AT&T, Verizon showcase 5G future at CES


T-Mobile is hoping to merge with rival Sprint, arguing the deal will accelerate development of 5G in the US.

AT&T announced in December that it would be "the first and only company in the offer a mobile 5G device over a commercial, standards-based mobile 5G network" in 12 American cities. In reality, AT&T hasn't really deployed a 5G network yet - it's just renaming LTE Advanced and LTE Advanced Pro to 5GE. Meaning you got 5G service in your home, but as soon as you got into your auto, you were back on 4G LTE. Therefore, many cell towers need to be built to render true 5G mobile service.

Earlier this week AT&T was widely mocked for issuing a software update to some Android phones so they would display a "5GE" icon when connected to an advanced LTE network.

The argument of what can be called something 5G-related will mutate again as T-Mobile and Sprint enter the 5G game. It stands for "5G Evolution", which still does not make clear that the connection is not the latest generation.

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All four major wireless carriers in the US are gearing up to launch the first nationwide 5G network, but phones capable of connecting to 5G won't be available for another few months. Other carriers have, unsurprisingly, called foul over AT&T's misleading marketing (which may actually have to do with the fact that it had blindsided them). As noted by MWL, T-Mobile used its main corporate Twitter account to poke fun at AT&T: "Didn't realise it was this easy, brb updating", the operator wrote, with a video of someone taping a 9G sticker onto a smartphone. Carriers and chip manufacturers hope to bring the standard into mainstream soon, and while the progress is steadfast, 5G remain far from official.

Now, Igal Elbaz, AT&T's senior vice president for wireless technology, has defended the move in an interview with Tom's Guide. But the mobile carrier AT&T is using the definitive 4G technology to improve the speed of these smartphones.

T-Mobile said as part of its preliminary fourth-quarter and full-year earnings announce today that the 7 million customers it added in 2018 marks the fifth straight year the company has added more than 5 million customers during the course of a year.

Meanwhile, Verizon CEO Hans Vestberg delivered a keynote address that highlighted how companies like Disney and The New York Times are using high-speed 5G technologies, according to an announcement.