Published: Sat, February 09, 2019
Technology | By Lionel Gonzales

Sprint sues AT&T, claiming 'deceptive' and illegal 5GE branding

Sprint sues AT&T, claiming 'deceptive' and illegal 5GE branding

Rival wireless carrier Sprint is suing the company over its claims, calling 5GE a "false and misleading" label created to deceive customers into thinking AT&T's service is faster and better than others.

Sprint said in the lawsuit that the AT&T advertising "deceives consumers" into thinking they already have access to 5G connectivity, when they are really only connected to a faster 4G network.

Sprint will seek a temporary restraining order against AT&T to cease the 5GE commercials and labeling as soon as possible, a lawyer for the company said. T-Mobile settled for roasting AT&T on Twitter, while Verizon published a serious letter urging the mobile industry at large not to give in to the temptation to mislead customers with bogus branding.

The four major carriers in the US are all rushing headlong into 5G. 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. Moreover, 43 recent of consumers believed if they were to purchase an AT&T phone today that it would provide 5G service. That's because AT&T has made it so that phone manufacturers need to show "5G E" instead of "4G LTE" in some markets.

AT&T's decision to label some of its most advanced 4G LTE mobile network as "5G Evolution" has drawn scorn from rivals and some analysts who claim the carrier is misleading consumers about the real arrival date of faster fifth-generation technology called "5G".

In December, Kevin Petersen, an AT&T senior vice president said in a post on the company blog that 5GE services were available in 585 markets, while standards-based 5G services were available in parts of 12 cities.

AT&T is accused of numerous acts of deliberate deception around its attempt to promote its LTE Advanced service as "5G Evolution".

Sprint files lawsuit against AT&T over its misleading 5G Evolution logo
Sprint files lawsuit against AT&T for phony 5G network | Digital

As it stands, Sprint's the only carrier taking legal action against AT&T for it's fake 5G network.

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.

AT&T's "5G E" will be tested in court. Their argument is that 5G Evolution and the 5GE logo "simply let customers know their device is in an area where speeds up to twice as fast as standard LTE are available". 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".

T-Mobile also hit out at the firm, accusing it of "duping customers" with the move.

AT&T issued its own statement that acknowledged a distinction between its 5GE service and "standards-based 5G" service.

"We introduced 5G Evolution more than two years ago, clearly defining it as an evolutionary step to standards-based 5G", AT&T said. AT&T didn't back down after being roasted by Verizon and T-Mobile, and now it's up to a court to decide the outcome. Customers want and deserve to know when they are getting better speeds. Engadget has the report on Friday, saying that Sprint is now suing AT&T for misleading its customers.

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