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AT&T launches a 5G Evolution network that isn't actually 5G

By William Gayde ยท 8 replies
Apr 26, 2017
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  1. 5G networks are on the way, but they won't be here until at least 2020. It seems that AT&T has jumped the gun by a few years though. They announced plans this week to begin rolling out what they are calling "5G Evolution" to about 2 dozen metro areas by the end of the year. Faster speeds and newer networks are always good, but the only problem is that AT&T's 5G Evolution network isn't actually 5G. Evolution is the key word here since this is just a stepping stone towards future real 5G deployments.

    What AT&T has actually done is just re-brand their existing 4G network with some minor optimizations and called it 5G Evolution. The roll-out will also only start in certain neighborhoods of Austin, Texas and only with Samsung Galaxy S8 devices. If you are anywhere else in the country or have any other phone, this announcement will mean nothing to you.

    So they are calling it 5G Evolution; what does that mean? It's still AT&T's normal 4G network but with some improvements to squeeze out even more performance. Features like carrier aggregation, 4X4 MIMO, and 256 QAM can all result in faster speeds, but it's no where near the speeds that real 5G will bring. AT&T claims up to two times the performance but then goes on to warn of "cautionary language" and that "actual results may differ materially" so your mileage may vary.

    Samsung Galaxy S8 phones in certain neighborhoods will definitely see an improvement in the coming months, but calling it 5G is a stretch. It's a bit like changing your desktop background and adding more RAM to Windows XP and then calling it Windows 10 Evolution.

    Permalink to story.

  2. Uncle Al

    Uncle Al TS Evangelist Posts: 5,695   +4,033

    WHAT???!!!?!?!?! AT&T lied to us ........ will miracles ever cease! LOL
    ThatBMXGamer and psycros like this.
  3. merikafyeah

    merikafyeah TS Addict Posts: 164   +116

    It's inline with tradition dontcha know? 3G that wasn't really 3G. 4G that wasn't really 4G (LTE and then LTE "Advanced" For Realzies edition). Now it's 5G's turn for its "fake" rollout.
    Phr3d, psycros and Capaill like this.
  4. Jon Tseng

    Jon Tseng TS Booster Posts: 59   +41

    Anyone remember the AT&T exclusive Moto Atrix 4G?

    Aside from the randomness of the lapdock recall it was actually HSDPA and not LTE...
    psycros likes this.
  5. p51d007

    p51d007 TS Evangelist Posts: 2,062   +1,319

    Kind of sounds like when they went from 3G to 4G. Their 4G was actually H+
    psycros likes this.
  6. Bryan1223

    Bryan1223 TS Member Posts: 61   +10

    Still better than Sprint's network connection that's WAY OVERLY priced! Lol #TeamAT&T anyone?
    "Pay 1/2 off the bill you pay for AT&T and T-Mobile, when you switch to Sprint" YEAH RIGHT!!! More like pay twice as much, even on a no-contract plan! YAY!!!! #SprintSucks
  7. Capaill

    Capaill TS Evangelist Posts: 946   +523

    Marketing decides what 4G and 5G are. Because they know better than engineers.
    psycros likes this.
  8. tonylukac

    tonylukac TS Evangelist Posts: 1,376   +72

    Went to a 3d movie the other day and they gave just sunglasses and it wasn't in 3d.
  9. Bryan1223

    Bryan1223 TS Member Posts: 61   +10

    What does that have to do with this forum? @tonylukac

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