Our First Taste Of 5G Might Not Even Be 5G
With 2018 coming to a close, 2019 will usher in a new era of mobile technology. 5G is one of the most anticipated technologies. Multiple network operators, smartphone manufacturers and even chipset makers around the world testing and readying their 5G technology. The launch of the next big thing in mobile connectivity is just around the corner. However, according to the latest reports, the first layer of 5G which reaches consumers, might not even be 5G.
American telecom giant AT&T has already launched its 5G network in the US. It did so on the 21st of December. And has made the network available to users in select cities in the US. But, there is a twist to this tale. While the company is advertising this as its first 5G network, it is just a faster 4G network, under the guise of a 5G network. How and why are they doing this?
With the rollout, the company will be upgrading a few LTE enabled handsets with a “5G E” indicator. The 5G E indicator is nothing but a 4G network. This now offers 4 x 4 MIMO and 256 QAM technologies, along with other advanced LTE technologies. So now, a lot of users will see the 5G E icon pop-up on their screens, and AT&T will roll this feature out to many more LTE devices by spring 2019. Additionally, the ‘5G Evolution’ will be available in more than 400 markets in the near future, according to the company.
The exact reason for this step according to the company is that the 5G E technology will allow for the company to make the gradual shift into 5G technology. In short, this is the stepping stone to the much faster 5G netwrok. However, a lot of experts point out that this 5G Evolution plan might just confuse consumers even more, rather than aiding in the rollout of 5G.