AT&T, Sprint Settle 5GE Lawsuit

Posted on April 23, 2019 by Paul Thurrott in Cloud with 9 Comments

AT&T and Sprint have settled a false-advertising lawsuit over AT&T’s usage of “5GE” branding that incorrectly labels 4G networks as 5G. Sadly, the branding stands.

“The parties have amicably resolved this matter,” an AT&T statement notes tersely.

Spring sued AT&T in February, correctly alleging that using a “5GE” logo on mobile phones connected to certain 4G networks constituted false advertising. AT&T’s use of “5GE”—which means “5G Evolution”—is controversial because these networks do not, in fact, represent an interim step between 4G and 5G networks. 5GE networks are instead just a rebranding of existing 4G networks.

Like other wireless carriers, Sprint has been mocking AT&T’s 5GE marketing for months. But it also had the temerity to actually sue the firm, noting that “the significance of AT&T’s deception cannot be overstated.” “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, ” Sprint argued.

AT&T, for its part, has said that its customers “love” the 5GE branding. If true, they’re misinformed for the reason cited above. Contrary to AT&T’s claims, 5GE networks are not “an evolutionary step to standards-based 5G.” Unless, of course, you consider 4G “an evolutionary step to standards-based 5G.”

We may never know the full terms of the settlement, but we do know the only pertinent bit for consumers: AT&T’s terrible and false 5GE branding will remain in place.

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Comments (9)

9 responses to “AT&T, Sprint Settle 5GE Lawsuit”

  1. mrlinux11


    Spring sued AT&T , may be Sprint

  2. B Mallon

    "AT&T, for its part, has said that its customers “love” the 5GE branding."

    And they love it because they get to call a 4G network 5GE??? Nice try. Idiots.

  3. MikeGalos

    The real question is why this is being "settled" in a corporate lawsuit and not in a criminal false advertising charge.

  4. glenn8878

    Maybe they settled because AT&T has bigger pockets. Sprint lost big because this means AT&T can do whatever it wishes unless the government gets involved. I'm sure 5GE is differentiated advertising and it's not the same as 5G so consumers beware.

  5. johnbaxter

    I would prefer that AT&T do something about their signal in Port Hadlock, WA. In the bagel shop there my iPhone frequently reverts all the way down to EDGE. It's the only place where I routinely use the (WPA-2 secured) WI-FI.

  6. skane2600

    Of course when "real" 5G is available it still won't be the 5G that has been so hyped-up the last few years.