In an interview with Yahoo at CES last week, Sprint president of Business Jan Geldmacher expressed his irritation at AT&T’s decision to market their upgraded LTE network as “5G E”. “They call it 5G, but we believe it’s not 5G. We roll out the real 5G. It’s based on our 2.5 gigahertz spectrum. It’s based on our massive mine of technology, and it’s compliant with the 5G [rules], which we have agreed to.”
Geldmacher is correct that customers seeing the new “5G E” indicator on their AT&T phone are not actually connecting to a true 5G network. There are currently no 5G phones available, and Sprint also announced at CES that they plan to launch the first real 5G-enabled smartphone, a device from LG, in 2019.