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AT&T rebrands some LTE as “5G Evolution” in network icon on its phones

By Jules Wang December 21, 2018, 5:00 pm

Ever since AT&T started branding its fully-optimized 4G LTE services as “5G Evolution,” the carrier hasn’t done anything meaningful with the name, leaving it fallow and sounding hollow.

But soon, if you’re at a tower with all of the technologies 5G Evolution encompasses — 4×4 MIMO, 256-QAM, Licensed Assisted Access and more technologies comprising what is more widely known as LTE-Advanced — you may have this branding shoved in your face.

AT&T has confirmed to FierceWireless that customers who will be using a selection of 2019 phones will see “5G E” instead of “LTE” in their status bar. 5G Evolution will be in at least 400 markets by the end of the year.

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AT&T has seemingly already muddied the marketing waters as it will be referring to its real 5G network on speedy, short-range millimeter wave spectrum as “5G+.” We haven’t heard plans as to how it will classify its low- and mid-band 5G spectrum.

It’s worth pointing out that T-Mobile has referred to its optimized HSPA+ technology, a 3G standard, as “4G” in its phones’ indicators. Sprint, as a result of its merger with Nextel, was obligated to install a 4G solution and settled with WiMAX in 2008. Verizon is calling its millimeter wave service “5G Ultra Wide Band.”

AT&T launched its 5G service in 12 cities today.

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