Verizon’s 5G promise: It won’t falsely claim 4G phones are really 5G

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A Verizon logo.

Whereas AT&T pretends to kick off the 5G cell period early by slapping a 5G community indicator on 4G telephones, Verizon Wi-fi says it will not be doing the identical.

“[W]e’re calling on the broad wi-fi trade to decide to labeling one thing 5G solely if new system is connecting to the community utilizing new radio expertise to ship new capabilities,” Verizon CTO Kyle Illness wrote in a weblog submit yesterday [emphasis theirs]. “Verizon is making this dedication at present: We can’t take an outdated cellphone and simply change the software program to show the four within the standing bar right into a 5. We is not going to name our 4G community a 5G community if prospects do not expertise a efficiency or functionality improve that solely 5G can ship.”

One would hope such a promise would not be vital, however what Verizon described is strictly what AT&T has already finished. This previous weekend, AT&T began rolling out software program updates to Android telephones that change the community indicator from “4G” to “5G E.”

However 5G E (the “E” is for “Evolution”) is not 5G—it is AT&T’s 4G LTE community. AT&T describes 5G E as a “runway to 5G,” however the one upgrades it contains are drawn from the years-old LTE-Superior commonplace.

“We’re laying the 5G community basis with 5G Evolution and LTE-LAA [License Assisted Access],” AT&T defined in April 2018. “In expertise phrases, meaning we’re upgrading cell towers with LTE-Superior options like 256 QAM, 4×4 MIMO, and Three-way service aggregation. These applied sciences function the runway to 5G by boosting the prevailing LTE community and priming it for the way forward for connectivity. We will allow sooner speeds now, and improve to 5G when it is prepared.”

Verizon’s “5G” additionally has a caveat

Carriers together with Verizon and AT&T prompted related confusion within the shift from 3G to 4G almost a decade in the past.

Regardless of chastising AT&T, Verizon has additionally adopted the 5G label for expertise that does not meet the trade 5G commonplace. Verizon just lately began rolling out a 5G wi-fi house Web service, nevertheless it’s based mostly on Verizon’s personal model of 5G somewhat than the 5G NR (New Radio) international commonplace.

Nonetheless, Verizon’s 5G house Web looks like an actual improve over Verizon 4G: Verizon’s early 5G makes use of 28GHz spectrum as an alternative of the low-band spectrum used for 4G, and Verizon says its 5G house Web can hit speeds of almost 1Gbps. Community capability is robust sufficient that Verizon says it is not imposing any knowledge caps on the brand new service. Verizon 5G is not prepared for cell use but, nevertheless it’s a much bigger change than merely relabeling a 4G cellphone as 5G.

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