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5G’s many names explained: Don’t fall for the carrier marketing fluff


5G is here, it’s time to understand it. It may have taken some time, but 5G is slowly starting to build momentum in the US. All major carriers now have nationwide 5G deployments covering at least 200 million people, with T-Mobile in the lead covering over 270 million people with its low-band network at the end of 2020.

Verizon ended the year with a low-band network that covered 230 million, while AT&T’s version reached 225 million.

Next-generation networks from all the major carriers are set to continue to expand in the coming months, laying the foundation for advancements such as replacing home broadband, remote surgery, and self-driving cars that are expected to dominate the next decade. Get more out of your tech

But with all that activity by competing carriers, there are myriad different names for 5G — some of which aren’t actually 5G.

The carriers have had a history of twisting their stories when it comes to wireless technology. When 4G was just coming around, AT&T and T-Mobile opted to rebrand their 3G networks to take advantage of the hype. Ultimately the industry settled on 4G LTE . One technology, one name.

Differing technologies and approaches for presenting 5G, however, […]

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