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Main » Sprint files lawsuit against AT&T for phony 5G network | Digital

Sprint files lawsuit against AT&T for phony 5G network | Digital

09 February 2019

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".

AT&T started rolling out the 5GE label on smartphones last month, and now the icon is appearing on iPhones.

AT&T is lying to customers.

The war of words between America's top carriers over 5G branding has now devolved into a lawsuit. Moreover, 43 recent of consumers believed if they were to purchase an AT&T phone today that it would provide 5G service.

Even though the roll out of 5G smartphones hasn't begun, AT&T has made a decision to replace the 4G icon on select devices with a 5G E symbol in areas with support for AT&T's fastest LTE technologies.

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AT&T's product is "nothing more than" advanced LTE, or an advanced version of what the industry calls 4G Long Term Evolution technology, according to the lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in the Southern District of NY. AT&T says standards-based mobile 5G is available in a few places, though only a $400 mobile hotspot can access it. However, for many users who do not understand technology, they will mistakenly believe that AT&T has provided the 5G network.

"As greater capabilities are validated in interoperability testing (IOT) environments between our technology partners (both network and silicon providers), we are moving quickly to enable in our network allowing for quick real world validation", AT&T said. Recently, Sprint, the fourth-largest mobile operator in the United States, filed a lawsuit against the US's second-largest mobile operator AT&T in the Southern District Court of NY, accusing the latter of using false 5G tags to mislead consumers. "We've brought the "5G E" indicator to some of our most popular and capable smartphones simply to help customers know when they are in an area where the enhanced wireless experience may be available", the statement said.

AT&T said it "will fight 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". 5G E, as AT&T claims, stands for "5G Evolution", or the precursor to the nationwide 5G networks carriers are beginning to build out. Speaking after his company's quarterly earnings report on Thursday, T-Mobile CEO John Legere said he had concerns.

"We introduced 5G Evolution more than two years ago, clearly defining it as an evolutionary step to standards-based 5G", AT&T said. It is not a secret that Verizon, T-Mobile, and even Sprint have their own plans for a mobile 5G wireless network. Sprint contends in the lawsuit, published by Engadget, that AT&T is "deliberately deceiving consumers" into thinking their 4G phones have been upgraded to 5G. AT&T's service is not 5G-ready or capable, and they have pulled stunts like this in the past. Sprint dubbed its short-lived WiMax network 4G, while T-Mobile and AT&T blurred the lines by calling advanced 3G a flavor of 4G.

Sprint commissioned a survey and found that 54 percent of consumers mistakenly believe AT&T's "5G E" is "the same as or better than a 5G network".

Sprint files lawsuit against AT&T for phony 5G network | Digital