Customers that see the 5G E icon on their smartphones may be thinking their smartphone is actually a 5G enabled device now and are expecting faster speeds, but unfortunately they won't be getting those faster speeds, since it is on 4G still.
AT&T recently updated its phones to replace "LTE" with "5G E".
T-Mobile has completed the world's first data and video calls on a live 5G network using 600MHz spectrum as it continues to position itself as the only USA operator capable of delivering nationwide coverage.
While AT&T is being bullish about its 5G capabilities, Verizon CEO Hans Vestberg didn't provide a timeline for its 5G rollout at CES, and instead focused on how the technology will unleash connective technologies and blend physical and digital realms with AR/VR, autonomous cars, advanced robotics, 3D printing and wearable tech, among other applications.
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Slapping a "5G E" logo on LTE phones is misleading and confusing at best.
"The potential to over-hype and under-deliver on the 5G promise is a temptation that the wireless industry must resist", Verizon's chief technology officer Kyle Malady wrote in the ad. From the outside looking in, it appears AT&T is intentionally trying to deceive customers by playing loosey-goosey with the 5G nomenclature. The home service uses Verizon's own standard for 5G, which is similar, but not the same.
All the major US carriers are racing to create the first nationwide 5G network.
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In 2018, AT& made a decision to design its own cell site routers and released those hardware specs as open blueprints so any hardware maker can build them for AT&T.
This isn't the first time that AT&T has done something like this.
AT&T launched LTE-LAA in two dozen markets, launching the technology in parts of 55 cities.
"If network providers, equipment manufacturers, handset makers, app developers and others in the wireless ecosystem engage in behavior created to purposefully confuse consumers, public officials and the investment community about what 5G really is, we risk alienating the very people we want most to join in developing and harnessing this exciting new technology", wrote Malady. Both Verizon and T-Mobile bashed AT&T, calling it a way to mislead consumers into thinking they already have 5G.
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Not to be left out, Sprint also chimed in and took shots at AT&T.