Advanced wireless 5G technology has hit the courthouse ahead of its journey to consumers' cellphones as Sprint has charged rival AT&T with misleading customers about its current offering. 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.
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.
AT&T is lying to customers.
Sprint says in the lawsuit that competition within the wireless industry, specifically between the big four carriers, is fierce, and since most people in the U.S. have mobile phones, carriers these days typically acquire new customers by pulling them away from competitors.
According to a report from Engadget, Sprint accuses AT&T of engaging in a "deceptive 5G E campaign" created to confuse and mislead customers into thinking they're enjoying true 5G support. I have personally already encountered AT&T customers who believe their Samsung phone now has 5G.
Last month, AT&T customers saw a "5G E" logo on their mobile devices in over 400 markets - even though they were still on a 4G network. Although users are still using 4G network, AT&T is calling it 5G Evolution, a faster version of its existing network and a first step on the road to 5G. "It also means we're the only company in the USA that can test the latest updates in real time on a standards based 5G commercial mobile network". Instead, this is AT&T's sneaky way of branding their improved 4G LTE technology, which may now be slightly faster due to carrier aggregation and 4x4 MIMO antennas.
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Sprint said it is spending billions of dollars to roll out a "true" 5G network, starting in nine cities this year, including NY.
It was, in fact "a transparent attempt to influence consumers" purchasing decisions by deceiving them into believing that AT&T's network-because it claims to be a 5G wireless network-is more technologically advanced and of higher quality than those of other wireless service providers, including Sprint, ' alleges the complaint.
AT&T claims the "E" in 5G E stands for "evolution", implying that the company is, at some point in the future, going to implement the next wave of wireless service. AT&T's service is not 5G-ready or capable, and they have pulled stunts like this in the past. 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 didn't back down after being roasted by Verizon and T-Mobile, and now it's up to a court to decide the outcome. We introduced 5G Evolution more than two years ago, clearly defining it as an evolutionary step to standards-based 5G. "Customers want and deserve to know when they are getting better speeds", AT&T said in response to the lawsuit.
Although we have to take Sprint's own carrier-commissioned survey results with a grain of salt, it says that 54 percent of consumers think that 5G E is at least the same or even better than true 5G technology.
And Sprint's 100 percent correct.