Earlier this year AT&T announced that they would be rolling out some changes in which on the phones of their customers, they might start to see a “5G E” icon. This stands for “5G Evolution” which isn’t actually 5G, but rather it is used by AT&T to represent their 4G LTE network that uses features like three-way carrier aggregation, 256 QAM, and 4×4 MIMO.
This was misleading because it made customers think they had 5G, and also because other carriers offered similar features as well, although maybe not as heavily advertised. Now according to a recent test by OpenSignal (via MacRumors), it has been proven that AT&T’s “5G E” service is actually slightly slower compared to some of the competition.
This includes T-Mobile and Verizon, both of whom clocked speeds of 29.4Mbps and 29.9Mbps respectively, while AT&T’s own 5G E scored 28.8Mbps, which only put them ahead of Sprint who managed speeds of 20.4Mbps. Other carriers had previously expressed their upset at AT&T for choosing to use the 5G E branding due to the fact that it is misleading, and these tests prove that.
Of course whether or not customers actually bother to do their research to find out more is a different story. That being said, 5G is expected to begin rolling out across the networks later this year, so hopefully these misleading claims will only be temporary.