5G E Isn’t Real 5G. Here’s What You Need to Know

AT & T is about to mark much of its existing cellular network as "5G Evolution" or "5G E." The "4G" logo on your phone can turn into a "5G E" logo after an update, but nothing has really changed.

Update: When the real 5G will be launched, AT & T will call it "5G +". It's really absurd.

What exactly is the 5G evolution?

AT & T originally announced "5G Evolution"In 2017. This is not a technical standard, it does not mean anything. It's just a mark for the commercialization of AT & T's existing 4G network.

Specifically, AT & T indicates that its 5G E network includes features such as "grouping operators, 4 × 4 MIMO, [and] 256 QAM. According to AT & T, these technical upgrades offer faster data speeds. That's right, but these are just additional features above the 4G LTE. Other mobile operators also offer them, but continue to mark their "4G LTE" networks.

In other words, AT & T's move is misleading. AT & T has added some features that make its network faster than the classic 4G LTE, but it is not close to the 5G. According to AT & T, this paves the way for its "evolution to 5G", hence its name.

AT & T is about to take the next step and deploys software updates for some of its Android phones, as confirmed FierceWireless December 21, 2018. Many AT & T Android phones will suddenly claim to be connected to a "5G E" network rather than an "LTE" network. The edge call it a "fake 5G logo".

It's just marketing. "5G E" does not mean that the AT & T network is faster than another operator's LTE network, which can offer the same functionality. It's just the brand that gives AT & T the edge over its competitors.

How 5G E is different from the real 5G

The 5G E is not 5G at all, it's 4G LTE. Of course, this is 4G LTE with additional features that make it faster, but many operators have deployed these features and continue to call their networks simply obsolete 4G LTE networks. "5G E" does not make sense.

Real 5G is the fifth generation wireless standard that the industry is currently working on. It requires new hardware radios that support 5G and will not work with existing phones. There is no chance that your current phone will get a software update to support 5G.

While at AT & T, the 5G E is twice as fast as the old 4G LTE technology, the 5G promises theoretical speeds up to a hundred times faster. It also promises a significant reduction in latency, bringing the maximum latency of 20 ms on the 4G LTE to 4 ms on the 5G. 5G uses a whole new spectrum of radio spectrum, and companies are experimenting with the deployment of home internet service via 5G. The 5G is exciting and looks like a huge leap forward.

None of this is true about the 5G E. It's just a slightly improved 4G LTE, and only AT & T has the courage to call it something different from the "4G LTE".

RELATED: What is 5G and how fast will it be?

Carriers have also blurred the waters of 4G

This is not the first time this problem has occurred. At the time of the 4G, mobile operators called all kinds of "4G" networks, even if they were only 3G.

Back in 2012, before the real ones 4G LTE came out, AT & T had a 3G network. AT & T has developed a technology called HSPA + that improves 3G speeds. AT & T has named this 3G network "4G" faster. AT & T has captivated everyone, including Apple– Call your 3G HSPA + "4G" network.

If you used an iPhone at the time and you were on the AT & T network, you saw the "3G" logo turn into "4G" overnight. But nothing has changed except the commercial conditions of AT & T. This is reproduced with the transformation of "4G" into "5G E."

The other carriers were not innocent at that time either. T Mobile called its 3G HSPA + "4G" network in 2010, and Sprint called its former WiMax 4G network before switching to 4G LTE.

Today, everyone uses the term "4G LTE" to refer to true 4G networks that are not just these old, well-known 3G networks.

Why AT & T makes it so confusing

Cellular carriers like AT & T want to create confusion. There is a lot of justified hype about the 5G, so AT & T wants to improve its network by affixing the "5G E" logo, even if it's not a true 5G.

Everyone wants to be the first to say that he has a 5G network. The simplest way is to redefine exactly what is 5G.

As with 4G, the situation is becoming disastrous again. Industry standardization groups define specific technologies as "5G" or "4G", but mobile operators use the terms of their choice to market their networks. AT & T manages to hide behind the excuse that it says "5G E" and not "5G".

Of course, AT & T would say we are wrong. AT & T says it has improved its 4G LTE network and wants to point out how fast the network is. AT & T would also say that the deployment of these technologies is somehow part of the "evolution" of its network to 5G, hence its name. But we do not buy it.

Fortunately, no other mobile operator is copying AT & T's misleading marketing around 5G – for now.

Image Credit: AT & T via FierceWireless, Hadrian/Shutterstock.com, Jonathan Weiss/Shutterstock.com.

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