G E isn't really a really network - just 4G LTE.

T-Mobile also mocked the "5G E" upgrade by joking you could upgrade your phone to 9G by putting a sticky note on it, and now Verizon is openly rejecting AT&T's tactics.

Bob O'Donnell from Technalysis Research said AT&T's "5G E" network may be slightly faster than the current 4G service but it is more like "4.5G" than "5G". However, it also still means people using "5G Evolution" devices will need to purchase a newer smartphone in order to experience true 5G speeds. Almost a decade ago when the fourth generation of mobile networks was starting to roll out, AT&T started upgrading its network to HSPA+, which is still a form of 3G (basically, think of it as 3.5G). "And together with Sprint, we'll add much-needed spectrum depth, creating a truly transformative 5G network!"


In the spirit of maintaining customer trust, Verizon called on the entire wireless industry to label something 5G "only if new device hardware is connecting to the network using new radio technology to deliver new capabilities" [Verizon's emphasis].

The company has been investing heavily in its next generation 5G network, which will become the backbone of its largest business.

5G could lead to growth in 4K video, autonomous cars, drones, VR/AR and mobile gaming that will drive the surge in data traffic.

T-Mobile US's fourth-quarter wireless customer gains surpassed analyst estimates and topped strong growth at larger rival Verizon Communications, continuing the company's run as the fastest-growing USA mobile carrier.

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