AT&T's 5G E service is once again under fire for pretending to be actual 5G. In a new study by OpenSignal, 5G E was found to deliver speeds at or below those of enhanced 4G LTE networks.
OpenSignal found that AT&T's 5G E phones get average download speeds of 28.8 Mbps -- less than T-Mobile's 29.4 Mbps and Verizon's 29.9 Mbps. Similarly, AT&T's speeds on regular 4G came in below T-Mobile and Verizon but ahead of Sprint.
"The 5G E speeds which AT&T users experience are very much typical 4G speeds and not the step-change improvement which 5G promises," OpenSignal wrote in its report.
AT&T's 5G E brand was launched earlier this year as a way to let customers know when compatible devices entered a 5G Evolution area, which essentially provides the same speed and coverage that other carriers are calling LTE Advanced.
The 5G E branding caused an uproar among its rival carriers, with Sprint even filing a lawsuit last month claiming that it is false and misleading, and is causing Sprint to lose revenue. T-Mobile -- which plans to merge with Sprint this year -- likewise mocked AT&T's 5G E branding, while Verizon CTO Kyle Malady criticized the move.
Nonetheless, AT&T remains bullish after OpenSignal's report and says the company's methodology was flawed.
"Speed test data purporting to show the 'real-world experience of 5G Evolution' without verifying the capable devices were tested in a 5G Evolution coverage area as shown by the indicator does not accurately represent the 5G Evolution user experience," the company said in a statement.
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