The continuing controversy about AT&T’s 5G-E branded wireless service reignited Friday with the release of a new study that says it is not “the step-change improvement” toward next-generation wireless broadband.
In fact, says Opensignal, the service isn’t any faster that current Verizon and T-Mobile 4G offerings.
“Analyzing Opensignal’s data shows that AT&T users with 5G E-capable smartphones receive a better experience than AT&T users with less capable smartphone models,” the study says.
“But AT&T users with a 5G E-capable smartphone receive similar speeds to users on other carriers with the same smartphone models that AT&T calls 5G E. The 5G E speeds which AT&T users experience are very much typical 4G speeds and not the step-change improvement which 5G promises.”
AT&T immediately disputed the findings.
“Speed test data purporting to show the ‘real-world experience of 5G Evolution’ without verifying the capable devices were tested in a 5G Evolution coverage area as shown by the indicator does not accurately represent the 5G Evolution user experience,” AT&T said in a statement to news site CNET.
TechRepublic noted that OpenSignal found “of LTE Category 16 phones, capable of utilizing the features of LTE Advanced, Verizon’s network performed best on average with a download speed of 29.9 Mbps. T-Mobile was in second at 29.4 Mbps, and AT&T in third at 28.8 Mbps. For standard LTE phones, T-Mobile and Verizon were tied at 19.4 Mbps, with AT&T at 18.2 Mbps.”
AT&T has vigorously defended its service against critics such as T-Mobile and Verizon and has launched limited 5G in the Research Triangle and other markets.
Verizon has deployed 5G in two markets and plans more later this year. It is also offering Motorola 5G-capable phones.