AT&T is about to brand much of its existing cellular network as “5G Evolution” or “5G E.” Your phone’s “4G” logo may transform to a “5G E” logo after an update, but nothing has actually changed.
Update: When real 5G launches, AT&T will call it “5G+“. That’s truly absurd.
The Results Are In: AT&T’s 5G E Is Bad
Since this piece was published at the end of December 2018, AT&T has gone ahead and rolled out its rebranded network. Just as we predicted, 5G E is not good. A study by OpenSignal published on March 22, 2019 found that AT&T’s 5G E was actually slower than the 4G LTE service from Verizon and T-Mobile, although it’s pretty close.
Twitter is now full of tweets showing 5G E running at slower speeds than competing 4G LTE networks in the real world, too. That’s because it’s not real 5G. At best, it’s just the same 4G LTE other carriers are offering.
What Exactly Is 5G Evolution?
AT&T originally announced “5G Evolution” back in 2017. It’s not a technical standard, and it doesn’t mean anything. It’s just branding for marketing AT&T’s existing 4G network.
Specifically, AT&T says its 5G E network includes features like “carrier aggregation, 4×4 MIMO, [and] 256 QAM.” According to AT&T, these technical upgrades offer faster data speeds. That’s all true, but these are just additional features on top of 4G LTE. Other cellular carriers also offer them, but continue to brand their networks as “4G LTE.”
In other words, AT&T’s move is deceptive. AT&T has added a few features that make its network faster than plain-old 4G LTE, but it’s not anywhere near close to 5G. AT&T says this paves the way for its “evolution to 5G,” hence the name.
AT&T is about to take the next step and roll out software updates for some of its Android phones, as it confirmed to FierceWireless on December 21, 2018. Many Android phones on the AT&T network will suddenly claim they’re connected to a “5G E” network rather than an “LTE” network. The Verge calls this a “fake 5G logo.”
It’s all just marketing. “5G E” doesn’t mean AT&T’s network is any faster than another carrier’s LTE network, which may offer the same features. It’s just branding that makes AT&T look like it’s ahead of other carriers.
How 5G E Is Different From Real 5G
5G E isn’t 5G at all—it’s 4G LTE. Sure, it’s 4G LTE with some extra features that make it faster, but many carriers have rolled those features out and still call their networks plain-old 4G LTE networks. “5G E” is meaningless.
Real 5G is the actual fifth generation wireless standard the industry is working on right now. It requires new hardware radios that support 5G, and it won’t work with existing phones. There’s no chance of your current phone getting a software update to support 5G.
While AT&T says 5G E is up to twice as fast as its old 4G LTE technology, 5G promises theoretical speeds up to one hundred times as fast. It also promises a huge reduction in latency, cutting maximum latency from 20ms on 4G LTE today to 4ms on 5G. 5G uses a whole new band of radio spectrum, and companies are experimenting with rolling out home Internet service via 5G. 5G is exciting and looks like a huge leap.
None of this is true about 5G E. It’s just a slightly improved 4G LTE, and only AT&T has the nerve to call that something different from “4G LTE.”
RELATED:What Is 5G, and How Fast Will It Be?
Carriers Muddied the 4G Waters, Too
This isn’t the first time this problem has occurred. Back when 4G was the hot new thing, cellular carriers called all sorts of networks “4G” even though they were just 3G.
Back in 2012, before real 4G LTE came out, AT&T had a 3G network. AT&T rolled out a technology called HSPA+ that improved 3G speeds, and AT&T branded that faster 3G network “4G.” AT&T got everyone—including Apple—to call its 3G HSPA+ network “4G.”
If you used an iPhone back then and you were on AT&T’s network, you saw the “3G” logo transform to “4G” overnight. But nothing changed except AT&T’s marketing terms. That’s happening again with the transformation from “4G” to “5G E.”
Other carriers weren’t innocent back then either. T-Mobile called its 3G HSPA+ network “4G” back in 2010, and Sprint called its old WiMax network 4G before switching to 4G LTE.
Today, everyone uses the term “4G LTE” to refer to real 4G networks that aren’t just those old rebranded 3G networks.
Why AT&T Is Making This So Confusing
Cellular carriers like AT&T want to make this confusing. There’s a lot of justified hype about 5G, so AT&T wants to make its network look better by sticking a “5G E” logo on it—even if it’s not real 5G.
Everyone wants to be first to say they have a 5G network. The easiest way is by redefining exactly what 5G is.
