From what I can see and from the Sprint CTO's comments, the deprioritization happens on radio layer working on slices of around 30ms. If you are near cell edge, the scheduler will assign you less physical resource blocks. This deprioritization will affect you much less if you are near the tower as higher orders of modulation and less error correction plays into it. (Think out of a possible 100 or so blocks you could be assigned in a given timeframe, the blocks can either be slow due to poor radio conditions or fast)
From my year or so of having a dedicated testing phone on T-Mobile, I can feel confident in saying what they say is true about speeds only being affected on congested sectors (not the full tower or region). Sprint I haven't had as much time with so I can only go with what they say is the case.
I'm still on the "new verizon unlimited plan" which is the same that "beyond unlimited" provides, just at a cheaper price.
Then one day I got a text saying I had used all my data for the month, and I thought this was quite strange.
I logged in to see the usage, and AT&T gives you an itemized bill showing data usage almost minute by minute — I think the resolution is 5 minutes intervals.
Lo and behold they claimed I used 22GB in one 5 minute interval at some random point during the afternoon that day.
I called about a half dozen times to complain and try to get it adjusted. The agents would say crazy things like, “well were you watching a video?”, or “did you download a large email attachment?”
It didn’t matter that the iPhone they said did the download showed totally normal data usage stats on the phone itself. It didn’t even matter that moving that much data in 5 minutes was technically impossible. Even when I finally got an agent to admit it must be an error and that it would be impossible to move 22GB in 5 minutes, they said they would escalate the issue and then nothing ever happened.
I never got those rollover data bytes back, and ultimately had to switch to an unlimited plan to protect from the fake overages.
So I do worry about massive theoretical maximum throughout resulting in obscene charges with no way for the customer to prove the data transfer never happened.
No one needs mention the obvious incentivizing to cut off all of the slowest areas/device/customers.
I just think being required to report something based an 'actual' performance as opposed to 'vague technical term' could be more informative and shift all this handwaving over to a 'look, we've improved out actual throughput!' basis.
Today these speeds are easily achievable on most networks, it's just unlikely for AT&T due to congestion and their poor network and spectrum planning. It helps to spend money on capex instead of buying up shitty Mexican carriers and DirecTV to stem the flow of fleeing customers.
But now as I think, I remember that Verizon had 4G that was capped to about 1mbps in certain areas and then gradually speed increased per area.
Since the ITU had declared that Sprint's WiMAX network and Verizon's LTE network weren't real 4G, T-Mobile decided that they could call their (just-as-fast-as-early-LTE-networks) HSPA+ network 4G too, and then AT&T was almost forced to follow suit because T-Mobile was advertising how their 4G network was so much bigger than everyone else's.
So at least, yeah... tmo kinda could have argued it was similar to early '4G' radio technologies on speed alone.
The 3G/4G/etc labels are descriptive, not prescriptive.
page 9 defines high / low mobility as follows: "low mobility covers
pedestrian speed, and high mobility covers high speed on highways or fast trains (60 km/h to
~250 km/h, or more)." (this is roughly 35 to 150 mph)
We are nowhere near those speeds, even on the best networks.
They just set aspirational targets, but don’t define any technology for meeting those targets. ITU jumped from 200 kbps for 3G to 1 gigabit for 4G. That was not a useful definition and the market correctly ignored it. Imagine if we had “3G” wired networking defined as 100 mbps and “4G” wired networking aspirationally defined as 10 gigabit. What would you do when the IEEE (the folks who actually make the technology) release 1G Ethernet. Would you insist on calling it 3.5G wired networking?
“4G” is LTE. It’s 4G because it’s what came after HSDPA/EVDO, not because it meets any particular ITU target.
Also, it's disingenuous to describe the jump as from 200kbps to 1Gbps, since HSDPA offering 14Mbps was already being deployed prior to when this particular ITU standard came out.
(https://www.gsma.com/aboutus/gsm-technology indicates deployments of HSDPA started in 2005)
The problem here appears to be not that AT&T is departing from the ITU monikers, or using 5G to refer to LTE Advance Pro, but that it’s selling something as “5G” that’s not faster than “4G.”
The last time AT&T did this the ITU's response was "4G can now also be 3G with 'substantial improvements'"
I'm not sure what these terms mean, and the phone/service didn't exactly come with a user manual.
Most places seem to be around the 40mbps mark but when visiting SoCal it drops to anywhere from 2mbps to 30.
I could be near enough to the towers that my fillings start to ache and I still can't get any faster.
My carrier tells me that in order to downgrade my plan I would have to first cancel my phone number and wait a month.
Basically to get around this absurd policy I have to switch to another carrier and back over two months. However, I don't plan to switch back once I make the jump.
In the last year I've traveled to a couple states and a few dozen cities and I had garbage speed and latency in all of them. T-Mobile's solution was that I buy a new phone. But the phone achieved 100mbit when I first got my plan.
In the Czech Republic, on a prepaid SIM card, I received around 50Mbps, many years ago.
I have zero trust in these wireless generation differences. There are so many other variables in end-user speed.
3GPP has no teeth here.
Alternatively, they can slowly phase out 4g like they did with 3G. This is very useful if you have pesky customers stuck on cheap all you can eat data plans.
The paranoid part of me wonders if it'll be an excuse to shunt people off of cheap plans.
The funny thing is that all that used 3G gear, at least the good stuff, seems to have gone to the deeply rural areas.
I know a few towns that, as recently as last month, only have 3G service. But the data speeds I get roaming there on 3G are almost double what I get at home on AT&T with full bars of LTE.
Maybe you can try another provider.
Either way, it’s more than 10x difference. 50ms vs 5ms is the difference between being able to game and not.
I have a mobile provider that uses their network here in Norway, I got 171/40 and 22 ms ping. I'm in the countryside approximately 50 km from Oslo.
Also, haven't we all learned yet that the publicity and discussion this is generating reenforces the connection between AT&T and 5G in people's minds, even if it's technically incorrect? The facts don't really matter.
Do not let carriers blind you with fancy numbers.
IANAL, but Truth in Advertising enforcement is a FTC affair, not FCC.
On the other hand, rayiner is, so there a benefit-of-the-doubt element that I'm inclined to respect.
EDIT: ...and I humbly stand corrected.
The "5" in "5G" is just a version number; it ticks up whenever someone decides they want it to.
"AT&T's network name change may well trick consumers into thinking they're getting better service than a 4G operator, but they aren't. We already knew that 5G E has no technological advantage over LTE-Advanced, because they are the same thing with different names."
Doesn't that mean this, for all intents and purposes, isn't really the 5G we're all thinking of and that this is just massive click bait?
What role do you think the FCC has here?
If anything, this is a Truth in Advertising issue--enforced by the FTC, not FCC.