iPhone isn’t immune from misleading AT&T 5GE logo

Chris Burns - Feb 4, 2019, 4:30 pm CDT
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iPhone isn’t immune from misleading AT&T 5GE logo

Today the folks at AT&T revealed a new update for iPhones in the form of the latest update to iOS. This device update came to those users that opted to allow the download – if they were part of the Beta program, that is to say. The iOS 12.2 beta was released to iPhones inside the United States earlier this afternoon.

This new icon for the iPhone – of several sorts – looks like it suggests the phone is getting 5G data. Super fast and super advanced 5G network speeds, is what it looks like. This icon is 5GE. This does not mean the iPhone is getting data faster, it just means that AT&T rebranded their 4G network – to a degree.

In reality, no currently-released iPhone has the ability to run 5G data – and 5GE doesn’t really mean a whole lot. In reality, the 5GE icon doesn’t change the data speeds the iPhone is able to receive. According to AT&T, the following is true.

“5G Evolution is our first step on the road to 5G. Our improvements are already enabling faster speeds on our existing LTE network,” wrote AT&T about 5GE earlier this year. AT&T says users will seem to get faster data “With enhancements like carrier aggregation to add more ‘lanes’ to the highway that data travels on. 4×4 MIMO to double the number of antennas that can send data back and forth. And 256 QAM to make data transmission more efficient.”

Further evidence that 5GE isn’t really anything all that advanced comes from AT&T’s own list of “5GE capable phones.” This list includes devices like the Galaxy S8, iPhone 8, and LG V30. Have a peek at this earlier report on the icons to learn more about what 5GE is – and what it isn’t.

If you take a peek at the report we’ve got called 5G is coming: what you need to know, you’ll find that actual AT&T rollout of actual (non “E”) 5G will be “reaching at least 19 cities in early 2019.” But not THIS early.

The fastest 4G LTE speeds in the world today are around 2 Gbps. Real-deal 5G connectivity can reach a theoretical maximum speed of 20 Gbps. It’s a whole different monster.


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