After AT&T confirmed last month that it would begin rolling out a "5G E" indicator to select Android devices with support for its 5G Evolution network, updates to enable that indicator have begun rolling out.
AT&T is now updating the Samsung Galaxy S8 Active, LG V30, and LG V40 ThinQ to add the 5G Evolution network indicator. The Galaxy S8 Active is receiving an update to version R16NW.G892AUCU3BRL1 that also includes the December 1, 2018 Android security patches, while the LG V30 is getting updated to version H93120l and the LG V40 ThinQ is being bumped to version V405UA10l.
After updating, you should see a "5G E" indicator in your status bar when you're connected to AT&T's 5G Evolution coverage. AT&T 5G Evolution is not true 5G, but rather advanced 4G LTE technologies like 3-way carrier aggregation, 256 QAM, and 4x4 MIMO that can help to give you faster download speeds. "These technologies serve as the runway to 5G by boosting the existing LTE network and priming it for the future of connectivity," AT&T says of 5G Evolution. "We can enable faster speeds now, and upgrade to 5G when it’s ready."
This new 5G E network indicator has received a lot of criticism ever since it was announced last month. Many folks feel that the 5G E indicator is misleading since it's not true 5G and some consumers may not know that it's actually based on advanced 4G LTE technologies. AT&T appears to be set in its plans to roll the 5G E network indicator out to its devices that support the feature, though, so be on the lookout for more Android phones to get it in the future.