AT&T SVP defends "5G E" label with non-answers

ATT 5G E Logo

AT&T SVP defends "5G E" label with non-answers

AT&T ruffled a few feathers when it weirdly made a decision to brand portions of its existing 4G LTE network as "5G Evolution".

This week the carrier has used the backdrop of CES to tout new 5G milestones and then mercilessly mocked rival AT&T for confusing its customers with "fake 5G" icons on their phones.

T-Mobile US's fourth-quarter wireless customer gains surpassed analyst estimates and topped strong growth at larger rival Verizon Communications, continuing the company's run as the fastest-growing USA mobile carrier. This is the result of some fairly shady rebranding on the part of AT&T who pretends improvements to its LTE network make it no longer 4G.

The executive adds that AT&T's infrastructure is 5G-ready, and can be enabled via a software upgrade.

Some Android devices that take advantage of its additional LTE capabilities already display "5G E" at the top of their screens.

T-Mobile's outperformance of even Verizon's surprisingly strong numbers is a signal that it's continuing to take the most market share among US carriers.

But AT&T is forging ahead.

"What we're trying to do is two things".

To be fair, AT&T isn't exactly hiding the fact that its 5G E or 5G Evolution isn't really 5G at all. In light of this, real 5G can't arrive fast enough. Regardless of the aesthetic change, AT&T phones are not running on a 5G network.

Again, it's not 5G, and other networks have the same upgrades.

"I think the result of last month, beating the industry out [with the 5G hotspot], and this 5G E launch a couple of days ago, our competitors are frustrated", Donovan said. AT&T will also use millimeter-wave spectrum for higher speeds, but didn't provide details on when that will go live or how extensively it will be deployed.

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