As with 4G, the situation is quickly becoming a mess once again. Industry standards groups define specific technologies that are considered “5G” or “4G,” but cellular carriers use whatever terms they like to market their networks. AT&T gets to hide behind the excuse that it’s saying “5G E,” not “5G.”
Of course, AT&T would say we’re wrong. AT&T would say it has improved its 4G LTE network, and that it wants to highlight how much faster the network now is. AT&T would also say that rolling out these technologies is somehow part of its network’s “evolution” to 5G, hence the name. But we don’t buy it.
Thankfully, no other cellular carriers are copying AT&T’s misleading marketing around 5G—for now.
Image Credit: AT&T via FierceWireless, Hadrian/Shutterstock.com, Jonathan Weiss/Shutterstock.com.
Our connectivity needs are changing, and AT&T is working to bring the amazing capabilities of 5G across the nation. 5G stands for fifth-generation cellular wireless technologies, and it is the next generation of mobile tech. Downloading large files to your phone can take a long time. 5G will provide increased data speeds compared to 4G, allowing you to download games, movies, TV shows and more, faster than before. 5G will also decrease latency. Latency is the time it takes between sending and receiving information. For gamers this will mean improved connectivity, smoother graphics and more responsive gameplay.
Learn more about AT&T 5G availability, 5G capable phones, and unlimited data plans with 5G access.
If you are looking for more flexibility and affordability without sacrificing quality, AT&T PREPAIDoffers 5G service on select plans. Learn more about available prepaid 5G phonesand enjoy nationwide 5G connectivity on the AT&T PREPAID Unlimited Plus plan.1
1AT&T 5G requires compatible plan and device. 5G may not be in your area. See att.com/5Gforyou for 5G coverage details.
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5GE vs. 5G: What's the Difference?
With the term 5GE floating around at a time when 5G is still emerging, it’s more important than ever to understand what it actually means and how the two are different.
5GE stands for 5G Evolution. It’s a label AT&T puts on some of its phones that simply means that it's connected to their 5G Evolution network. If you have one device that says 5G at the top and another one next to it that says 5GE, the two are not connected to the same network, even if they’re in the same location and are both using AT&T’s network.
A marketing term pushed by AT&T.
Identical to 4G LTE Advanced.
Likely to work with your existing phone.
The newest generation of mobile networking technology.
Several times faster than 4G.
Available in relatively few areas around the world.
Requires a brand-new phone.
5G Evolution might sound like a form of 5G, maybe even an enhancement of it. But the reality is that it’s simply a name used by AT&T to describe 4G LTE-A.
AT&T began using this term in late 2018. With 5G talks heating up around that time, giving their users the feeling that they were on a brand new 5G network would set them apart from other companies like Verizon and T-Mobile. But all this really did was confuse people into thinking they were somehow upgraded to the new network without getting a 5G phone, without making changes to their account, and without paying for the new service.
The kicker is that other providers have an upgraded form of 4G LTE as well, called LTE Advanced (LTE-A or LTE+). So, what we end up with could be considered a marketing ploy. AT&T wants their network to appear to be better than the one offered by other companies even if they’re no different.
That said, in 2019, an AT&T executive explained that one of the reasons the 5GE icon is used is to "let the customer know that they are in an enhanced experience market or area”, and that “the moment the 5G software and the 5G devices show up, it's a software upgrade to our network to enable our customers to move to 5G."
These days, AT&T does have a true 5G network, but despite agreeing to stop advertising 5GE, some people might still see the 5GE icon if they’re on the 4G LTE Advanced network.
According to AT&T, 5GE is “the foundation and the launchpad for 5G.” So, that right there is enough to explain that it’s not true 5G. It's the company's way of bridging the gap between slower 4G and faster 5G. The confusion simply lies in the naming.
Speed: 5G Is Much Faster
30 Mbps avg download speeds.
1 Gbps peak download speeds.
Less than 5 ms latency.
Up to 500 Mbps download speeds.
20 Gbps peak download speeds.
Less than 1 ms latency.
So what does 5G have that 5GE doesn’t? One of the main drivers behind 5G, and the primary reason most people are interested in an upgraded mobile network, is enhanced speed.
5G vs 4G: Everything You Need to Know
According to tests from Opensignal, common 4G speeds fall within the 20-30 Mbps range. In their June 2020 5G User Experience report, you can see that real-world download speeds on various 5G networks far outperform 5GE, ranging anywhere from 50 Mbps to nearly 500 Mbps.
From your standpoint, quicker speeds on 5G mean that you'll experience faster web browsing and downloads, and live streams will be smoother.
