AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson defended AT&T’s aggressive 5G E marketing following the filing of a lawsuit by Sprint. During the recent Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, some of their competitors criticized them, saying AT&T is “slapping 5G stickers” on upgraded 4G phones.
Stephenson says that 5G Evolution (5G E), represents new technology that they are deploying that delivers radical increases in speed and performance on their network.
It’s an Evolutionary Step to 5G
It’ll play itself out obviously. We feel very comfortable with how we’ve characterized the new service that we’re launching. What we do is go into a market and we turn up a significant block of spectrum, wireless airways that we own. I mean it’s rather dramatic. We’re deploying new technology that I won’t go into the details of it, but when we go into a market and we turn up this technology and we light up this spectrum our customers are seeing radical increases in speed and performance on the network.
This is a step that’s required to get to ultimate 5G. It’s an evolutionary step to 5G, a critical step. So we are characterizing this 5G E, 5G Evolution. We’ve obviously done our homework. We’ve done a lot of work around how we characterize this. We’re being very clear with our customers that this is an evolutionary step.
It’s Not a Play Everybody Can Run
But this is a dramatic step-change improvement in what the customers experience where we turn this up. I fully understand why our competitors might be upset with this. It’s not a play everybody can run. It’s a play that we really like. It’s a play that’s going to differentiate us in the marketplace as we begin to roll this out over the course of this year.