AT&T customers might have noticed a new symbol appearing in the top corner of their devices and for those who aren’t paying attention, they might be duped into thinking the telco is offering 5G connectivity.
AT&T has now switched on its ‘5G Evolution’ service meaning a ‘5Ge’ symbol will appear in the corner of Samsung Galaxy S8 Active, LG V30, and LG V40 devices. For everyone else in the world, ‘5G Evolution’ is 4G LTE-Advanced, though AT&T feels the need to intentionally try to mislead customers, fooling them into believing they are receiving 5G data services.
Why AT&T feels it is appropriate to deceive its customers so blatantly is beyond us.
#PSA: Some @ATT customers using select devices are now seeing “5Ge” on the menu bar, in replacement of the “4G LTE” icon. To clear things up, it should be known that 5Ge stands for 5G Evolution. Essentially, what this means is, 4G LTE Advanced featured have been activated. (1/3)
— Bentley Beard (@Bentley_Beard) January 6, 2019
AT&T might well be one of the first to offer 5G services through a portable hotspot device, albeit in a very limited area, but compatible smartphones are still months away. There will of course be various different leaks and promotions over the next couple of weeks leading up to MWC, but the first devices able to make use of the 5G euphoria will not be available until Spring at the very earliest.
With this in mind, AT&T is simply taking advantage of customers who do not know any better.
While this might seem like an underhanded and putrid act from the telco, it’s all about the marketing war which is about to kick off in the US. Verizon can claim to have broken its 5G duck first with the launch of a fixed-wireless access solution, but AT&T has the bragging rights for the first 5G mobile device. This ‘5G Evolution’ deception from AT&T is just another move in the battle for the consumer’s attention.
What is worth noting is that the portion of AT&T’s network offering ‘5Ge’ or LTE-A to call it by its proper name, has received a speed boost. The telco claims speeds of 400 Mbps could be achieved with the connection, though who knows whether this is actually true. AT&T isn’t making itself out to be the most honest brand around here, and perhaps we should start questions the legitimacy of any claim the telco makes.
The long and short of it is AT&T is intentionally, directly and disgustingly misleading its customers, a move that could well blow back in its face.