Compatibility & Availability: 5GE Already Works for Most People
Most likely works with your existing phone.
Readily available in more areas.
Only brand-new devices support 5G.
Service is confined to select cities.
Another tangible difference between 5G and 5GE is the device itself. Different hardware is necessary for one to be 5G-compatible. This means that even if a device is in range of a 5G network, if it’s not an actual 5G phone, it can’t be used to get 5G-level benefits (like faster speeds) even if it says 5GE at the top.
Whether you're using 5G or 5GE, you need a phone that works with that type of network. However, if it supports 5GE, it doesn't necessarily mean that it also works with their 5G network. You can check out AT&T's 5G phones for that list.
When it comes to availability, 5G is still in its infancy. While they are lots of areas that 5G networks are popping up in, very few people have access when you compare it to 4G which has been around several years longer.
Final Verdict: 5G Is What You're After, But Good Luck Finding It
5G is ultimately where we're all headed, but since it's not everywhere just yet and it costs more out of pocket to get a new phone to support it, 5GE is where most people are forced to sit for the time being.
The truth is that you're more likely to find 5GE-level service since it's just 4G LTE+, which many parts of the world have had for quite some time. 5G is still being deployed in most countries and so isn't quite ready for prime time for most people.
Despite 5GE underperforming when compared to 5G, it’s not without its benefits. AT&T’s 5GE devices do perform better than their own lower-end phones, so a phone that supports 5GE should get you better speeds than one that only works on older LTE networks, but neither will get you up to the performance of 5G.
However, 4G LTE devices from other companies achieve similar results, if not slightly better results than AT&T’s 5GE devices. So while 5GE isn't quite as good as 5G in terms of speed, 4G service from all major carriers are basically the same even though AT&T uses the term 5GE.
5GE vs. LTE: What's the Difference?
Thanks for letting us know!
What Is 5GE and How Does It Differ From 5G?
Every decade or so, the world becomes a little bit more connected. In 1991, the world was introduced to 2G. Then came 3G in 2001, and 4G in 2009. Fast forward a decade. We are now stepping into the era of 5G—this means faster internet speed and lower latency, which enhances the overall experience with just about anything that you do on the internet.
All around the world, governments, and smartphone manufacturers are pushing for widespread 5G use because of the benefits that the technology brings. But did you know that some telecom providers are now promoting 5GE?
So, what is 5GE, and is it different from 5G?
What Is 5GE Mobile Internet?
5GE stands for ‘5G Evolution,’ and it all started with AT&T.
The US telecommunications company began promoting the term back in 2018 to separate itself from its competitors in the 5G race. AT&T claimed that with this upgrade, users could reach a network speed of 400 Mbps in areas with coverage.
So, 5GE was being marketed as an actual “evolution,” a huge step up from old 4G technology. Many AT&T subscribers were led to believe that they could upgrade from 4G to 5G without switching to a new phone that could support 5G and without paying extra bills.
How Fast Is AT&T’s 5GE Compared to 5G, 4G, and 3G?
The public soon began to dissect 5GE technology to verify AT&T’s marketing claims.
It turns out, AT&T’s 5GE technology is merely an enhanced version of 4G that most mobile network providers already refer to as 4G LTE or LTE Advanced. This means that 5GE that was supposed to be “evolutionary” is actually 4G LTE.
It is no surprise then that in terms of speed, 5GE is slower than actual 5G. As of now, the average speed of 5G is around 50Mbps and 1-10Gbps at its maximum. This is far superior compared to 5GE’s—or rather, 4G LTE’s—average speed of 30Mbps and a maximum speed of 300 Mbps.
For reference, 4G has an average speed of 15Mbps and a maximum speed of 100Mbps, and 3G at its maximum speed can reach 3Mbps. Our technology has really come a long way. If you want to go back further and read more about the evolution of 3G, 4G, and 5G, check out this article that talks about the history of mobile networks.
After much controversy, in 2019, an AT&T executive came out to clarify that the reason behind labeling its 4G LTE service as 5GE is to “let the customer know that they are in an enhanced experience market or area” and when 5G software or 5G devices show up, there will be a network upgrade to enable customers to move to 5G.
Since then, AT&T stopped its 5GE advertisements to avoid more confusion.
How Do You Know If You Are On 5GE or 5G?
Before you check if you are on AT&T’s 5GE or 5G, you should first and foremost have a 5G enabled phone.
Most, but not all, new smartphones support 5G.
