AT&T Criticized for Displaying 5G Logo on iPhones for 4G LTE Service

By Paul Riegler on 26 March 2019
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iPhones on T-Mobile continue to correctly display “LTE”

Apple iPhone users on the AT&T network will see a “5G E” indicator after downloading iOS 12.4, a move for which the mobile operator is being criticized. Since Apple iPhones do not support 5G yet, the indicator is the only change to the service and iPhones with the 5G E logo are limited to 4G LTE networks.

The change comes after AT&T renamed faster portions of its 4G LTE network “5G E.”

The company defended the move, saying the indicator “clearly defining it as an evolutionary step to standards-based 5G,” which it explained is twice as fast as standard 4G LTE.

The issue is that the AT&T service is still 4G LTE, albeit a faster version, and that there are no 5G-enabled mobile phones or tablets currently available for sale.

Apple iPhones on the T-Mobile and Sprint networks continue to display “LTE” when connected to 4G LTE networks of any kind.

In February, Sprint filed a lawsuit against AT&T when the 5G E logo began to appear on some Android phones. The suit alleges that AT&T’s advertising campaign violated laws that prohibit false advertising and deceptive acts and practices. Verizon has dismissed the 5G indicator as a marketing term although it has been criticized for its marketing campaign saying it is “building America’s first 5G network” although it has not yet launched any mobile 5G service.

Recent third-party tests have found that AT&T’s 5G E network was slower than Verizon and T-Mobile’s 4G LTE service.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

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