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

Irving Hamilton
January 9, 2019

Verizon has promised to only label products "5G" if the device is actually delivering improved performance equal to 5G capabilities. Verizon chief technology officer Kyle Malady penned a letter that calls on the larger wireless industry to resist the temptation to "over-hype and under-deliver on the 5G promise". Nobody would blame customers for being confused, though, because the E is in a smaller font, and spaced slightly apart from the 5G.

In the spirit of maintaining customer trust, Verizon called on the entire wireless industry to label something 5G "only if new device hardware is connecting to the network using new radio technology to deliver new capabilities" [Verizon's emphasis]. The Verizon ad is essentially a not-too-subtle jab at AT&T which, as we reported a few weeks back, is planning to replace the LTE indicator with a 5G E symbol in markets that have support for the fastest LTE technologies.

The company explained the upgrade in a blog post past year.

What is worth noting is that the portion of AT&T's network offering "5Ge" or LTE-A to call it by its proper name, has received a speed boost. The home service uses Verizon's own standard for 5G, which is similar, but not the same.

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AT&T and Verizon plan to launch mobile 5G in 2019.

The internet, of course, has been having a field day with AT&T's attempt to claim more 5G glory than it deserves, and today, both Verizon and T-Mobile chose to get in on that as well.

"Only the New @TMobile will be the first to bring REAL #5GForAll with a broad and deep nationwide network", Legere said in a tweet.

The Verizon exec even promised that his company wouldn't make the same mistake: "Verizon is making this commitment today: We won't take an old phone and just change the software to turn the 4 in the status bar into a 5". He added that "When we say '5G, ' we mean 5G".

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