Apple’s iPhone 12 range all support 5G, as well as most Android-powered brands, including Samsung’s Galaxy Note, Galaxy S, and Galaxy Tab series. Some manufacturers offer specific 5G models for new smartphones, giving consumers the option to stick with existing 4G tech in areas without 5G networking (these devices are often a little cheaper than their 5G counterparts).
Next, you should have a 5G mobile plan ready to activate the technology. When doing so, it is also important to check your phone carrier’s 5G coverage.
The nPerf network coverage map shows that AT&T’s 5G currently covers about 18 percent of the US, whereas T-Mobile covers 40 percent of the country. This is followed by Verizon with about 11 percent nationwide coverage.
Cities that receive the widest 5G coverage include Los Angeles, Miami, New York, and Philadelphia. In the UK, its four largest telecommunications providers EE, O2, Three, and Vodafone, currently have 5G coverage in about 40 major cities, including London, Birmingham, Liverpool, Manchester, and Bristol.
Once you’ve completed all of the above steps, to find out if you are on 5G or 5GE, just peep on the top left corner on your phone screen. There should be the word “5G” or “5GE” right beside the name of your cellular network provider.
The Power of 5G
5G not only dramatically increases the speed of your internet.
With 5G, a greater number of devices can also be connected to the network, boosting IoT capacity. Greater IoT means greater exchange of information from one user to another. This will also lead to the development of smart cities. IoT is one of the most important tech developments that is already shaping our lives today—check out our list of the five tech trends that are poised to change the way we live and work.
AT&T’s 5GE campaign may have been a deceptive one, but that does not change the fact that 5G is here to stay. Current trends indicate that 5G penetration will reach half of the world’s population within the next five years. Clearly, this next-generation technology cannot be stopped. It is time to upgrade ourselves and embrace 5G for a faster, more efficient future.
5G conspiracists claim it causes cancer and spreads COVID-19. They've even attacked cell towers. But is 5G really dangerous, or safe?
Read NextAbout The Author
Currently based in Melbourne, Australia, Jie Yee has experience in writing about the Australian real estate market and the Southeast Asian tech scene, as well as conducting business intelligence research in the wider Asia-Pacific region.
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5g 5ge vs
It may have taken some time, but 5G is slowly starting to build momentum in the US. All major carriers now have nationwide 5G deployments covering at least 200 million people, with T-Mobile in the lead covering over 305 million people with its low-band network. AT&T's version now covers 250 million while Verizon has a low-band network that covers around 230 million. All of the top phones of the past year come with 5G, including the iPhone 12, iPhone 13 and Samsung Galaxy S21.
Next-generation networks from all the major carriers are set to continue to expand throughout the rest of 2021 and well into 2022, laying the foundation for advancements such as replacing home broadband, remote surgery and self-driving cars that are expected to dominate the next decade.
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But with all that activity by competing carriers, there are myriad different names for 5G -- some of which aren't actually 5G.
The carriers have had a history of twisting their stories when it comes to wireless technology. When 4G was just coming around, AT&T and T-Mobile opted to rebrand their 3G networks to take advantage of the hype. Ultimately the industry settled on 4G LTE. One technology, one name.
Differing technologies and approaches for presenting 5G, however, have made this upcoming revolution more confusing than it should be. Here's a guide to help make sense of it all.
Know the three flavors
When it comes to 5G networks, there are three different versions that you should know about. While all are accepted as 5G -- and Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile have pledged to use multiple flavors going forward for more robust networks -- each will give you different experiences.
Millimeter-wave: High speed, but with a downside
The first flavor is known as millimeter-wave (aka mmWave). This technology has been deployed over the course of the last two years by Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile, though it's most notable for being the 5G network Verizon has touted across the country.
Using a much higher frequency than prior cellular networks, millimeter-wave allows for a blazing-fast connection that in some cases reaches well over 1Gbps. The downside? That higher frequency struggles when covering distances and penetrating buildings, glass or even leaves. It also has had some issues with heat.
In effect, outside of some 5G-equipped stadiums, airports and arenas, these coverage areas may be no bigger than an intersection. One solution is to string more cellular radios, but in many places, that isn't an option. For now, think of it as a souped-up Wi-Fi hotspot.
Low-band: Lots of range, but lower speeds
Low-band 5G is the foundation for all three providers' nationwide 5G offerings. While at times a bit faster than 4G LTE, these networks don't offer the same crazy speeds that higher-frequency technologies like millimeter-wave can provide. The good news, however, is that this network functions similarly to 4G networks in terms of coverage, allowing it to blanket large areas with service. It should also work fine indoors.
