5G is something you won't be able to use on a smartphone for a long time — but that's not stopping Verizon and AT&T from publicly coming to blows over the far-off tech. Last week, Verizon started laying out its vision for 5G and a timetable for when the largest US carrier will begin its earliest tests. Simple enough, right? Those will kick off next year, but rival AT&T seems to think Verizon is getting ahead of itself. There's no better opportunity to bash your competitor than at an industry trade show which produced very little actual news, so AT&T Mobility boss Glenn Lurie leapt at the chance during an interview with CNET at CTIA. "We're not at a point to be making promises or commitments to customers as to what 5G is," he said.
"We as an industry have been really good at overpromising and underdelivering when it comes to new technology." AT&T would probably struggle with naming an instance where it has been guilty of that sort of thing, but the company has no issue throwing barbs at Verizon. And sure enough, Verizon had its own, equally snarky response prepped, telling CNET, "Innovation happens when you're willing to look at things a little differently than others, and you're willing to put in the hard work to make your vision a reality." Ohhhhhhhhhhhh! The trash talk is already unbearable, and we haven't even properly started the 5G wars yet.
Verizon has said it's aiming for 5G to reach consumers in some capacity sometime in 2017, but AT&T seems cool to hold off until the industry as a whole has actually settled on standards and a cohesive idea of what "5G" means. "Let's make sure that before we start hyping what it's going to be, that those standards are agreed to," Lurie said.