AT&T plans to roll out nationwide mobile 5G by early 2020, CEO responds to '5G E' blowback...

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 10
As U.S. wireless carriers hurtle headlong toward a 5G future, AT&T on Wednesday revealed plans to blanket the nation with access to the super speedy protocol in early 2020 using its lower band spectrum technology.

AT&T 5G
Source: AT&T


According to AT&T, the mobile 5G rollout will be accomplished on sub-6 GHz frequencies, meaning the carrier intends to aggregate low band signals in its initial deployment. The revelation also confirms AT&T will refarm low band spectrum to facilitate the transition to 5G.

Deployment of the lower band 5G network, which AT&T is branding "5G," is expected to commence in the second half of 2019.

The nation's second-largest carrier by subscribers is in the midst of rolling out a standards-based mobile 5G network over millimeter wave spectrum that typically operates at 28 and 39 GHz. Wider 5G coverage will be reliant on lower bands farmed from existing LTE spectrum.

Branded 5G+ by AT&T, mmWave technology provides consistently high speeds and low latency, but suffers from inherent propagation issues, making it an ideal solution for dense urban areas. Customers in areas with 5G+ coverage will access the network via Netgear's Nighthawk 5G Mobile Hotspot, which sells for $499 alongside a 15GB data plan for $70 a month. AT&T is also working with Samsung to offer two 5G+ smartphone models this year.

In the interim, AT&T is building out a 5G foundation network dubbed -- confusingly -- "5G Evolution." Built on LTE technology, 5G Evolution is capped at a theoretical 400Mbps compared to gigabit speeds promised by mmWave. AT&T customers with compatible phones can access 5G Evolution in more than 400 markets.

AT&T's decision to assign the 5G Evolution label to its transition network, and subsequently update device software to display a "5G E" connection icon, has drawn condemnation from competing carriers who say the designation is a misnomer. This week, executives from Verizon and Sprint decried the move, calling it "misleading."

Responding to industry fervor, AT&T Communications CEO John Donovan on Wednesday said the hubbub around 5G Evolution "makes [him] smile," reports The Verge.

"Every company is guilty of building a narrative of how you want the world to work," Donovan said at an appearance at CES 2019. "And I love the fact that we broke our industry's narrative two days ago, and they're frustrated and gonna do what they're gonna do."

The 5G Evolution branding and accompanying 5G E icon that recently showed up on customer phones is designed to help users understand the capabilities of their current network, Donovan said. AT&T is apparently doubling down on the strategy and will roll out the 5G E change to more devices this spring.

Apple is not expected to jump on the 5G bandwagon until 2020, though the company is thought to be testing supporting chipsets for iPhone in preparation of a public debut.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 33
    MplsPMplsP Posts: 893member

    In the interim, AT&T is building out a 5G foundation network dubbed -- confusingly -- "5G Evolution." Built on LTE technology, 5G Evolution is capped at a theoretical 400Mbps compared to gigabit speeds promised by mmWave. AT&T customers with compatible phones can access 5G Evolution in more than 400 markets.

    Since 4G peaks out at 1 Gbps, how is "5G E" any improvement?
    sdw2001georgie01airnerdnetmagewatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 33
    When will Americans wake up to the fact we pay the most (of most industrialized countries) for one of the slowest cell connectivity and have the slowest speeds for mobile/cable/internet. Ugh!

    All b/c of a bought and paid for congress (basically concierges for big business) and shareholder rights override everyone else's rights! Ugh!

    The good news is in 1989 there were 29 women in Congress. 13 Republicans and 16 Dems. In 2019 there're 120 women in Congress. And this is the shocker...still 13 female Republicans and 107 Dems.

    Should tell you something. No? :)
    edited January 9 derekcurrie
  • Reply 3 of 33
    anomeanome Posts: 1,196member

    Got an e-mail earlier saying Telstra would have 5G handsets (and possibly even a 5G network to go with them) before any other carrier in Australia. Apparently the CEO is at CES and has tied up some exclusivity deals with manufacturers. They haven't said which manufacturers, either.

    I wouldn't be surprised if it's similar to the 5G Evolution thing, where it's not true 5G yet, but gets them the right to claim "First!"

    derekcurriewatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 33
    coolfactorcoolfactor Posts: 1,345member
    Customers in areas with 5G+ coverage will access the network via Netgear's Nighthawk 5G Mobile Hotspot, which sells for $499 alongside a 15GB data plan for $70 a month.

    Ouch, only 15GB for $70? People are going to blow through that in no time using services like Netflix.

