Archive for the ‘5G’ Category

Verizon refuses to admit that its “first to 5G” commercials are misleading

March 26th, 2019
A giant Verizon 5G logo in an expo hall.

Enlarge (credit: Verizon)

The advertising industry's self-regulatory division has urged Verizon to stop claiming that it has America's first 5G network, but Verizon claims that its "first to 5G" commercials are not misleading and is appealing the decision.

The National Advertising Division (NAD), an investigative unit managed by the Council of Better Business Bureaus, announced its recommendation to Verizon last week. The NAD investigated after a challenge lodged by AT&T, which has been misleading customers itself by renaming large portions of its 4G network to "5G E." But AT&T's challenge of Verizon's 5G ads was "the first case involving advertising for 5G" to come before the self-regulatory body, the NAD said.

Specifically, AT&T challenged three Verizon commercials that included claims that Verizon is "first to 5G" and that it has launched America's "only 5G ultra wideband network." While "ultra wideband" does refer to real radio technology, it's more of a marketing term when Verizon uses it in the context of 5G. Verizon doesn't even always use that qualifier to describe its future 5G service—at one point, this commercial says Verizon is "building America's first 5G network" without the ultra wideband language.

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Posted in 5G, 5g e, AT&T, Biz & IT, verizon | Comments (0)

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

March 22nd, 2019
Screenshot from an AT&T commercial showing text that reads,

Enlarge / Screenshot from an AT&T commercial. (credit: AT&T)

AT&T's "5G E" service is slightly slower than Verizon's and T-Mobile's advanced 4G LTE networks, a study by OpenSignal has found.

As Ars readers know, AT&T renamed a large portion of its 4G network, calling it "5G E," for "5G Evolution." If you see a 5G E indicator on an AT&T phone, that means you're connected to a portion of AT&T's 4G LTE network that supports standard LTE-Advanced features such as 256 QAM, 4x4 MIMO, and three-way carrier aggregation. All four major carriers have rolled out LTE-Advanced. But while Verizon, Sprint, and T-Mobile accurately call it 4G, AT&T calls it 5G E.

Sprint sued AT&T, alleging that AT&T is gaining an unfair advantage by making false and misleading claims to consumers.

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Posted in 4G, 5G, 5g e, AT&T, Biz & IT, LTE, lte-advanced, Policy, Sprint, t-mobile, verizon | Comments (0)

T-Mobile’s $50 home Internet service has no data cap, but plenty of limits

March 21st, 2019
A T-Mobile logo on the window of a retail store.

Enlarge (credit: Getty Images | Bloomberg)

T-Mobile today said it is starting "an invitation-only pilot for in-home Internet service on LTE" and will connect up to 50,000 homes this year in rural and underserved parts of the country. It will cost $50 a month.

T-Mobile CEO John Legere said his company plans to "take the fight to Big Cable on behalf of consumers and offer real choice, competition and savings to Americans nationwide.”

Invitations for the home service will go out this week by email and US mail to current T-Mobile wireless customers in "select areas," which T-Mobile did not identify in its announcement.

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Posted in 5G, Biz & IT, LTE, merger, Sprint, t-mobile | Comments (0)

Yes, 5G will cost you more—Verizon plans $10 add-on charge for 5G access

March 13th, 2019
A giant Verizon 5G logo in an expo hall.

Enlarge (credit: Verizon)

Verizon will launch its 5G mobile service in April, but it will only be available in two cities at first, and customers will have to pay an extra $10 a month to access it.

One bit of good news is that Verizon won't apply throttling (or "de-prioritization") to the 5G service, but that may change later on, and slowdowns will continue to apply to Verizon's existing 4G service.

Verizon today announced that its 5G network will go live on April 11 in "select areas of" Chicago and Minneapolis and eventually hit "more than 30" US cities in 2019. To use the 5G service at launch, you'll have to pay $50 for "the Verizon-exclusive 5G Moto Mod," which can be attached to a Motorola Moto Z3, a phone that Verizon sells for $480.

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Sprint warns customers: Don’t be fooled by AT&T’s “fake 5G”

March 11th, 2019
Screenshot from an AT&T commercial showing text that reads,

Enlarge / Screenshot from an AT&T commercial. (credit: AT&T)

Sprint is warning customers not to be fooled by AT&T's "fake 5G" claims.

One month after suing AT&T, Sprint took out a full-page ad in the Sunday New York Times to spread the word that AT&T's "5G E" is really just 4G. The ad takes the form of an open letter and begins:

Dear wireless consumers,

While Sprint is working hard to deliver mobile 5G and the first 5G smartphone in the US, AT&T is hard at work trying to convince you that they already won the race to 5G with something they call "5G Evolution." That is simply untrue.

Don't be fooled. 5G Evolution isn't new or true 5G. It is fake 5G. They would love for you to believe they are different... better. The truth is AT&T is simply offering customers a nationwide 4G LTE network just like Sprint and all the other major wireless carriers. It's not 5G.

We filed a lawsuit against AT&T demanding that they immediately end their false and deceptive marketing campaign.

AT&T seems to be delighted by the depth and breadth of their deception. AT&T admitted that the company's 5G E advertising is strictly a narrative to outline how they want the world to work—not a reflection of today's reality.

