AT&T Launches Pseudo-5G Service

AT&T Launches Pseudo-5G Service
AT&T's 5G Evolution service promises speed boosts, but only uses 4G technology.

(CCM) — AT&T is beefing up network speeds for some customers who own a Samsung Galaxy S8 or S8+ phone with a new pseudo-5G service, the company has announced. The new service is called 5G Evolution, but 5G technology does not yet exist because telecom standards organizations, like the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), have not yet defined it. Instead, the new service uses techniques such as carrier aggregation, 4X4 MIMO, and 256 QAM on top of 4G LTE technology to offer speeds of up to double those of AT&T's 4G LTE service.

T-Mobile has been offering a similar service, which uses the same techniques to boost network speeds, since last September. AT&T has already been criticized by some commentators who believe that the name of the new service is likely to mislead some customer into thinking that it offers genuine 5G service. They believe that other carriers will also be tempted to offer services with 5G branding for marketing purposes, confusing the market further.

5G Evolution is available in certain parts of Austin today, and this will be extended to over 20 metro areas by the end of the year. Indianapolis is the next city that is due to go live, with Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles, Nashville, and San Francisco also coming soon.

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