Every decade or so the world becomes a little more connected. In 1991, the world found 2G. 3G came in 2001 and then 4G in 2009. Fast forward a decade. 

We are now entering the 5G era, which means faster internet speeds and lower latency, improving the overall experience with anything you do on the internet. Around the world, governments and smartphone manufacturers are driving the widespread use of 5G due to the benefits of the technology. Meanwhile, some telecom providers are promoting a technology called 5GE.

So what is 5GE and how is it different from 5G? What is 5GE Mobile Internet?

5GE stands for “5G Evolution” and it all started with AT&T, the largest telecommunications company in the world, and the largest provider of mobile telephone services in the United States.

© Flickr

The US telecommunications company began promoting the 5GE term in 2018 to separate itself from its competitors in the 5G race. AT&T said that with this update, users could achieve network speeds of 400 Mbps in coverage areas. Therefore, 5GE was marketed as a true “evolution”, a big step forward from the old 4G technology. Many AT&T subscribers have been led to believe that they can go from 4G to 5G without upgrading to a new phone that supports 5G and without paying additional bills.

How fast is AT & T’s 5GE compared to 5G, 4G, and 3G?

The public soon began scrutinizing 5GE technology to verify AT & T’s marketing claims. It turns out that AT & T’s 5GE technology is simply an enhanced version of the 4G that most mobile network providers already call 4G LTE or LTE Advanced. This means that the 5GE that should have been “evolutionary” is 4G LTE.

AT&T 5Ge icon

So it’s not surprising that in terms of speed, 5GE is slower than 5G. As of now, the average of 5G is around 50 Mbps and 1 to 10 Gbps maximum. It is far superior to 5GE, or slightly 4G LTE, with an average speed of 30 Mbps and a maximum speed of 300 Mbps.

At 4g, it has an average speed of 15Mbps and a top speed of 100Mbps, while 3G has a top speed of 3.1Mbps.

After much controversy, in 2019, an AT&T executive came out to clarify that the reason behind labeling its 4G LTE service 5GE is to “let the customer know they are in an enhanced market or experience area” and when the 5G software o 5G devices there will be a network update to allow customers to switch to 5G. Since then, AT&T has stopped its 5GE ads to avoid further confusion.

How do you know if it is on 5GE or 5G?

Before you check if you are on 5GE or 5G from AT&T, you must first have a 5G-enabled phone. Most, but not all, newer smartphones are 5G compliant.

© Apple’s iPhone 12 mini lineup

Apple’s iPhone 12 lineup supports 5G, as are most Android-based brands, including Samsung’s Galaxy Note, Galaxy S, and Galaxy Tab series. Some manufacturers offer specific 5G models for new smartphones, giving consumers the ability to stick to existing 4G technology in areas without a 5G network (these devices are typically slightly cheaper than their 5G counterparts). Next, you need to have a 5G mobile plan ready to activate the technology. When you do this, it’s also important to check your carrier’s 5G coverage.

The nPerf network coverage map shows that AT & T’s 5G currently covers about 18% of the United States, while T-Mobile covers 40% of the country. Verizon follows with coverage of around 11% nationwide.

© AT&T

The cities that receive the broadest 5G coverage include Los Angeles, Miami, New York, and Philadelphia. In the UK, 5G coverage is provided in four major cities, including London, Birmingham, Liverpool, Manchester, and Bristol, via four major telecom providers.

After completing all the steps above, to find out if you are on 5G or 5GE, take a look at the upper left corner of the phone screen. There should be the word “5G” or “5GE” next to the name of your cellular network operator.

The power of 5G

5G doesn’t just dramatically increase internet speed. But with 5G connectivity, it is possible to connect a higher number of devices to the network, increasing the capacity of the IoT (Internet of things). More IoT means more information sharing from one user to another. It will also lead to the development of smart cities. IoT is one of the key technological developments that is already shaping our lives today; Check out our list of five tech trends that will change the way we live and work.

AT & T’s 5GE campaign may have been misleading, but that doesn’t change the fact that 5G is here to stay. Current trends indicate that 5G penetration will reach half of the world’s population in the next five years. This next-generation technology cannot be stopped. It’s time to upgrade and embrace 5G for a faster and more efficient future.


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