Google Android 11 retains the “5Ge” icon – gives its explanation


Android 11

In recent times, there has been confusion with regard to the network icons on Android 11. Specifically, the icon “5Ge” seems to be more confusing. However, the Android 11 features overview page has been updated and it tries to clear things up. While users consider the “5Ge” icon as a 5G network, it is actually  LTE Advanced Pro. Simply put, you can call it advanced 4G LTE or pre-5G. Either way, it is not true 5G.

Android 11

Today, Google said that in Android 11 (API level “R”) and higher, applications with android.Manifest.permission.READ_PHONE_STATE permission can request to update the phone display information through  PhoneStateListener.onDisplayInfoChanged, including for marketing and branding wireless access technology information.

Recall that back in 2018, AT&T tried to relabel its LTE Advanced network to “5G E”. However, this was followed by a lawsuit and obviously didn’t go well with consumers. Subsequently, AT & T decided to stop using the 5Ge brand. However, the company will not remove the “5Ge” icon from Android phones in the short term. True 5G networks will come with the icons “5G” or “5G+”. Anything else is not true 5G. This new API provides various 5G icon display solutions for different operators. Here is a description of the icons

  • LTE – plain 4G
  • LTE+ – 4G with carrier aggregation
  • 5Ge – LTE Advanced Pro
  • 5G – NR, sub-6GHz
  • 5G+ – NR on millimeter-wave cellular bands

While 5G represents the sub-6GHz flavor, 5G+ refers to mmWave. It’s (5G+) speed reaches several gigabits but it has a shortcoming. Technically, any feature on its way can block its signal – trees, wall, your hand, etc.

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The five different signals above represent the difference in the upper limit of network speed. Of course, because few domestic Android 11 ROMs are available presently, many systems will not adhere to the recommendation. Moreover, the 5G networks currently deployed many carriers are all on the Sub 6GHz bearers. Even in China, this is also the case. 

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