Sci-tech

Sprint files lawsuit against AT&T over its misleading 5G Evolution logo

Sprint files lawsuit against AT&T over its misleading 5G Evolution logo”

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

United States operator Sprint is so outraged by AT&T's attempt to rebrand its LTE-A service as 5Ge that it's taking its competitor to court over it.

AT&T is so desperate to get ahead in 5G that it's prematurely displaying "5GE" icons on phones that absolutely do not support faster 5G cellular speeds.

It appears that for now, AT&T is doubling down on the concept that consumers aren't confused by "5G E" and don't believe it's the same as 5G-NR, the technology that most of the industry calls "5G".

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. Verizon used old-school tactics to demonstrate their outrage, taking out a lengthy full-page ad in multiple national newpapers. Speaking after his company's quarterly earnings report on Thursday, T-Mobile CEO John Legere said he had concerns.

Sprint has filed a suit against AT&T in NY, as first reported by Engadget. "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". Through this lawsuit, Sprint is actually looking for real money, seeking relief by way of "awarding damages in an amount to be determined at trial". "They're shooting themselves in the foot and diluting the 5G message".

While this lawsuit may come off sounding like sour grapes from Sprint, they do have a point. 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. T-Mobile and Verizon have both pushed back against this in their own way.

The lawsuit, first reported by Engadget, focuses on the idea that consumers will purchase AT&T phones because they incorrectly believe they will provide 5G service.

"We understand why our competitors don't like what we are doing, but our customers love it", AT&T said in a statement provided to Ars. We introduced 5G Evolution more than two years ago, clearly defining it as an evolutionary step to standards-based 5G. The company has said the label reflects the fact that AT&T is on the pathway to rolling out a mainstream 5G network, which could eventually support download speeds up to 100 times faster than the current standard. 5G E, as AT&T claims, stands for "5G Evolution", or the precursor to the nationwide 5G networks carriers are beginning to build out. 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 said. "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. Sprint commissioned a survey over 5GE with results showing that 54% of respondents believe that "5GE" is the same or better than 5G, while 43% believe that if they buy a phone from AT&T today, it'll be 5G capable.



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