AT&T Mobile Chief Glen Lurie Passes Out Chill Pills Over Verizon 5G Wireless Hype

The U.S. wireless market is incredibly competitive; or at least it has been in recent years with companies like T-Mobile looking to “cause trouble” for the big guys in an effort to win over customers. Verizon Wireless, America’s largest wireless carrier, looked to assert its dominance earlier this month with the announcement that it will begin trials of next generation 5G technology in 2016 and begin commercial deployments the following year.

Verizon promises that 5G will provide roughly 50 times greater bandwidth than existing 4G LTE connections, while at the same time delivering much lower latencies. However, second place wireless carrier AT&T is looking to throw some cold water on Verizon’s 5G hype.

att logo

"We're not at a point to be making promises or commitments to customers as to what 5G is," said AT&T Mobility CEO Glenn Lurie. "We as an industry have been really good at overpromising and underdelivering when it comes to new technology."

"Let's make sure that before we start hyping what it's going to be, that those standards are agreed to," Lurie continued.

You won’t hear any arguments from us on the “overpromising” and “underdelivering” comments — what Lurie says makes a lot of sense. However, you also can’t really fault Verizon for at least giving folks an update on how things are progressing with next generation wireless technology. And this also seems like a bit of sour grapes on AT&T’s part, as it has been left in this position before with the rollout of LTE across the U.S. Verizon jumpstarted its 4G LTE efforts with trials beginning in 2008, but AT&T once again showed caution and dragged its feet before fully committing to the standard (while at the same time pushing HSPA+).

Despite AT&T’s apprehension, at least we’re having a discussion about the 5G and what benefits it can bring not only to consumers, but also to business that are looking to make advancements in the Internet of Things (IoT) era. And when AT&T is finally ready to announce its intentions for 5G, we’re almost certain that it will be just as elated to share its news with the world as Verizon is today.