A few weeks ago, AT&T announced that they will soon start display a “5G E” symbol on LTE-enabled handsets. Now according to various reports, it seems that AT&T’s promised roll out of the symbol has already begun, where it has started showing up on handsets like the LG V30 and the Samsung Galaxy S8 Active.
Now before you get too excited as the sudden and free “upgrade” 5G, it should be noted that this is not “true” 5G. Dubbed “5G Evolution”, this is basically a more advanced version of LTE where it takes advantage of technologies such as carrier aggregation, 4×4 MIMO, LAA and 256 QAM.
We understand that it is a bit confusing and this was a similar issue that happened back in the day when LTE hadn’t fully rolled out yet, and when carriers were calling WiMax and HSPA+ “4G”. At the moment 5G has yet to be fully rolled out, and even if it has, there are no phones in the market that support the technology, which means that even if your phone shows “5G E”, it isn’t actually the 5G that you might be thinking about.
The update is being pushed out as we speak and while we’re sure that some wouldn’t want to have this confusion, the version being released for the Galaxy S8 Active does come with a security patch which might be worth updating to, but the LG V30’s update doesn’t seem to contain anything more than just changing the icon.