OpenSignal finds rivals top AT&T 5G E speeds - Mobile World Live

OpenSignal finds rivals top AT&T 5G E speeds

22 MAR 2019

Fresh research by OpenSignal found speeds offered by AT&T’s 5G Evolution (5G E) service are comparable to, and in some cases slower than, LTE-A services offered by US rivals.

AT&T launched its 5G E branding in 2017 in what it said was an attempt to distinguish its LTE-A service, which uses technologies including 256QAM, 4×4 MIMO and carrier aggregation, from standard 4G.

However, tier-1 rivals accused the company of misleading consumers, and Sprint filed a lawsuit aiming to ban the moniker on the grounds it represents “false advertising”.

OpenSignal CEO Brendan Gill told Mobile World Live (MWL) its analysis shows customers on the AT&T 5G E service receive up to a 60 per cent boost in speeds on phones that are capable of 5G E over customers without it. However he noted “the same is true for Verizon and T-Mobile customers on the equivalent type of network(see chart, above, click to expand)In fact, Verizon and T-Mobile US’ LTE-Advanced speeds topped those offered by AT&T’s 5G E service, while Sprint brought up the rear.

Gill concluded “it’s not unreasonable” to label a network service differently if it offers a meaningful boost over another, but “just not with a name that confuses customers.”

OpenSignal’s network tests did not differentiate between instances when the 5G E icon was shown on a device and when it was not because “just as 5G E is only available some of the time, so is the equivalent LTE-Advanced Pro technologies on the other three networks”, it explained in a blog post.

In a statement to MWL, AT&T argued this methodology was “flawed”, adding the results do “not accurately represent the 5G Evolution user experience”.

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Diana Goovaerts

Diana joins Mobile World Live as its new US Editor, reporting on infrastructure and spectrum rollouts, regulatory issues, and other carrier news from the US market. Diana comes to GSMA from her former role as Editor of Wireless Week and...

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