    Here in Canada, I just signed up for 50GB/month home LTE solution for $60/month, and no up-front cost except taxes for the device. I thought that was expensive, but it's still better than competitor options. Unfortunately, the device that TELUS is giving out is the Huawei SmartHub. I actually cancelled my plan when I found out it was that brand, but they delivered the unit anyway, so I decided to give it a shot. So far, so good. Much better than the slow ADSL we have in this old apartment building.
    edited January 9 GeorgeBMacwatto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 33
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 4,518member
    I don’t understand this. 

    The US and Canada have service providers coming out of their ears, and yet you all seem to be paying through the nose for tiny allowances. 


    elijahgairnerdGeorgeBMacdavgregwatto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 33
    fallenjtfallenjt Posts: 3,947member
    I don’t give the fuck about 5G. Maxing out 4G LTE like close to 150Mbps would make me happy.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 33
    AppleInsider said:Customers in areas with 5G+ coverage will access the network via Netgear's Nighthawk 5G Mobile Hotspot, which sells for $499 alongside a 15GB data plan for $70 a month.

    So you gotta drag another device along to use the new service, and you get the privilege of paying for that device, and 15GB of data service sold at a price equal to T-Mobile's UNLIMITED talk/text/4G data service? Wow, what a great deal.

    I'd just ignore this whole thing until the actual handsets start shipping myself.
    airnerdwatto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 33
    wocowboywocowboy Posts: 1unconfirmed, member
    I don't believe this for a minute. AT&T doesn't even have a true nationwide LTE network yet today, so how are we supposed to believe that in just over a year their entire network will be 5G?
    eliangonzalairnerdwatto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 33
    >"Every company is guilty of building a narrative of how you want the world to work," Donovan said...

    That would include snowing consumers into thinking the AT&T network is capable of what it pretends to be delivering. A relative years ago who worked at an Apple Store with business customers (when AT&T was the sole carrier of the iPhone) pointedly told me that AT&T would **never** be able to handle the traffic for what it promised because it was far too behind. He also said that they would merely claim something to be new and to be on top of that so as to appear ahead of the pack.

    How prescient.

    I do not doubt that America's fleecing (excuse me, "wireless") service companies all do the same, but the Donovan quite is particuarly irritating. 
    GeorgeBMacwatto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 33
    sdw2001sdw2001 Posts: 16,915member
    When will Americans wake up to the fact we pay the most (of most industrialized countries) for one of the slowest cell connectivity and have the slowest speeds for mobile/cable/internet. Ugh!

    All b/c of a bought and paid for congress (basically concierges for big business) and shareholder rights override everyone else's rights! Ugh!

    The good news is in 1989 there were 29 women in Congress. 13 Republicans and 16 Dems. In 2019 there're 120 women in Congress. And this is the shocker...still 13 female Republicans and 107 Dems.

    Should tell you something. No? :)

    How do I put this....everything you wrote regarding partisan politics is complete nonsense.  Every word.  

    Now, with respect to paying more for less:  You do have a point there.  But it's precisely because of government intervention and regulation, except in the space that matters most:  Anti-trust.  
    georgie01airnerdnetmage
  • Reply 11 of 33
    sdw2001sdw2001 Posts: 16,915member
    He's going to regret these statements when he loses a few lawsuits and pays fines.  Also what an ass.  
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 33
    jcs2305jcs2305 Posts: 581member
    When will Americans wake up to the fact we pay the most (of most industrialized countries) for one of the slowest cell connectivity and have the slowest speeds for mobile/cable/internet. Ugh!

    All b/c of a bought and paid for congress (basically concierges for big business) and shareholder rights override everyone else's rights! Ugh!

    The good news is in 1989 there were 29 women in Congress. 13 Republicans and 16 Dems. In 2019 there're 120 women in Congress. And this is the shocker...still 13 female Republicans and 107 Dems.

    Should tell you something. No? :)
    I think plenty of Americans are fully aware of the price and speed differences here compared to other parts of the world?  How exactly is a bought and paid for congress and the # of women in congress relevant to our behind the rest of the world cell service?

    If we fill congress with women they will concentrate on improving private company cell service?  Please elaborate...

    GeorgeBMac
  • Reply 13 of 33
    jcs2305jcs2305 Posts: 581member
    seafox said:
    AppleInsider said:Customers in areas with 5G+ coverage will access the network via Netgear's Nighthawk 5G Mobile Hotspot, which sells for $499 alongside a 15GB data plan for $70 a month.

    So you gotta drag another device along to use the new service, and you get the privilege of paying for that device, and 15GB of data service sold at a price equal to T-Mobile's UNLIMITED talk/text/4G data service? Wow, what a great deal.

