5G refers to the fifth generation of cellular network technology that will eventually replace 4G, which is what most smartphones use today. Data transfer rates are many times faster on 5G, with the potential to be many, many times faster, so much so that it could possibly replace your home cable internet at some point. While 4G LTE supports peak download speeds of around 300 megabits per second (Mbps), average download speeds vary by carrier and are generally under 100 Mbps.
iPhone owners with the latest iOS 12.2 beta have started noticing that in certain areas, the AT&T "LTE" logo has been replaced with "5G E". While this was previously launched by AT&T on non-Apple devices, it wasn't clear whether Apple devices would follow suit. The move has not been without its detractors, who claim that AT&T's 5G Evolution amounts to nothing but a marketing gimmick.
AT&T has begun rolling out a new label in the status bar of LTE devices on its cellular network. The moves to add "5G E" branding to its LTE Advanced (LTE-A) network upgrades have not gone unnoticed. The carrier already launched its 5G Evolution in 400 markets across the country, and more devices are slated to receive the 5G E logo in the coming months.
AT&T plans to get a jump on the competition by rolling out 5G service by the end of this year. The wireless industry just approved mobile 5G standards in December, and AT&T intends to launch the technology in 12 markets across the country. The company hasn't specified which customers will enjoy the next generation network first.