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

A 9G sticker on a smartphone

A 9G sticker on a smartphone

And Verizon tells them they don't have that. From the outside looking in, it appears AT&T is intentionally trying to deceive customers by playing loosey-goosey with the 5G nomenclature.

"5G Evolution", or 5G E, is not true 5G.

Meanwhile, Verizon posted a more subtle rebuke in the form of a press release that didn't mention AT&T directly.

Unlike AT&T, Verizon says it won't trick users into thinking they have 5G. (NYSE: VZ), for its part, hasn't outlined its mobile 5G launch plans, including what spectrum it might use or when it might offer 5G nationwide.

5G is the fifth generation network for cellular mobile communications.

AT&T's 5G E stands for 5G Evolution, but it's just 4G LTE. "We can enable faster speeds now, and upgrade to 5G".

The push to garner more of that 5G buzz underscores excitement for the technology, which promises to bring a significant boost to speed and responsiveness, and serve as a foundation for other trends like self-driving cars, the Internet of Things and telemedicine.

LTE Advanced is not 5G, despite what AT&T might want you to believe.

AT&T is being mocked online by its fellow telecom giants for advertising a fake 5G network. It's something that AT&T should definitely reverse, and if there's enough negative feedback regarding the feature, it might just get rolled back.

AT&T said that, by the end of this year, it expects its network capacity to increase by 50% since 2017. This was marketed as 4G by AT&T (and T-Mobile), even though it really wasn't 4G. It is, in fact, a technology that everyone else calls "LTE-A" or LTE Advanced. Though that was still a bit different.

IDC analyst Jason Leigh said labeling 5G is a "battle between marketers and engineers", as they try to balance hype and reality.

T-Mobile shares were virtually unchanged Wednesday, dropping a nickel to $67.72. As we all know, all GIFs are great. It took to Twitter to post a video showing someone putting a sticky note over an iPhone's LTE logo to relabel it "9G" with the caption "didn't realize it was this easy".

"AT&T is blatantly misleading consumers - 5GE is not real 5G", Sprint's chief technology officer Dr. John Saw told Engadget.

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