March 27, 2019

Mobile adds 7 million net customers in 2018

11 January 2019, 06:28 | Cameron Gross

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


The advent of 5G networks will surely feature overpriced phones with designs that must make significant compromises to accommodate 5G antennas, but at least T-Mobile and Verizon phones probably won't feature fake 5G logos - not after they went through the trouble of calling out AT&T for that very thing, right?

AT&T ruffled a few feathers when it weirdly chose to brand portions of its existing 4G LTE network as "5G Evolution". The "E" is meant to stand for "Evolution" and will be displayed in areas where AT&T's service conforms to certain advanced characteristics of 4G LTE service.

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. From the outside looking in, it appears AT&T is intentionally trying to deceive customers by playing loosey-goosey with the 5G nomenclature.

Speaking at CES yesterday, AT&T Communications CEO John Donovan said AT&T is changing the 4G network indicator on smartphones to 5G E because "we felt like we had to give [customers] an indicator that said your speed now is twice what it was with traditional 4G LTE".

But AT&T is forging ahead. OpenSignal measurements a year ago found that AT&T's average 4G speed nationwide was 15Mbps, behind T-Mobile's 21.6Mbps and Verizon's 20.6Mbps.

Verizon this week pledged that it won't falsely call 4G phones 5G, and AT&T's name change was also mocked by T-Mobile and Sprint. In light of this, real 5G can't arrive fast enough.

Some Android phones already claim they're connected to a 5G network. The first United Kingdom 5G networks will be available later in 2019.

And Elbaz' response to the accusations of misleading "5G E" labeling?

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