    I'd just ignore this whole thing until the actual handsets start shipping myself.
    This kind of price couging is exactly why I left AT&T after many years.. give me a break.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 33

    The good news is in 1989 there were 29 women in Congress. 13 Republicans and 16 Dems. In 2019 there're 120 women in Congress. And this is the shocker...still 13 female Republicans and 107 Dems.

    Should tell you something. No? :)
    The idea that a comparative ‘representation’ of both sexes in any particular area is a sign of things working correctly is a lie. Keep in mind that a business compromised of all or mostly men would be shamed, but a business compromised of all or mostly women would be (and is) celebrated—THAT should tell you something. Very few people are actually interested in genuine equally. ‘Equality’ in our culture means little more than giving anyone who claims to be oppressed an advantage. The actual unbiased research into oppressed groups, such as women, paints a very different picture than the feminist narrative.
    sdw2001
  • Reply 15 of 33
    If they are refarming some existing LTE spectrum, does this mean that my new iPhone XS using 4G LTE will be dumbed down to 4G (slower) or 3G (10 times slower) 4 years from now if I’m still using it or have passed it down to one of my kids?   This might be a boon for Apple and others who didn’t yet offer the 5G chipset - forcing an upgrade cycle in a few years, but a bust for consumers. 

    Differences between 4G and 4G LTE listed here: https://www.tccrocks.com/blog/what-is-difference-between-4g-and-4g-lte/


  • Reply 16 of 33
    wood1208wood1208 Posts: 1,703member
    5G haven't started yet and NCTA talking about 10G roll out. But, first give me consistent LTE speed and coverage and than talk to me about 5G. Don't show me 5G fancy advertisement but show me consistent 5G coverage in area where I live and work and than I will consider paying for 5G device. I don't see that happening until 2021.

    watto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 33
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 3,409member
    Rayz2016 said:
    I don’t understand this. 

    The US and Canada have service providers coming out of their ears, and yet you all seem to be paying through the nose for tiny allowances. 


    Originally, cable was regulated like utilities -- so you only had one company stringing cable.  Now you have several -- which doubles and triples the cost without adding any speed or service.

    Cellular is working the same way today.
    We have 3/4 different carriers all rolling out 5G -- which means the total cost is 3-4 times higher than it should be.  But, since they are simply competing against each other in a highly colluded market, there is little chance for significant service improvements.

    It's a broken model sold on a blind faith that unregulated capitalism is always the only workable solution.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 18 of 33
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 3,409member
    wocowboy said:
    I don't believe this for a minute. AT&T doesn't even have a true nationwide LTE network yet today, so how are we supposed to believe that in just over a year their entire network will be 5G?
    It won't be:   At least for some portion, they're simply rebranding:   They will rename LTE as 5G-E.  Unregulated capitalism at its finest!
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 19 of 33
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 3,409member
    sdw2001 said:
    When will Americans wake up to the fact we pay the most (of most industrialized countries) for one of the slowest cell connectivity and have the slowest speeds for mobile/cable/internet. Ugh!

    All b/c of a bought and paid for congress (basically concierges for big business) and shareholder rights override everyone else's rights! Ugh!

    The good news is in 1989 there were 29 women in Congress. 13 Republicans and 16 Dems. In 2019 there're 120 women in Congress. And this is the shocker...still 13 female Republicans and 107 Dems.

    Should tell you something. No? :)

    How do I put this....everything you wrote regarding partisan politics is complete nonsense.  Every word.  

    Now, with respect to paying more for less:  You do have a point there.  But it's precisely because of a lack of government intervention and regulation, except in the space that matters most:  Anti-trust.  
    Fixed that for ya!
  • Reply 20 of 33
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 3,409member
    jcs2305 said:
    When will Americans wake up to the fact we pay the most (of most industrialized countries) for one of the slowest cell connectivity and have the slowest speeds for mobile/cable/internet. Ugh!

    All b/c of a bought and paid for congress (basically concierges for big business) and shareholder rights override everyone else's rights! Ugh!

    The good news is in 1989 there were 29 women in Congress. 13 Republicans and 16 Dems. In 2019 there're 120 women in Congress. And this is the shocker...still 13 female Republicans and 107 Dems.

    Should tell you something. No? :)
    I think plenty of Americans are fully aware of the price and speed differences here compared to other parts of the world?  How exactly is a bought and paid for congress and the # of women in congress relevant to our behind the rest of the world cell service?

    If we fill congress with women they will concentrate on improving private company cell service?  Please elaborate...

    Nonsense like this is what happens when the middle/moderate center washes out and reforms as two extremes - one on the far left and one on the far right.   Instead of solutions to problems you get agendas.
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