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AT&T sued by Sprint, must defend decision to tell users that 4G is “5G E”


 


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 2 weeks ago '13        #1
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eazy253 209 heat pts209
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AT&T sued by Sprint, must defend decision to tell users that 4G is “5G E”
 

 
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Sprint is suing AT&T, alleging that AT&T's misleading "5G E" advertising campaign violates laws prohibiting false advertising and deceptive acts and practices.

AT&T renamed a large portion of its 4G network, calling it "5G E," for "5G Evolution." But as we've written, what AT&T calls 5G E consists of technologies that are part of the years-old 4G LTE-Advanced standard and are already used by Verizon, T-Mobile, and Sprint on their 4G networks. 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.

"By making the false claim that it is offering a 5G wireless network where it offers only a 4G LTE Advanced network, AT&T is attempting to secure an unfair advantage in the saturated wireless market," Sprint wrote in a complaint filed yesterday in US District Court for the Southern District of New York. "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."

Sprint alleged that AT&T violated a US law prohibiting false advertising and New York state laws against deceptive acts and practices and false advertising. Sprint asked the court for monetary damages and an injunction preventing AT&T from using 5G or 5G E branding "until the wireless network that AT&T advertises as '5GE,' '5G E,' or '5G Evolution,' or any designation containing '5G,' complies with 3GPP 5G standards." Sprint's complaint cites reporting from Ars and other news outlets

Despite trying to convince consumers that 5G E is different from 4G, OpenSignal measurements in late 2018 found that AT&T's average download speeds nationwide were slower than Verizon's and T-Mobile's 4G networks. Sprint is the only major carrier that AT&T beat in that ranking.

AT&T remains defiant
AT&T Communications CEO John Donovan recently defended the 5G E branding, saying AT&T's rivals are "frustrated" and that "I have now occupied beachfront real estate in my competitors' heads."

AT&T continued its defiance today.

"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. 5G Evolution and the 5G E indicator simply let customers know when their device is in an area where speeds up to twice as fast as standard LTE are available. That's what 5G Evolution is, and we are delighted to deliver it to our customers."

AT&T said it "will f*ght this lawsuit while continuing to deploy 5G Evolution in addition to standards-based mobile 5G," and that "customers want and deserve to know when they are getting better speeds."

AT&T also took a shot at Sprint's claims that it can't deploy a robust 5G network unless US regulators approve its proposed merger with T-Mobile.

"Sprint will have to reconcile its arguments to the FCC that it cannot deploy a widespread 5G network without T-Mobile while simultaneously claiming in this suit to be launching 'legitimate 5G technology imminently,'" AT&T said.

No 5G phones for sale yet
Sprint's complaint notes that all four major US wireless carriers offer the same LTE-Advanced features as AT&T's "5G E" network and that "currently, there are no 5G-enabled mobile phones or tablets available for sale or lease to consumers."

"AT&T's '5G E' network is not, in fact, a 5G wireless network, nor does AT&T sell a single 5G-enabled mobile phone or tablet," Sprint wrote.

AT&T's "5G E" is available in more than 400 markets nationwide. 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's complaint said that AT&T's "deceptive" 5G E campaign includes "1) a nationwide television and Internet advertising campaign falsely and misleadingly stating that AT&T offers its wireless service on a 5G network; (2) a software update that will change the screens of mobile phones and tablets operating on the AT&T 4G LTE Advanced network to indicate falsely that these devices are connected to a 5G network; and (3) other digital content falsely marketing AT&T phones as 5G phones capable of connecting to a 5G network."

Sprint said it commissioned a survey of wireless users and found that 54 percent of consumers "mistakenly believed, based on AT&T's 5G E claims, that AT&T's '5G E' network is the same as or better than a 5G network." The survey found that 43 percent of consumers "wrongly believed that if they were to purchase an AT&T phone today it would be capable of running on a 5G network," Sprint said.

"AT&T's advertising is false and misleading," Sprint wrote. "It deceives consumers into believing that AT&T's mobile devices operate on a 5G network when, in truth, those '5G E' devices operate on the same 4G LTE Advanced network that those AT&T customers were already using. AT&T's '5G E' network is a 4G LTE Advanced network, just like the networks of Sprint and the other major wireless service providers, none of which are mischaracterizing their 4G LTE Advanced networks as 5G."

Sprint said it wrote to AT&T on January 4, 2019, "demanding that AT&T stop its false and misleading activity," but AT&T "den[ied] Sprint's request and refus[ed] to alter its deceptive conduct."
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20 comments for "AT&T sued by Sprint, must defend decision to tell users that 4G is “5G E”"

 2 weeks ago '15        #2
giovanni24 
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:dea dcar:
+2   

 2 weeks ago '05        #3
old head 166 heat pts166
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ATT been on their fu*kery for years now.

