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.
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.