Some AT&T iPhones Displaying Misleading '5GE' Icon in iOS 12.2 Beta 2 [Updated]

Some AT&T users who have installed the new iOS 12.2 beta are noticing their iPhones displaying a '5G E' connection to AT&T's network, which is AT&T's misleading name for an "upgraded" version of 4G LTE.

AT&T began rolling out its fake 5G icon to Android smartphones in early January, and it now appears the change is extending to the iPhone.

5giconattios122

Image via the MacRumors forums

Devices in certain areas are displaying a "5G E" icon instead of LTE, but as the "E" suggests, this is not real 5G. No ‌iPhone‌ that exists right now is capable of connecting to a 5G network, nor is AT&T's network 5G at this time.

The "E" stands for Evolution, a new brand name AT&T is using for some parts of its LTE network. According to AT&T, 5G Evolution reaches a peak theoretical wireless speed of 400Mb/s, which does not match 5G data transfer speeds and is in fact the same as traditional LTE speeds.

AT&T claims that 5G Evolution is the "first step on the road to 5G," bringing improvements to already-existing LTE networks. Technically, 5G Evolution uses technologies already employed by other carriers.

How are we doing it? With enhancements like carrier aggregation to add more "lanes" to the highway that data travels on. 4x4 MIMO to double the number of antennas that can send data back and forth. And 256 QAM to make data transmission more efficient. All this adds up to faster speeds for you.

According to AT&T, its "5G Evolution" network is live in more than 400 markets, with more to come. Other carriers, such as T-Mobile, have made fun of AT&T for its misleading branding.


True 5G smartphones won't be coming until later in 2019, and rumors suggest Apple will not introduce 5G support until 2020 at the earliest.

Update: AT&T has provided the following statement to MacRumors on the new icon in iOS 12.2 beta 2: "Today, some ‌iPhone‌ and iPad users could start seeing our 5G Evolution indicator on their devices. The indicator simply helps customers know when they are in an area where the 5G Evolution experience may be available."

Top Rated Comments

jacobh101 Avatar
43 months ago
T-Mobile trolling AT&T is good stuff.
Score: 31 Votes (Like | Disagree)
kalafalas Avatar
43 months ago
Hsdpa+ 3.5g mislabeled as “4g” all over again
Score: 21 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ajthom90 Avatar
43 months ago
AT&T got Apple to label their 3G networks as "4G" circa 2010 or 2011, so it's not a surprise that "5G E" is showing up now.
Score: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Nozuka Avatar
43 months ago
I would instantly switch my provider, if mine ever did that.
I hate dishonesty.
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
madKIR Avatar
43 months ago
It's a simple equation: 5G + Edge, which brings us back to 4G speeds LOL
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
JustiNYCity Avatar
43 months ago
This can happen, but still no battery percentage. :rolleyes:
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

RIP iPod Feature

RIP iPod: A Look Back at Apple's Iconic Music Player Over the Years

Friday May 13, 2022 2:25 pm PDT by
Apple earlier this week announced the discontinuation of the iPod touch, and because it was the last iPod still available for purchase, its sunsetting effectively marks the end of the entire iPod lineup. To send the iPod on its way, we thought it would be fun to take a look back at some of the most notable iPod releases over the last 21 years. Original iPod (2001) Introduced in October...
iOS 16 mock for article

Gurman: iOS 16 to Include New Ways of System Interaction and 'Fresh Apple Apps'

Sunday May 15, 2022 6:14 am PDT by
iOS 16 will include new ways of interacting with the system and some "fresh Apple apps," Bloomberg's Mark Gurman has said, offering some more detail on what Apple has in store for the upcoming release of iOS and iPadOS set to be announced in a few weeks at WWDC. In the latest edition of his Power On newsletter, Gurman wrote that while iOS 16 is not likely to introduce a major face-lift to...
14 16 inch 2021 mbps back to back feature orange

Five Things You Still Can't Do With a MacBook Pro

Wednesday May 11, 2022 11:16 am PDT by
It's been over 200 days since Apple debuted its redesigned MacBook Pro lineup. Offered in 14-inch and 16-inch display sizes, the new-look MacBooks wowed Apple fans and creative pros alike with their powerful custom Apple silicon, mini-LED screen, and multiple connectivity options. But there are still some things you can't do with a MacBook Pro. Here are five features some Mac users are still...
iOS 16 mock for article

Which Devices Will iOS 16 and iPadOS 16 Support?

Thursday May 12, 2022 7:29 am PDT by
While there are as yet no concrete rumors related to which devices iOS 16 and iPadOS 16 will support, the discontinuation of the iPod touch earlier this week may be an indication that as many as nine devices could be about to lose support for Apple's upcoming operating systems. iOS and iPadOS 13, 14, and 15 support all of the same devices, with the iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus,...
apple mac ipad watch trade in

Apple Launches Limited-Time Bonus Trade-In Credit for iPhone, iPad, Mac, and Apple Watch in Many Countries

Wednesday May 11, 2022 5:14 am PDT by
Apple has launched a special limited-time offer for iPhone, Apple Watch, Mac, and iPad trade-in that offers customers additional credit when trading in their only device for a new one. The offer is being run in several countries including the US, UK, Germany, Spain, Italy, South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, China, India, and France. In the UK, Apple is offering up to £50 of extra trade-in credit...
sony

Sony Unveils Redesigned WH-1000XM5 Headphones With Improved Noise Cancelation

Thursday May 12, 2022 9:26 am PDT by
Sony's flagship WH-1000XM4 noise-canceling headphones have been among the best on the market for some time, and today Sony announced its fifth-generation WH-1000XM5 headphones, boasting a new design and several improvements over the previous model. The redesigned headphones replace the shrouded arms that swivel on the XM4's with an exposed arm that has a single contact point at the earcups,...
apple tv 4k design clue

Kuo: New Apple TV to Launch in Second Half of 2022, Lower Price Possible

Friday May 13, 2022 7:58 am PDT by
Apple plans to launch a new version of the Apple TV in the second half of 2022, according to well-known analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. In a tweet today, Kuo said the new Apple TV will have an improved cost structure, suggesting that the device could have a lower price that is more competitive with other streaming media players like Google's Chromecast line, Amazon's Fire TV line, and the Roku line. ...
iPhone 14 Purple Feature

Full Range of iPhone 14 Color Options Revealed by Purported Leak From China

Wednesday May 11, 2022 2:20 am PDT by
The iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro models will be available in a refreshed range of color options, including an all-new purple color, according to a recent rumor. The claim comes from a post on Chinese social media site Weibo by an unverified source and purports to reveal the full range of color options for Apple's upcoming iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro models. Compared to the selection of color...