Android 11 will call 4G ++ "5Ge" and 5G mmWave "5G +"

Android 11 will introduce a new naming convention for mobile networks. At the risk of blurring the lines between 4G and 5G technologies.

smartphone 5g - Android 11 will call 4G ++ "5Ge" and 5G mmWave "5G +" A 5G smartphone / Credits: Chandru K via Flickr

We discover it on the official Android 11 developer blog: the next version of the operating system will upset the nomenclature of wireless technologies. For 4G, 4G + and 5G sub-6GHz, the statement next to the operator's name will remain the one you expect. But the same cannot necessarily be said of 4G ++ (Advanced Pro LTE) and 5G on millimeter waves (mmWave).

Android 11 will talk about 5Ge rather than improved 4G +

Google has indeed chosen in the first caseerase the line between 4G and 5G, and in the second of distinguish mmWave connectivity which allows higher flow rates. We learn that wireless connectivity will now be displayed as of Android 11:

  • LTE (4G): 4G or LTE
  • LTE with signal aggregation (4G +): 4G + or LTE +
  • LTE Advanced pro (4G ++): 5Ge
  • 5G sub-6GHz: 5G
  • 5G mmWave: 5G +

The most astonishing remains the qualifier of 5Ge, because even if the LTE Advanced Pro technology allows speeds up to 3 Gbps, it is indeed a evolution of LTE technology and not 5G. Exit therefore the advantages such as ultra-low latency or beamforming in public places to guarantee better throughput.

By the way our colleagues from GSMArena remind that the qualifier of 5Ge does not come from nowhere. In 2018, the American operator AT&T had tried to rebrand its LTE Advanced Pro "5G E" network. The icon even ended up appearing on some iPhones. But customers quickly complained that it was not real 5G.

Read also: 5G – everything you need to know about the network of the future

A class action had then been brought against AT&T which had ended up giving up the term 5G E. On the other hand, differentiating 5G sub-6GHz from 5G mmWave is much more relevant. Classic 5G penetrates well through walls, but doesn't offer the same bit rates and latency as 5G mmWave. The latter technology, however, has the disadvantage of less passing through obstacles.

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