Sprint's open letter repeated its own misleading claim that it needs to merge with T-Mobile in order to deliver a robust nationwide 5G network. Still, Sprint said it plans to offer "real mobile 5G in nine major metro areas" by this summer, regardless of whether the merger is approved.

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Posted in 5G, 5g e, 5g evolution, AT&T, Biz & IT, Sprint | Comments (0)

Trump demands quick rollout of “6G” wireless tech, which doesn’t exist

February 21st, 2019
President Donald Trump speaking into a telephone.

Enlarge / “Hello, operator? Hi, this is the President. I need the best phone you can find. Not 5G, this is America. Let's go with 6G. I want all the Gs, the best Gs.” (credit: Getty Images | Washington Post)

US President Donald Trump today urged wireless carriers to deploy 5G and "6G" networks "as soon as possible," seemingly ignoring the small problem that 6G technology doesn't exist yet.

"I want 5G, and even 6G, technology in the United States as soon as possible," Trump wrote on Twitter this morning. "It is far more powerful, faster, and smarter than the current standard. American companies must step up their efforts, or get left behind."

In a second tweet, Trump said that 5G and 6G are "so obviously the future."

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Posted in 5G, 6g, Policy, Trump | Comments (0)

AT&T’s misleading “5G E” indicator comes to 4G iPhones in iOS 12.2 beta

February 5th, 2019
A smartphone with AT&T's

Enlarge / A smartphone with AT&T's "5G E" network indicator. (credit: AT&T)

AT&T's misleading "5G E" network indicator for 4G phones, which was rolled out to some Android smartphones last month, has now come to iPhones in a beta version of iOS 12.2.

AT&T customers who installed the second beta of iOS 12.2 "are noticing their iPhones displaying a '5G E' connection to AT&T's network," MacRumors reported yesterday. 9to5Mac and other news sites provided details on the change, and people on Twitter posted screenshots of the 5G E indicator.

Of course, there is no 5G iPhone yet, and AT&T does not offer 5G mobile service for smartphones. AT&T's 5G E stands for 5G Evolution, but it's actually 4G LTE, albeit with advanced LTE features 256 QAM, 4x4 MIMO, and three-way carrier aggregation.

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Posted in 5G, 5g e, apple, AT&T, Biz & IT, iphone | Comments (0)

AT&T defends misleading “5G” network icons on 4G phones

January 10th, 2019
A smartphone with AT&T's

Enlarge / A smartphone with AT&T's "5G E" network indicator. (credit: AT&T)

An AT&T executive defended the company's rebranding of 4G phones as "5G E," saying that the name change has helped AT&T "br[eak] our industry's narrative" and get inside of its "competitors' heads."

Speaking at CES yesterday, AT&T Communications CEO John Donovan said AT&T is changing the 4G network indicator on smartphones to 5G E because "we felt like we had to give [customers] an indicator that said your speed now is twice what it was with traditional 4G LTE."

AT&T's 5G E stands for 5G Evolution, but it's just 4G LTE. AT&T says that 5G E is different from its normal 4G network because it uses 256 QAM, 4x4 MIMO, and three-way carrier aggregation. But those technologies are part of the years-old LTE-Advanced standard, and are already used by Verizon, T-Mobile, and Sprint on their 4G networks.

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Posted in 5G, 5g evolution, AT&T, Biz & IT | Comments (0)

A sampling of networking gear from CES: TP-Link goes Wi-Fi 6, D-Link goes 5G

January 10th, 2019
The Deco X10.

Enlarge / TP-Link's Deco X10 Wi-Fi 6 mesh product. (credit: TP-Link)

The halls of CES might be filled with voice assistants and OLED televisions, but few things make a bigger impact on your day-to-day experience with technology than your networking solution. And there were a bunch of announcements on that front this year.

5GHz routers, smart home, and mesh Wi-Fi systems are where most of the movement is, and many companies like D-Link and TP-Link are offering similar options—but of course, each has its own unique value propositions.

To get a sense of the landscape for home and office networking products (the consumer ones, mind you), let's look at what those two companies showed at CES this year.

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Posted in 5G, antivirus, CES, d-link, ethernet, networking, routers, smart home, Tech, TP-Link, WiFi | Comments (0)

Verizon’s 5G promise: It won’t falsely claim 4G phones are really 5G

January 8th, 2019
A Verizon logo.

Enlarge (credit: Getty Images | Scott Olson)

While AT&T pretends to kick off the 5G mobile era early by slapping a 5G network indicator on 4G phones, Verizon Wireless says it won't be doing the same.

"[W]e're calling on the broad wireless industry to commit to labeling something 5G only if new device hardware is connecting to the network using new radio technology to deliver new capabilities," Verizon CTO Kyle Malady wrote in a blog post yesterday [emphasis theirs]. "Verizon is making this commitment today: 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."

One would hope such a promise wouldn't be necessary, but what Verizon described is exactly what AT&T has already done. This past weekend, AT&T started rolling out software updates to Android phones that change the network indicator from "4G" to "5G E."

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Posted in 4G, 5G, AT&T, Biz & IT, verizon | Comments (0)