Despite all the ridicule and negative press AT&T received for deceiving customers with its "5G Evolution" service, the mobile carrier has stood its ground. However, even with the upgraded performance afforded by 5G E, AT&T didn't provide any benefits over competitors' 4G. That's actually slower than the speeds of 5GE-capable phones on Verizon and T-Mobile, which had respective download averages of 29.9 Mbps and 29.4 Mbps, respectively, according to OpenSignal.
What OpenSignal found, specifically, is that yes - if you have an AT&T device that shows a 5G E signal, that device is significantly faster than a device that doesn't show a 5G E signal.
Such data now comes from an OpenSignal report that is scheduled to go live at this link today at 9am ET.More news: VCU out of NCAA Tournament after falling to UCF 73-58
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AT&T's "5G E" network was tested against the LTE networks from other carriers by Open Signal, and AT&T's network performed about the same. Turns out, while LTE Advanced Pro - the name by which the "5G E" technologies are more commonly known by - can be fast, that's not necessarily on AT&T's network.
However, AT&T disagrees and says without "verifying the capable devices were tested in a 5G Evolution coverage area" that the data "does not accurately represent the 5G Evolution user experience". "Perhaps carriers should show a different icon for smartphone users when experiencing the latest 4G technologies like LTE Advanced Pro?" the firm noted. You can see how misleading this can be for uninformed customers, but AT&T has ignored this and are even showing the 5G E logo in the status bar with the Android Pie updates to Samsung devices. This confirms what we all believe: 5G E is nothing special. Instead, the results showed higher average speeds for Verizon and T-Mobile. Similarly, AT&T's speeds on regular 4G came in below T-Mobile and Verizon but ahead of Sprint. Deployment of LTE-Advanced technology has created "a much faster experience than the initial version of 4G that was launched back in 2009-2011" but no real advantage for AT&T over its top rivals.
Wrong methodology or not, OpenSignal hones a point that everyone should be aware of: 5G E is not 5G. AT&T, on the other hand, saw an opportunity to gain market share by lying about its network and publicly doubled down on the strategy, praising itself for breaking "our industry's narrative".