AT&T’s Netgear Nighthawk 5G hotspot, the first consumer mobile 5G device, has been on the market for a while now, but, apparently, hardly is anyone using it.
A Reddit post shows a Speedtest result of 194.88Mbps – impressive, until one sees that the same Redditor got 187.44Mbps on AT&T’s 4G network in the same location.
AT&T’s, Netgear’s, and Reddit forums are also very quiet when it comes to any actual 5G users, and Ookla’s Speedtest Intelligence database doesn’t seem to show any dramatic speed upticks in AT&T’s 12 announced 5G cities.
The carrier doesn’t seem to have shown the 5G device to any journalists, and there are zero hands-on videos being shown on YouTube.
AT&T’s 5G launch appears to mostly be a paper launch, so the company can say it “launched” in 2018.
Unfortunately, AT&T still plans to put a “5G” indicator onto its 4G phones.
As Fierce Wireless reported, AT&T will soon start changing the “4G LTE” indicator to “5G E” in situations where AT&T offers gigabit LTE.
While the informed won’t be misled, millions of less technical consumers will almost certainly think their phones just got a magic upgrade to 5G without improved performance.