When AT & T rebranded part of its 4G cell service such as 5G E, or 5G Evolution, it wasn't tricking anyone. That's because, despite the fact that the 5G E was the first step to a true 5G network, the phones were the same, the speeds were the same, the only thing that had changed was the little icon in the corner of the screen. And now the mobile analysis company Opensignal has the numbers to prove it.
In a recent experiment, Opensignal recorded download speeds for AT & T 5G E-phones and standard 4G phones, and then compared them to the download speed of similar phones on all other large networks.
What OpenSignal found that while 5G E devices on AT & T were faster than their 4G brothers, compared to similar devices on other networks, was the download speed of AT & T 5G E-compatible devices to be & # 39; t any faster than those at Verizon or T-Mobile. In fact, 5G E-compatible devices were actually a bit slower on the AT&T network compared to all than Sprint.
The trick for AT&T is to combine newer LTE Advanced Pro technology like 4X4 MIMO and 256QAM and classify them. Under the umbrella of the 5G E, AT&T makes the illusion that 5G E devices offer increased data rate. But they do not, as these features are built into the devices and available for use on other networks, as shown by the numbers in the OpenSignals graph.
However, it is important to note that as part of Opensignal's testing, the company does not actually distinguish between times when AT&T devices displayed the 5G E icon as opposed to the standard 4G icon. That's because for OpenSignal, the goal was "to compare the 5G E experience with the users who connect to the other US carriers that don't show 5G E, but offer the same 4G technologies."
Opensignal also added that because both LTE Advanced Pro Tech and 5G E are not always available due to things like location or other factors, and that the devices that tested all contained similar capabilities, it is still possible to demonstrate that 5G E is similar to LTE Advanced Pro tech on other networks.
When asked for comment, an AT & T spokesman gave this statement:
OpenSignal's note reveals that the methodology is incorrect. Speed test data that proves to show "5G Evolution world-wide experience" without verifying the competent devices was tested in a 5G Evolution coverage area as shown by the indicator, does not accurately represent the 5G Evolution user experience.
The bottom line is that all these networks face the same challenges, but only AT & T uses tagging to make their network seem like it's not. AT&T only needs to take L.
For Sprint, which is currently suing AT & T over its egregious use of 5G, this data could make its legal case even stronger. Meanwhile, for people who are just looking to get the best data rate on the current network, the best option is to check the category modems for a particular cell phone. Phones with a Cat 18 modem like the Galaxy S10 will receive better speeds than older devices with Cat 12 modems like Galaxy S7 or iPhone 8. (Like most tech, larger numbers for Cat characters are better).