AT&T has confirmed that it will soon upgrade the ‘LTE’ indicator on some of its current Android phones to “5G E” in markets where the company now offers 4×4 MIMO, 256 QAM, and other advanced LTE network technologies. However, the exact count of devices is not disclosed yet.
There’s a possibility that millions of existing LTE smartphone owners could eventually see their AT&T network status icon change from “LTE” to “5G E.” AT&T said its “5G Evolution” service would be commercially available in more than 400 markets by the end of this year. AT&T last year introduced the “5G Evolution” marketing label to cover markets where it offers advanced LTE network technologies like carrier aggregation, 4×4 MIMO, LAA, and 256 QAM.
AT&T says that these technologies can dramatically improve the speeds available through LTE. AT&T’s “5G E” label will be present next to “5G+” label, which the operator has applied to its mobile 5G service launching on December 21st in 12 cities. AT&T’s “5G+” label applies to transmissions in the operator’s millimeter-wave spectrum. AT&T’s initial mobile 5G launch will transmit signals in its 39 GHz licensed spectrum band across 100 MHz of spectrum and 2×2 MIMO antennas.
An AT&T spokesperson said:
They have one of the latest Android devices and it connects to a tower that’s enabled with 5G Evolution, they’ll soon see a “5G E” indicator pop up on their screen. Initially we’ll roll this out on a handful of devices, with more devices showing the indicator in spring 2019.