In 2018, both AT&T and Verizon announced that they're moving forward with 5G networks.
5G brings three new aspects to the table:
- Greater speed
- More responsive
- The ability to connect more devices at once
AT&T claims to have this service, but competitors like Verizon and T-Mobile are calling AT&T's bluff - They're claiming that AT&T is saying certain devices have 5G service when those devices aren't actually compatible with 5G.
Verizon took out full-page ads in papers like the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal and called upon the wireless industry to be upfront with consumers about which devices are truly 5G compatible, but never mentioned AT&T's name in the ad.
In their letter, Verizon adds that they're only going to use a 5G designation when "new device hardware is connecting to the network using new radio technology to deliver new capabilities", but again, not specifically calling out AT&T.
However, T-Mobile was a little more direct; the company responded to an original tweet that said "AT&T misleads customers by updating phones with fake 5G icon. T-Mobile tweeted back saying "didn't realize it was this easy, BRB updating" with a video placing a 9G sticker over the LTE icon.
WHNT News 19 has reached out to AT&T on several occasions; on each occasion they have been either unavailable or unwilling to comment or release a statement.