When his Twitter feed announced the “arrival of 5G” last December, tech reporter Chris Matyszczyk made a beeline for the nearest T-Mobile store and asked, “Can I have some of this 5G, please? I will become a much more desirable, admirable person if I have 5G!” From there, it was all downhill.
The Pain of the Hype
We aren’t the only ones who have pointed out the hype around 5G as telecom companies rush to outdo each other. In another case of marketing mayhem overtaking technical truth, Matyszczyk shares his rain soaked pursuit in the Bay Area. Expecting fanfare, he was met with a surprisingly subdued store:
I wandered into a T-Mobile store that was emptier than a politician's tweet.
Oddly, there weren't 99 pink balloons hanging from the ceiling to celebrate 5G. There weren't even five.
He goes on to describe how the less-than-enthusiastic salespeople didn’t seem very well informed about when, where, or why 5G isn’t available to him when the company indicated that it arrived nationwide:
"But isn't it a bit annoying to be told there's this incredibly exciting 5G when you can't get it for at least another six months?"
They seemed neither to agree or disagree. They seemed like they were annoyed it was raining and that I was there, dripping.
Read the full article, "I went to T-Mobile to ask about 5G. The response was painful" here. You can also watch an interview with Matyszczyk.
He expressed sympathy for the salespeople. After all, he says, “it’s hard for them to present something they can’t actually sell you.”
Marketplace spoke with experts, including Gigi Sohn and our Christopher Mitchell, about the hype surrounding 5G. Sohn said, "5G is 80% marketing and 20% technology. The hype around this technology is enormous, and also the hype around needing to win a so-called race around 5G."
Listen to the story here:
In August 2019, we interviewed Sascha Sagan from PCMag.com. His years a a lead mobile analyst have given him the ability to gauge the quality of mobile technology. Sascha and Christopher discussed mobile technology, including 5G, and ubiquitous coverage in the U.S. Be sure to also check out our Pocket Guide to 5G Hype.