AT&T gets mocked by Verizon, T-Mobile for fake 5G network

Yolanda Curtis
January 11, 2019

Some Android smartphone users who recently updated their handsets may found that the old "LTE", or 4G, icon at the top of their screen has been relabeled as "5G E", meaning 5G Evolution. The decision that AT&T has made to change the status bar to show 5G E is going to affect the entire industry.

The carrier said it'll brand the real 5G with mmWare technology as "5G+".


Verizon also had thoughts on the marketing stunt. The executive insisted that they were "pretty public" about what 5G E actually was.

Still, Verizon's 5G home Internet seems like a real upgrade over Verizon 4G; Verizon's early 5G uses 28GHz spectrum instead of the low-band spectrum used for 4G, and Verizon says its 5G home Internet can hit speeds of almost 1Gbps. Verizon CEO Hans Vestberg, in a knock against AT&T, said he would continue to market his 4G network as a 4G service. T-Mobile plans to use its 600MHz spectrum for its own nationwide 5G buildout.


US telecommunications giant AT&T has been criticized by its rivals for misleading consumers into believing that its upgraded 4G service is 5G.

Verizon has called on the mobile industry to not use the term 5G for services until they use actual 5G hardware and radio standards. "And together with Sprint, we'll add much-needed spectrum depth, creating a truly transformative 5G network!".


AT&T will expand its deal with Magic Leap - a company building augmented reality goggles - to include business solutions in addition to consumer offerings. From the outside looking in, it appears AT&T is intentionally trying to deceive customers by playing loosey-goosey with the 5G nomenclature. On Twitter, T-Mobile posted a video where it applied a 9G sticker to an iPhone, and captioned the clip, "didn't realize it was this easy, brb updating". But what Verizon left out of that announcement was the fact that their 5G network was a fixed network. Those additions, which pushed the total customer count to nearly 80 million, helped T-Mobile produce its best quarterly results ever, the company announced Wednesday afternoon. A national 5G network won't be deployed until 2020 or 2021, the Associated Press reported on Tuesday.

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