Some AT&T iPhones Displaying Misleading '5GE' Icon in iOS 12.2 Beta 2 [Updated]

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Some AT&T users who have installed the new iOS 12.2 beta are noticing their iPhones displaying a '5G E' connection to AT&T's network, which is AT&T's misleading name for an "upgraded" version of 4G LTE.

AT&T began rolling out its fake 5G icon to Android smartphones in early January, and it now appears the change is extending to the iPhone.

Image via the MacRumors forums

Devices in certain areas are displaying a "5G E" icon instead of LTE, but as the "E" suggests, this is not real 5G. No iPhone that exists right now is capable of connecting to a 5G network, nor is AT&T's network 5G at this time.

The "E" stands for Evolution, a new brand name AT&T is using for some parts of its LTE network. According to AT&T, 5G Evolution reaches a peak theoretical wireless speed of 400Mb/s, which does not match 5G data transfer speeds and is in fact the same as traditional LTE speeds.

AT&T claims that 5G Evolution is the "first step on the road to 5G," bringing improvements to already-existing LTE networks. Technically, 5G Evolution uses technologies already employed by other carriers.
How are we doing it? With enhancements like carrier aggregation to add more "lanes" to the highway that data travels on. 4x4 MIMO to double the number of antennas that can send data back and forth. And 256 QAM to make data transmission more efficient. All this adds up to faster speeds for you.
According to AT&T, its "5G Evolution" network is live in more than 400 markets, with more to come. Other carriers, such as T-Mobile, have made fun of AT&T for its misleading branding.

didn't realize it was this easy, brb updating pic.twitter.com/dCmnd6lspH - T-Mobile (@TMobile) January 7, 2019

True 5G smartphones won't be coming until later in 2019, and rumors suggest Apple will not introduce 5G support until 2020 at the earliest.

Update: AT&T has provided the following statement to MacRumors on the new icon in iOS 12.2 beta 2: "Today, some iPhone and iPad users could start seeing our 5G Evolution indicator on their devices. The indicator simply helps customers know when they are in an area where the 5G Evolution experience may be available."

Article Link: Some AT&T iPhones Displaying Misleading '5GE' Icon in iOS 12.2 Beta 2 [Updated]
 

Zwhaler

macrumors demi-god
Jun 10, 2006
6,780
1,065
What is the oldest iPhone that supports the fake 5G as opposed to "regular 4G LTE"?

edit: XS and XS Max, according to posters.
 
Last edited:

JPack

macrumors 603
Mar 27, 2017
5,480
8,310
Apple relies on carriers to sell phones. It's as simple as that.

Some people might think Apple shouldn't bow down, but reality is different.
 

truettray

macrumors 6502
Sep 7, 2012
384
261
USA
AT&T got Apple to label their 3G networks as "4G" circa 2010 or 2011, so it's not a surprise that "5G E" is showing up now.
I remember when the iPhone 4 remained on 3G, while my 4S friends started bragging about being upgraded to 4G overnight. It would be funny if Apple only pushes this 5G E to the iPhone XS devices.

I'm glad that I'm on T-Mob, because I don't want to roll my eyes every time I look at my signal strength.
 
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ricktat

macrumors 68000
Feb 18, 2013
1,598
1,273
It's their new marketing confusion crap just like the fake 4G.

5G Evolution

5G Evolution is our first step on the road to 5G. Our improvements are already enabling faster speeds on our existing LTE network.

How are we doing it? With enhancements like carrier aggregation to add more “lanes” to the highway that data travels on. 4x4 MIMO to double the number of antennas that can send data back and forth. And 256 QAM to make data transmission more efficient. All this adds up to faster speeds for you.

5G Evolution is now live in over 400 markets with more to come, and soon our most popular smartphones will start displaying a “5G E” indicator to let you know when 5G Evolution coverage is available.
5G Evolution is our first step on the road to 5G. Our improvements are already enabling faster speeds on our existing LTE network.

How are we doing it? With enhancements like carrier aggregation to add more “lanes” to the highway that data travels on. 4x4 MIMO to double the number of antennas that can send data back and forth. And 256 QAM to make data transmission more efficient. All this adds up to faster speeds for you.

5G Evolution is now live in over 400 markets with more to come, and soon our most popular smartphones will start displaying a “5G E” indicator to let you know when 5G Evolution coverage is available.

https://www.att.com/5g/consumer
[doublepost=1549312786][/doublepost]
Sweet! Now I can finally get 40Mbps on my iPhone XS...
No.. 5G E just has more lanes.

Just think of it like a road with 20 car lanes. You only drive one car but you can see the other 19 lanes. Now just think of like this, those 20 lanes are in an entirely different state from where you live.

See it's that fast!
 
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