Friday, 22 February, 2019


Sprint is Suing AT&T Over Its Misleading ‘5G E’ Label

Sprint files lawsuit against AT&T over its misleading 5G Evolution logo Sprint sues AT&T over 5G branding
Melba Vasquez | 09 February, 2019, 17:11

Sprint's response, however, is far more serious, as it's brought a lawsuit against AT&T with that 5G E branding at the center of it. AT&T is suggesting to users that although it is not a real 5G, it still provides a faster network than the traditional 4G.

AT&T started rolling out the 5GE label on smartphones last month, and now the icon is appearing on iPhones.

Merging with T-Mobile would allow the fourth-largest USA carrier to more aggressively compete with AT&T and Verizon, especially as the 5G war heats up later this year. Despite that, AT&T has been advertising this supposed upgrade to 5G E and even changing network indicators on smartphones from 4G to 5G E.

Meanwhile, 43 percent said if they buy an AT&T phone today, it would be capable of running on 5G.

The complaint notes that "AT&T has yet to deliver a contiguous mobile 5G network or release a 5G-enabled mobile phone or tablet capable of connecting directly to a 5G network.' And yet is went ahead with this 5Ge marketing campaign regardless, which Sprint says is 'false and misleading". "AT&T's deceptive ads have harmed consumers by persuading them to purchase or continue purchasing AT&T's services based on the lie that they are offering 5G", said Sprint to Android Authority. Sprint is less cool with it than Verizon and T-Mobile and has chose to file a lawsuit in federal court to try and stop AT&T from using its sneaky, completely made-up evolutionary network technology term. "It also means we're the only company in the USA that can test the latest updates in real time on a standards based 5G commercial mobile network". Since 2017, it has been building the "5G E" brand name for its LTE-Advanced network.

Sprint said it is spending billions of dollars to roll out a "true" 5G network, starting in nine cities this year, including NY.

AT&T chief executive Randall Stephenson told CNBC Friday morning that the company feels "very comfortable" with the "5G E" moniker.

"But calling its network "5GE" (or "5G E" or "5G Evolution") does not make it a 5G network and instead deceives customers into believing it is something that it is not". Carriers that are perceived to offer more advanced technology then stand to gain a "significant competitive advantage" over other companies. T-Mobile CEO John Legere was less restrained. Sprint will have to reconcile its arguments to the FCC that it can not deploy a widespread 5G network without T-Mobile while simultaneously claiming in this suit to be launching "legitimate 5G technology imminently". AT&T offers standards-based 5G in parts of 12 cities, but its first 5G device for sale is a mobile hotspot rather than a phone.

Now there's no getting around the fact that 5G E is impressively fast, but to be clear, that's not what Sprint's lawsuit is about.

AT&T and Verizon have a small, early lead thanks to several limited deployments. "AT&T's false and misleading statements deceive consumers into believing that AT&T now operates a 5G wireless network and, through this deception, AT&T seeks to induce consumers to purchase or renew AT&T's services when they might otherwise have purchased Sprint's services", the suit alleges.

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