PCMag’s 2020 Speed Test of U.S. Mobile Networks

Sascha Segan, writing for PCMag:

We admit it, we bought into the 5G hype. Carriers, phone makers, and chip makers alike have all been selling 5G as faster and more powerful than 4G, with lower latency. So I was shocked to see that our AT&T 5G results, especially, were slower than 4G results on the same network.

This is a crisis for marketing, not for performance. All three US carriers showed significantly higher download speeds and better broadband reliability than they did in our 2019 tests. It’s just that these gains, particularly on AT&T, are largely because of improvements in 4G, not 5G networks.

The “funny” thing about this for AT&T is that their bullshit “5G-E” network, which isn’t actually 5G, is faster than their actual 5G network.

I have no idea why anyone is excited about 5G. None of my complaints about cellular networking in recent years have been about how fast it is when I have a strong signal.

Tuesday, 8 September 2020