Published: Fri, January 11, 2019
Technology | By Lionel Gonzales

Mobile teases "9G" because it's as true as AT&T's "5G E"

Mobile teases

That AT&T wants to push its narrative of preparedness for 5G speaks to the competitive nature of the carriers, which are all vying to be the first to a new technology.

AT&T recently updated its phones to replace "LTE" with "5G E". In it, Kyle Malady, Verizon's chief technical officer, writes, "We're calling on the broad wireless industry to commit to labeling something 5G only if new device hardware is connecting to the network using new radio technology to deliver new capabilities". Having 5G E simply means the phone is in a market or area with "enhanced experience". The 5Ge refers to 5G Evolution, AT&T's name for its LTE-Advanced upgrade.

"The potential for 5G is awesome, but the potential to over-hype and under-deliver on the 5G promise is a temptation that the wireless industry must resist", Verizon said. The home service uses Verizon's own standard for 5G, which is similar, but not the same.

Verizon also had thoughts on the marketing stunt. From the outside looking in, it appears AT&T is intentionally trying to deceive customers by playing loosey-goosey with the 5G nomenclature.

Even though real 5G isn't ready for smartphones yet, Donovan gloated that "everyone within the industry who competes with us didn't like the fact that the night before last, overnight the top of your phone now shows a 5G E".

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5G is the fifth generation network for cellular mobile communications. At the time, T-Mobile chose to call its 3G service, which ran on an upgraded technology called HSPA+, 4G.

AT&T, which made investment for the deployment of LTE-M in 2017, connects more IoT devices than any other provider in North America.

This isn't the first time that AT&T has done something like this. That little space caused a big stir after AT&T made a decision to add a new symbol, called 5Ge. When launching the device in December, AT&T said it became "the first and only company in the U.S. to offer a mobile 5G device over a commercial, standards-based mobile 5G network".

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. When he first started in Bellevue, he would mock Sprint quite a bit, but now he has moved onto AT&T and Verizon.

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