Saturday, 20 July, 2019

Sprint Suing AT&T For Labeling Its 4G LTE Network As '5GE'

Sprint sues AT&T over ‘5G E’ marketing calling it deceptive and misleading AT&T said it will fight a lawsuit over what some rivals and consumers have derided as “fake 5G” technology
Emmett Howard | 12 February, 2019, 08:12

"AT&T has employed numerous deceptive tactics to mislead consumers into believing that it now offers a coveted and highly anticipated fifth generation wireless network, known as 5G", Sprint said in the suit, published by Engadget. AT&T also took a stab at Sprint, stating that it "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'".

The federal suit, filed in the U.S. District Court of NY, wants AT&T to remove its "5Ge" logo from both marketing and its phones.

What started out on some Android phones has now rolled over to some iPhones, and, as a result, Sprint is ready to throw down the gauntlet in front of AT&T.

Speaking with Ad Age last week, Sprint CMO Roger Solé described AT&T's marketing as "very deceiving".

In a recent survey conducted by PCMag, more than four out of five Americans have no idea what 5G is. Misleading them to think that, in some markets, they have access to some kind of 5G wireless technology. "It's total confusion for the customers".

AT&T's "5G E" will be tested in court.

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Executives at Verizon and T-Mobile have also criticized AT&T's move. Of course, AT&T has been using this term for a while now, it's just that they have now embarked on a nationwide advertising campaign to sell the "5GE" dream, going as far as issuing updates to phones that show a "5GE" network icon when the connection is most definitely not 5G.

Facepalm: AT&T is once again preemptively branding technologies that don't exist yet, this time labeling their 4G LTE network upgrades as "5GE".

AT&T's strategy, which arguably amounts to trickery, has been categorized by many as misleading at best and purposefully deceptive at worst.

In a different statement to Mobile World Live, AT&T deployed a bit of whataboutery, saying that Sprint's lawsuit contradicts its merger filing with T-Mobile.

AT&T's website says 5GE, which stands for 5G Evolution, "is our first step on the road to 5G". 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. "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.'" Sprint and T-Mobile are still awaiting the fate of their proposed merger. However, for many users who do not understand technology, they will mistakenly believe that AT&T has provided the 5G network. We are "being clear with our customers, this is an evolutionary step to 5G". Sprint's argument is that what AT&T is doing is damaging the reputation of 5G, while it works to build out what it calls a " legitimate early entry into the 5G network space". T-Mobile CEO John Legere was less restrained. 5G Evolution and the 5GE indicator simply let customers know when their device is in an area where speeds up to twice as fast as standard LTE are available.

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