I didn't think it would be AT&T, but I knew we could count on one of America's lovely carriers to open the door to the complete and utter ruination of any agreed-upon definition of "5G." Today, AT&T announced a bunch of new 4G LTE features (which is what they are) were being rolled out to its network, and it's given these features a name: 5G Evolution.
Now, the reason 5G has a qualifier is simple: because this isn't 5G. It'd be like taking the inline 4-cylinder engine out of your car, replacing it with a V6, but saying that you're now running a V8 Evolution, because hey, you're closer to a V8 than you were before. You're evolving toward eight cylinders!
This is bullshit.
AT&T knows full well what it's doing here, and it's especially embarrassing considering the features they're announcing today - 4x4 MIMO, advanced carrier aggregation, and 256 QAM - are definitively LTE network technologies, ones that carriers like T-Mobile rolled out ages ago. I would have guessed, in all honesty, that T-Mobile or Sprint would have been the first carriers to have the hubris to bastardize the definition of 5G for the sake of marketing. I was wrong. So, congratulations, I guess, to AT&T for having the world's first fake 5G network.
You can read about the rollout of these (useful!) new technologies in the press release linked below. In the meantime, I'm going to go plant my face into my desk.