As mentioned, T-Mobile currently blankets over 305 million people with its low-band 5G network, while Verizon reaches over 230 million and AT&T covers over 250 million people with their respective 5G networks.
Midband: The middle ground of speed and coverage
In between the two, midband is the middle area of 5G: faster than the low band, but with more coverage than millimeter-wave. This was the technology behind Sprint's early 5G rollout and one of the key reasons T-Mobile worked so hard in recent years to buy the struggling carrier.
The company has worked diligently since closing the deal, quickly deploying its midband network across the US. The network now covers over 165 million people with this faster service, with a goal of reaching 200 million people before the end of 2021. T-Mobile has said that it expects average download speeds over the midband network to be between 300 to 400Mbps, with peak speeds of 1Gbps.
While T-Mobile, AT&T and Verizon have plenty of low-band spectrum, midband has previously been used by the military, making it a scarce resource despite its cellular benefits.
But that could soon change. A Federal Communications Commission auction earlier this year made a lot more midband spectrum (known as C-band) available for wireless carriers and all three major operators spent billions acquiring airwaves, with another auction with more airwaves set for October. Verizon and AT&T were the biggest spenders in the C-band, and the expectation is that at least one of them should begin deploying 5G over these airwaves as soon as later this year with networks available for use early in 2022.
It's important to note that no one band of spectrum is inherently better or worse than another. All three carriers have talked about incorporating all three types of spectrum for a more comprehensive network.
Three 5G flavors, plenty of different names
As you'd expect in an industry that is used to dominating the airwaves with commercials, there are several different ways carriers are referring to the different flavors of 5G.
AT&T is the worst offender, with three flavors: 5GE, 5G and 5GPlus.
5GE, short for 5G Evolution, isn't actually 5G. So no, your iPhone 11 ($499 at Apple), Galaxy S10 or Pixel 4 that shows 5GE isn't compatible with the new next-generation networks.
The National Advertising Review Board previously called for AT&T to stop advertising that it offers "5GE." AT&T still, however, continues to use the icon on its devices.
The regular "5G," meanwhile, is real 5G but only on the low-band flavors. AT&T uses "5G Plus" for its millimeter-wave and upcoming C-band 5G networks.
Verizon calls its current millimeter-wave 5G network "5G Ultra Wideband" or "5G UWB." While it's not as complicated as AT&T's approach, it could run into some confusion thanks to Apple's embrace of the similarly named Ultra Wideband technology in recent iPhones. Unlike Verizon's UWB, Apple's version isn't related to cellular, but is a technology used to find other similarly equipped devices. Apple's version of UWB is what runs its AirTags tracking system.
In addition to the 5G UWB name, Verizon calls its low-band offering "Nationwide 5G" with devices showing a regular 5G indicator when connected to this network. Like AT&T, Verizon will refer to its upcoming C-band midband network as 5G Ultra Wideband.
T-Mobile, which is the only carrier currently with a large midband network, previously kept things simple with one name: 5G. That changed, however, late last year and it now has two names for the new wireless technology: Ultra Capacity 5G is the name for its faster midband and millimeter-wave networks while Extended Range 5G is the name for its low-band network.
With iOS 15 the carrier has finally decided to follow its rival and will now show two different icons depending on your connection. A 5G icon will appear when you're connected to its low-band network while a 5GUC indicator will appear when you're on a 5G phone connected to the midband or millimeter-wave 5G networks.
AT&T’s 5GE Explained: What It Is, And What It Isn’t
In an attempt to steal thunder from its competitors, AT&T launched its "5GE" designation in December 2018, which the carrier says is meant to let its customers know when they are in an area with 5G Evolution coverage. But what is 5GE, anyway?
The moniker is misleading and causing a lot of confusion for smartphone users, especially since AT&T has announced a total of 19 cities getting real mobile 5G this year. Verizon has also launched mobile 5G in two cities so far.
Here's what 5GE really means, what phones you can expect to see it on and why you shouldn't get overly excited about it.
Updated May 29: Added testing to compare AT&T's 5GE speeds against Verizon and T-Mobile's 4GE networks.
What is 5GE?
5GE, or 5G Evolution, is merely AT&T's name for its latest and greatest iteration of LTE, which utilizes specific technologies, like 256 QAM, 3-way carrier aggregation and 4X4 MIMO that will play a role in 5G's ultimate development. 5GE is available in 400 markets and counting.
