Verizon takes shot at AT&T's 5G Evolution and status bar icon; calls for end to 5G marketing hype

Verizon takes shot at AT&T's 5G Evolution and status bar icon; calls for end to 5G marketing hype
AT&T launched its 5G Evolution network in April 2017. However, this really isn't 5G service. Adding more connections between a cell site and a customer's device (4X4 MIMO) and having more data packed into signals (256QAM) has allowed AT&T to provide LTE-A type speeds to its 5G Evolution customers. A recent Speedtest found Evolution providing a particular AT&T customer with a download speed of 187.44Mbps, and an upload speed of 8.14Mbps. While certainly fast in terms of 4G, it pales in comparison to the numbers that true 5G is expected to deliver.

The 5G Evolution controversy and AT&T's even more controversial decision to put a 5G E icon on the status bar of phones connected to the Evolution network were mocked earlier today by T-Mobile in its typical colorful fashion. But even the more staid Verizon took a swing at its rival today in a blog post by Big Red's CTO Kyle Malady. The executive's piece is titled, "When we say '5G,' we mean 5G."

There is no doubt which carrier Malady is talking about when he says "We won’t take an old phone and just change the software to turn the 4 in the status bar into a 5. We will not call our 4G network a 5G network if customers don’t experience a performance or capability upgrade that only 5G can deliver." He states that doing this would break Verizon's promise to its customers that each new generation of wireless connectivity "makes new things happen."


Malady says that Verizon is calling on the wireless industry to use a 5G label on devices only when new hardware is connected to a 5G network using new technology to offer new capabilities and functionality to users. And we have to agree. The last thing we want to see is a repeat of the 4G HSPA+ fiasco, which was confusing to many consumers since it allowed non LTE networks and phones to be designated as 4G. And the stakes are higher with 5G. This makes us wonder how many AT&T 5G Evolution subscribers have been bragging to their friends, family and co-workers that they have been using a 5G network.

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11 Comments

1. PhoneCritic

Posts: 1337; Member since: Oct 05, 2011

Here we go again. Same thing with the move to 3G from 2G and from 3G to HSPA, HSPA+ to 4G LTE. These Carriers have not even touch the highest speeds of LTE ( heck 3G ) and are now pushing 5G. Please Stop!! The FCC, I hate to say it, needs to step in and Mandate that if the device has no 5G modem and the Carriers tower has no 5G equipment then no 5G designation. And if the Carrier promotes 5G with no equipment and verification then they are liable for deceptive practices and must pay a fine.

2. Jrod99

Posts: 674; Member since: Jan 15, 2016

Here we go again with this crap.

3. bucknassty

Posts: 1252; Member since: Mar 24, 2017

ATT needs to shove it

4. Dadler22

Posts: 194; Member since: Dec 11, 2008

AT&T is constantly doing this crap, their data network is not to shabby in CO, but the voice network is pathetic (I know who still uses that? I do for work.). To make matters worse they have terrible customer service and have since ruined DirecTV since they took that over too. I'm really not surpised they are lying about this too, as the article states, they did the same crap moving to 4G

9. sissy246

Posts: 6884; Member since: Mar 04, 2015

Agree on ruining DirecTV but, i have never had bad customer service and i have been with them every since they took over cingular.

5. emvxl

Posts: 139; Member since: Sep 29, 2009

Talk about AT&T stooping down that low - even VZW and TMob are against it.

6. AdrianUniq

Posts: 26; Member since: Dec 08, 2013

5G is extremely dangerous for our health & lots of people fight to stop it! Look up 5g hearings on YouTube!

7. baldilocks

Posts: 1422; Member since: Dec 14, 2008

BS really.

8. GoTstan

Posts: 386; Member since: Jul 25, 2015

Yep, it is. That's what I've been hearing

10. tedkord

Posts: 17038; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

Verizon are hypocrites. They pushed to have the definition of 4g changed so their early LTE devices could be called 4g. They weren't even close to the speed.

11. andynaija

Posts: 1241; Member since: Sep 08, 2012

Verizon LTE is actually 4G. What AT&T is doing is calling LTE 5G, which is wrong because it is NOT.

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