Sprint has taken out a full-page open letter ad in the Sunday’s edition of The New York Times to call out AT&T for false marketing of 4G LTE as 5G Evolution.
Earlier this year in January, AT&T started rolling out an update to various Android and iPhone smartphones that change the 4G icon to 5GE icon. However, the update does not bring true 5G to your device.
Despite the ‘5GE’indicator, your iPhone will not have magically gained 5G capabilities with a software update. This nonsense is a marketing ploy by AT&T. The so-called 5G E (5G Evolution) network is just a beefed-up 4G network that potentially supplies faster-than-usual speeds. The technology and the speed it provides is similar to other US mobile carriers 4G network. Yep, there is no 5G here. AT&T is simply getting on the 5G bandwagon and purely misleading customers with this move.
To be clear, AT&T has an active 5G network, but it is limited to just 12 markets at this point. However, there are no smartphones in the market right now that can connect to it. So instead of highlighting that, AT&T decided to use deceptive marketing to fool its customers into thinking that they are already on its 5G network.
Dear wireless consumers,
While Sprint is working hard to deliver mobile 5G and the first 5G smartphone in the U.S., AT&T is hard at work trying to convince you that they already won the race to 5G with something they call “5G Evolution”. That is simply untrue.
Don’t be fooled. 5G Evolution isn’t new or true 5G. It is a fake 5G.
They would love for you to believe they are different … better. The truth is AT&T is simply offering customers a nationwide 4G LTE network just like Sprint and all the other major wireless carriers. It’s not 5G. AT&T’s fake 5G claims are deceiving consumers, but Sprint is fighting for you.
We filed a lawsuit against AT&T demanding that they immediately end their false and deceptive marketing campaign.
AT&T seems to be delighted by the depth and breadth of their deception. AT&T admitted that the company’s 5G E advertising is strictly a narrative to outline how they want the world to work – not a reflection of today’s reality.
In the coming years, 5G promises new levels of innovation and progress that will transform how we live, work and play. It will enable revolutions in smart cities, health care, connected cars, robotics, augmented and virtual reality, entertainment and more.
Sprint is proud to have played a key role in developing 5G standards that will support this faster and more reliable service. By this summer, we will begin offering our customers real mobile 5G in nine major metro areas.
And if the merger of Sprint and T-Mobile is approved, the new company will deliver the world’s best 5G network with higher speeds and more capacity, coverage, and consistency nationwide, including in rural America.
In the meantime, Sprint is committed to taking the necessary steps to successfully launch 5G. AT&T would rather skip these steps and claim to win the race to 5G by pretending their existing network is 5G. It’s not, and we won’t stand for it – neither should you.
Sprint’s ad in New York Times Sunday edition
Last month, Sprint filed a case against AT&T for what it perceives to be deceptive marketing to consumers who would not know better on a superficial basis.
In its claim, Sprint said it commissioned a survey that found 54 percent of consumers believed the “5GE” networks were the same as or better than 5G, and that 43 percent think if they buy an AT&T phone today it will be 5G capable, even though neither of those things are true. Specifically, Sprint is suing AT&T for “false advertising” and “deceptive acts”, noting that some customers will believe they have access to a 5G network when, in reality, they do not.
Sprint’s argument is that what AT&T is doing is damaging the reputation of 5G, while it works to build out what it calls a “legitimate early entry into the 5G network space”.