MORE: First Verizon 5G Speed Tests: Here's How Fast It Is
That said, 5GE in all practical terms does not deliver an experience that is ostensibly different from what's already available with 4G LTE. In fact, other carriers like Verizon and T-Mobile already have it too, have for years and simply call it LTE Advanced.
Mobile insights firm OpenSignal recently published data from speed tests comparing 5GE to rival networks' LTE, and found that AT&T's service was actually slower. The 28.8 Mbps result from 5GE trailed Verizon's 29.9 Mbps and T-Mobile's 29.4 Mbps. We tested AT&T's 5GE network against T-Mobile and Verizon's 4G LTE networks and found that 5GE downloads were consistently slower than 4G LTE in New York City.
Even in ideal circumstances, 5GE should merely provide speeds averaging around 40 Mbps. That's a hair faster than AT&T's current 37.1 Mbps average that we recorded when we conducted our nationwide test of the fastest wireless networks in the U.S. last summer, but still well behind Verizon's 57.3 Mbps.
Unsurprisingly, AT&T is holding fast to its loose definition of 5G. In fact, in January, Tom's Guide's Mark Spoonauer caught up with Igal Elbaz, AT&T's senior vice president for wireless technology, who defended the new naming convention as a way of informing AT&T's customers that "there is an enhanced experience [available] in their market."
"All of our investment in the infrastructure and hardware is all 5G ready, so the moment the 5G software and the 5G devices show up, it's a software upgrade to our network to enable our customers to move to 5G," Elbaz said.
MORE: The Truth About 5G: What's Coming (And What's Not) in 2019
What Devices Get 5GE?
According to AT&T, there are about 20 or so devices that support the technologies that underpin 5GE. It bears repeating, though, that this does not mean these same phones will support full 5G on the carrier when it launches.
Among them are Apple's latest iPhones — the iPhone XS, XS Max and XR — that began displaying the logo with the release of iOS 12.2. A swath of Android phones fitted with Qualcomm's X24 LTE modem, like the Galaxy S9 and Note 9 series, are also included in that company. And of course, the recently-released Galaxy S10 family has joined their ranks as well.
What About AT&T's Real 5G Network?
AT&T has launched mobile 5G service in parts of 12 cities so far, including Atlanta, Charlotte, Dallas, Houston, Indianapolis, Jacksonville, Louisville, New Orleans, Oklahoma City, Raleigh, San Antonio and Waco.
The carrier says that it will then expand to a total of 21 cities by adding mobile 5G to parts of Chicago, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, Nashville, Orlando, San Diego, San Francisco, and San Jose.
However, for now, you can only access this network using a 5G mobile hotspot. 5G phones will be coming online later.
Nobody is taking issue with AT&T educating customers about the availability of an enhanced experience; rather, the problem lies in the label the carrier has chosen.
When true 5G launches, the speeds we see will be in the ballpark of 1Gbps — at least 20 times what 5GE currently offers. As such, it's hard to argue that the 5GE designation isn't misleading to consumers, in much the same way AT&T's, T-Mobile's and Sprint's insistence on branding HSPA+ and WiMax as 4G was back in the very early part of the decade.
But history is repeating itself, and at least we can take comfort in the fact that we're all a little wiser this go around. That goes for customers, experts and even AT&T's competitors, which have taken to all forms of media to slam the carrier at every turn.
Sprint event went so far as to file a suit against AT&T over its arguably misleading marketing tactics — a suit which the two companies reportedly settled, according to Law360. While neither side has explained the terms of their agreement, AT&T will keep using the 5GE branding, and Sprint will likely scale back its very vocal, very public attacks — the height of which involved a full-page ad in the New York Times back in March which labeled AT&T's exercise "fake 5G."
As for when you'll see true 5G, 2019 should finally be the year. Carriers are gearing up to introduce 5G-enabled handsets from the likes of Samsung, OnePlus, LG and even Motorola (if you count Verizon's exclusive 5G Moto Mod). Select neighborhoods already have access to residential service, and hotspots and other accessories are also on the brink.
One day, 5GE will thankfully be a distant memory.
Adam Ismail is a staff writer at Jalopnik and previously worked on Tom's Guide covering smartphones, car tech and gaming. His love for all things mobile began with the original Motorola Droid; since then he’s owned a variety of Android and iOS-powered handsets, refusing to stay loyal to one platform. His work has also appeared on Digital Trends and GTPlanet. When he’s not fiddling with the latest devices, he’s at an indie pop show, recording a podcast or playing Sega Dreamcast.
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