Sprint Sues AT&T, Proving ‘5G’ Is Still Meaningless

WIRED | 2/9/2019 | Klint Finley
kimberly163 (Posted by) Level 3
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Some AT&T customers with iPhones noticed something weird earlier this week. Those who had installed a new beta version of iOS reported seeing "5GE," rather than "4G" or "LTE," in the upper-right-hand corner of their screens, according to The Verge. But Apple doesn't sell an iPhone that supports 5G standards and AT&T doesn't yet offer 5G service for mobile phones.

In fact, what those customers saw was a bit of AT&T marketing. AT&T has branded parts of its 4G network as 5GE or "5G Evolution." Apple has apparently added that branding to the latest version of its mobile operating system, but that doesn't mean that anyone's connection is actually faster because of it.

AT - T - Criticism - Competitors - Network

AT&T drew criticism from competitors that offer the same network technologies AT&T does but labels them as 4G or LTE when the company introduced the Evolution brand in 2017. Now, Sprint is suing AT&T, arguing that its advertising is deceptive. "It harms consumers by holding out AT&T’s services as more technologically advanced than Sprint’s and enticing consumers to switch wireless service providers (or remain AT&T subscribers) under false pretenses," the lawsuit, which was filed Thursday and spotted by Engadget, says.

Sprint declined to comment on whether it would add other defendants to the suit, such as Samsung, which also displays the 5GE branding on some phones on AT&T networks, or Apple.

Networks - Speeds - Gigabits - Second—about - Times

Someday real 5G networks could enable mobile speeds of around 10 gigabits per second—about 10 times faster than the standard Google Fiber connection. But AT&T's Evolution service doesn't deliver speeds anywhere near that fast. The company claims the service has a theoretical upper limit of more than 400 megabits per second. Even the few services based on actual 5G technologies today can't top 1 gigabit per second. Nationwide 5G networks aren't expected until 2020, and few phones available today can...
(Excerpt) Read more at: WIRED
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