AT&T's 5G E service is actually slower than its rivals' enhanced 4G 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.
Written by Natalie Gagliordi, Contributor

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.

Also: AT&T's fake 5G E is slower than Verizon's and T-Mobile's 4GWhat is 5G? Everything you need to know about the new wireless revolution

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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