5G is finally here. Well — not quite. 5G is indeed imminent, to be sure. Carriers and chip manufacturers hope to bring the standard into mainstream soon, and while the progress is steadfast, 5G remain far from official.
Most people don't even know about the difference between 5G and 4G, anyway, and that lack of awareness is exactly what motivated AT&T to dupe its customers into thinking the network already has 5G.
The carrier recently updated some its phones — Samsung Galaxy S8 Active and LG V30 and V40 — so they get a "5G E" indicator on the status bar. Problem is, it's not really true 5G. It's simply "5G Evolution," AT&T's speed-boosted 4G LTE networks.
T-Mobile Throws Shade At AT&T's 5G Antics
In response to AT&T's attempt to disguise 4G LTE into something it's completely not, T-Mobile tweeted a short video of someone putting a "9G" sticker on top of an iPhone's LTE icon. The caption reads: "didn't realize it was this easy, brb updating."
As The Verge puts it, it's "a simple and dumb stunt" yet "completely fair" considering how deceitful it is to subtly imply to people that they're connected to a network that's not even technically available yet.
didn’t realize it was this easy, brb updating pic.twitter.com/dCmnd6lspH — T-Mobile (@TMobile) January 7, 2019
To be fair to AT&T, 5G Evolution is a bit faster than a typical LTE connection. However, that doesn't erase the fact that it's still 4G technology with speeds typical of 4G connections. Suffice it to say that this is simply an exploitative attempt on AT&T's part to take advantage of the 5G brand.
That's not even the worse part. It's bad enough that the carrier is lying to people about 5G, but AT&T's speed-boosting 5G Evolution tech is actually behind on rolling out. 5G Evolution is only really referring to LTE Advanced and Advanced Pro, a series of tech updates that other carriers have been rolling out for years. Verizon, for example, said earlier this year that it had deployed the technology in 1,100 markets. T-Mobile, on the other hand, said it was live in 920. By contrast, 5G Evolution is live in just under 400.
Though crude, T-Mobile's roast is not entirely untrue. AT&T is essentially just slapping a "5G" sticker on people's phones even though it's not really 5G, just an upgraded network technology other carriers have been rolling out already.
As all these antics prove, 5G sure can't come soon enough.