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AT&T’s “5G E” is actually slower than Verizon and T-Mobile 4G, study finds

Screenshot from an AT&T commercial showing text that reads,
Amplify / Screenshot from an AT&T industrial.

AT&T’s “5G E” carrier is quite slower than Verizon’s and T-Cell’s stepped forward 4G LTE networks, a find out about through OpenSignal has discovered.

As Ars readers know, AT&T renamed a big portion of its 4G community, calling it “5G E,” for “5G Evolution.” Should you see a 5G E indicator on an AT&T telephone, that suggests you are hooked up to a portion of AT&T’s 4G LTE community that helps same old LTE-Complex options akin to 256 QAM, 4×4 MIMO, and three-way provider aggregation. All 4 primary carriers have rolled out LTE-Complex. However whilst Verizon, Dash, and T-Cell correctly name it 4G, AT&T calls it 5G E.

Dash sued AT&T, alleging that AT&T is gaining an unfair benefit through making false and deceptive claims to shoppers.

AT&T’s community identify exchange would possibly neatly trick shoppers into pondering they are getting higher carrier than a 4G operator, however they are not. We already knew that 5G E has no technological benefit over LTE-Complex, as a result of they’re the similar factor with other names. However exact pace exams may just strengthen that time.

Such knowledge now comes from an OpenSignal record this is scheduled to move are living at this hyperlink as of late at 9am ET. After evaluating user-initiated pace exams from greater than 1 million units, OpenSignal discovered that AT&T’s “5G E” telephones get reasonable speeds of 28.8Mbps, which is lower than T-Cell’s 29.4Mbps and Verizon’s 29.9Mbps however upper than Dash’s 20.4Mbps. The AT&T reasonable of 18.2Mbps on non-advanced LTE was once additionally quite in the back of T-Cell and Verizon however forward of Dash:

For each network, this shows the average speed of LTE-Advanced ("5G E") phones versus the average speed of other 4G phones.

For each and every community, this presentations the typical pace of LTE-Complex (“5G E”) telephones as opposed to the typical pace of alternative 4G telephones.


In different phrases, AT&T’s 5G E speeds are standard LTE-Complex speeds. This can be a genuine improve over the older parts of AT&T’s 4G community, however that is true for all 4 carriers.

“Our research presentations that AT&T consumers with 5G E of their standing bars are receiving as much as a 60 p.c spice up in speeds over AT&T consumers with out it,” OpenSignal CEO Brendan Gill mentioned in a commentary to Ars. “After all, our research additionally presentations that the similar is right for the an identical Verizon and T-Cell consumers although they do not see a ‘5G E’ label on their instrument. Final analysis, if one carrier is providing a significant spice up over any other, it most definitely will have to be classified otherwise, simply now not with a reputation that confuses consumers.”

Crowdsourced trying out

OpenSignal knowledge is in accordance with crowdsourced pace exams that may be carried out through someone the use of OpenSignal’s apps for iPhone and Android. OpenSignal instructed us as of late’s record is in accordance with exams on 1,057,522 units national, throughout all 4 carriers, between January 28 and February 26.

The exams do not routinely distinguish between LTE-Complex and common 4G LTE networks. However OpenSignal is in a position to distinguish between telephone fashions, and it when compared the telephones that AT&T says are 5G E-capable to people who don’t seem to be. The ensuing knowledge thus compares LTE-Complex telephones to non-LTE-Complex telephones, without reference to whether or not the exams had been performed in a location the place the community helps LTE-Complex options.

When contacted through Ars, AT&T argued that this limitation invalidates the consequences.

“OpenSignal’s notice finds their technique is unsuitable,” AT&T instructed Ars. “Pace-test knowledge purporting to turn the ‘real-world enjoy of 5G Evolution’ with out verifying the succesful units had been examined in a 5G Evolution protection house as proven through the indicator does now not correctly constitute the 5G Evolution consumer enjoy.”

However all 4 carriers had been measured the similar means, and the ensuing knowledge would possibly mirror the breadth of each and every provider’s LTE-Complex deployment. Carriers that experience deployed extra LTE-Complex protection throughout america would most probably get upper speed-test effects than carriers that have not upgraded their networks to the similar extent.

We do not know precisely how a lot LTE-Complex protection each and every provider has. However AT&T has time and again boasted in regards to the dimension of its 5G E/LTE-Complex footprint, pronouncing it covers greater than 400 markets throughout america. If AT&T’s 5G E was once considerably sooner or extra fashionable than different carriers’ LTE-Complex carrier, the OpenSignal exams most definitely would have discovered a large pace distinction in AT&T’s want. As a substitute, the consequences confirmed upper reasonable speeds for Verizon and T-Cell.

AT&T presented no additional remark.

The brand new effects are in line with OpenSignal’s earlier trying out. OpenSignal’s total knowledge on client 4G studies, launched in January, confirmed that AT&T lagged in the back of Verizon and T-Cell in 4G availability, video high quality, and each obtain and add speeds.

OpenSignal’s trying out does not but let us know what speeds shoppers can be expecting once they get genuine 5G. However the knowledge presentations “the level to which LTE, or 4G, networks have progressed since LTE’s authentic release,” OpenSignal wrote in as of late’s record. Deployment of LTE-Complex generation has created “a far sooner enjoy than the preliminary model of 4G that was once introduced again in 2009-2011” however no genuine benefit for AT&T over its best competitors.

Should you’ve been following the AT&T 5G E tale, the OpenSignal effects may not wonder you. But when you already know someone who is puzzled through AT&T’s deceptive advertising, now you have got some knowledge to assist transparent issues up.

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