Network struggling so bad now that they have to lie to their customers about being “the first with 5g”

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 2 weeks ago '12        #4
acefresh 21 heat pts21
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Hope AT&T counter sues and ends that miserable fu*king company
-11   

 2 weeks ago '17        #5
Thegreatiandi 
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Get em Sprint
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 2 weeks ago '18        #6
Phamous 
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ATT full of sh*t lol. 5Ge is nonsense just a marketing tactic to bring in new subscribers.

 2 weeks ago '07        #7
[MK] 
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Sounds pretty cut and dry from what Sprint is saying. You think AT&T's lawyers would have gone over this before they approved this 5G-E thing.
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 2 weeks ago '06        #8
Icee 36 heat pts36
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Is AT&T false advertising? most definitely


Did they already prepare for this lawsuit? "5G Evolution and the 5G E indicator simply let customers know when their device is in an area where speeds up to twice as fast as standard LTE are available. That's what 5G Evolution is, and we are delighted to deliver it to our customers." I'm not sure this will hold up in court, but they are covering their a*s at all bases with this 5G E sham.
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 2 weeks ago '14        #9
Swade009 72 heat pts72
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Sprint doesnt even work in Dallas/Frisco but yea I've done speed test on 5ge and it was 13mbps.

 2 weeks ago '06        #10
991 33 heat pts33
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 Swade009 said
Sprint doesnt even work in Dallas/Frisco but yea I've done speed test on 5ge and it was 13mbps.
I got metro pcs and have reached speeds like this. This is one of my tests. Not saying it's always this fast but I get good speed on a budget service.



[pic - click to view]

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 2 weeks ago '05        #11
projectd06 2 heat pts
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Every advertisement i see on TV is fu*king false advertising, marketing is fu*king trash and how they get away with it is ridiculous.
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 2 weeks ago '09        #12
wettems35 
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Sprint did the same thing with 4g lol they were the first to advertise it when it was bullsh*t
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 2 weeks ago '06        #13
Storchaveli 106 heat pts106
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fu*k ATT. Sprint gang.

 Phamous said
ATT full of sh*t lol. 5Ge is nonsense just a marketing tactic to bring in new subscribers.
Uhhh.... yeah that’s what the article says.

 2 weeks ago '15        #14
donnyyy 15 heat pts15
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 wettems35 said
Sprint did the same thing with 4g lol they were the first to advertise it when it was bullsh*t
They tried to create their own called WiMax and then scrapped it midway only to join LTE anyway

Their service has been hot garbage ever since
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 7 days ago '17        #15
Rule 336 88 heat pts88
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Aren't att and Verizon the biggest carriers? I just bought some stock.
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 6 days ago '04        #16
Javon23 327 heat pts327
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 wettems35 said
Sprint did the same thing with 4g lol they were the first to advertise it when it was bullsh*t
Sprint was the first to launch 4G but lost in the 4G standard war as phone manufacturers went with 4G LTE over WiMAX. As a result Sprint got stuck scrambling to rebuild and switch over their network to 4G LTE.
Network performance got affected because Sprint was providing service for 3G/4G WiMAX/4G LTE devices all at the same damn time while upgrading the network.
Sprint took gamble and lost.
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 6 days ago '04        #17
Javon23 327 heat pts327
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 donnyyy said
They tried to create their own called WiMax and then scrapped it midway only to join LTE anyway

Their service has been hot garbage ever since
Sprint's service is great now.
At&t's network is now hot garbage.
At&t is now the Worst network in the game.

 5 days ago '14        #18
Greenghost2212 3 heat pts
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 991 said
I got metro pcs and have reached speeds like this. This is one of my tests. Not saying it's always this fast but I get good speed on a budget service.



[pic - click to view]


Got MetroPCS also here in Chicago and see an avg of 30mb down during rush hour.

 5 days ago '05        #19
Y.G. 27 heat pts27
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 Swade009 said
Sprint doesnt even work in Dallas/Frisco but yea I've done speed test on 5ge and it was 13mbps.
My Sprint service is great when I'm in Dallas.

 3 days ago '14        #20
aabablusaan 
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 Javon23 said
Sprint was the first to launch 4G but lost in the 4G standard war as phone manufacturers went with 4G LTE over WiMAX. As a result Sprint got stuck scrambling to rebuild and switch over their network to 4G LTE.
Network performance got affected because Sprint was providing service for 3G/4G WiMAX/4G LTE devices all at the same damn time while upgrading the network.
Sprint took gamble and lost.
True story - I was part of a contracted engineering team that designed the test network for Sprint's first Wireless Microwave Access (WiMAX) 4G efforts. I spent a lot of time traveling between Overland Park, Burlingame, and Reston back in the day.
+2   

 3 days ago '04        #21
Javon23 327 heat pts327
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 aabablusaan said
True story - I was part of a contracted engineering team that designed the test network for Sprint's first Wireless Microwave Access (WiMAX) 4G efforts. I spent a lot of time traveling between Overland Park, Burlingame, and Reston back in the day.
Must of been a wild time. Props to you fam

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