Out of the four major wireless carriers in the United States, it is fair to say that T-Mobile
is the snarkiest, with social media often serving as a podium for company CEO John Legere's outspoken antics. It is sometimes funny and other times over the top. In a recent Twitter post, however, T-Mobile throws shade at AT&T
over its "5G E" marketing, and it's both funny and
over the top.
What is ultimately at issue here is that 5G E, or 5G Evolution
, is not true 5G
. What AT&T refers to as such is basically 4G LTE with some speed optimizations, otherwise known as LTE Advanced and LTE Advanced Pro. It's indeed faster than regular 4G LTE, but nowhere near the speeds that real 5G will eventually deliver.
Nevertheless, AT&T is forging ahead with its 5G E branding, and has even begun slapping a 5G E logo
on select smartphones, including Samsung's Galaxy S8 Active
and LG's V30
. The logo shows up in place of LTE when those phones connect to parts of AT&T's network that have been optimized for faster speeds.
T-Mobile has criticized AT&T for what it has labeled as "fake 5G" in the past, and in a recent Twitter post, the wireless carrier posted a video clip that shows a person putting a 9G sticker on top of the LTE logo on their smartphone. It's obviously ridiculous, and that's precisely the point.
"Didn't realize it was this easy, brb updating," the accompanying text reads.
This is far from the first time that T-Mobile and its CEO John Legere have called out the competition over 5G marketing claims. Just last year, Legere posted a video announcing T-Mobile's own 5G plans, while offering up some choice words for AT&T's 5G Evolution roll out.
"AT&T announced eight ‘5G Evolution’ cities that will get, at some point this year, what are basically LTE technologies that we launched in 2016," Legere said. "Media called it ‘bulls**t’ and ‘fake’ and ‘ruining 5G’. For once, I didn’t have to say it, and I agree wholeheartedly, especially with the bulls**t part."
For its part, T-Mobile is pushing ahead with various 5G trials, and just yesterday the company announced
it made the first 5G data call and video call on 600MHz, both on a live network. Conducted with Intel and Ericsson, the calls were a continuation of tests in the 600MHz spectrum
that began late last year.
What's interesting about the 600MHz spectrum is that the low-band frequency can extend signals much farther than mid-band and millimeter wave solutions, both of which T-Mobile is also incorporating into its nationwide 5G rollout. However, it won't be as fast. We don't know what speeds to expect on 600MHz, because T-Mobile conveniently left that out of its own announcement yesterday.