The day news broke out about AT&T’s plan of rebranding its 4G LTE Advanced network to 5GE, we knew this day would come. The problem was the use of this 5GE indicator which is essentially misleading consumers in believing that AT&T is providing 5G connectivity. That is why Sprint has decided to step up by suing AT&T over this misleading use of the 5G term.
The lawsuit makes it very clear. The 5GE indicator on the phone for 4G LTE Advanced network “violates federal and state laws governing false advertising and deceptive acts and practices“. At the same time, it also gives AT&T an undue advantage in the market as everyone is trying to be the first 5G network provider. Sprint itself is also in a very good position of being that first provider. The lawsuit is worth reading. So let’s sit back and talk about it a bit –
First, it gives us a clear indication that Sprint is just a few months away from launching 5G in nine cities across the US including New York. The lawsuit also talks about a survey held by Sprint on whether people believed in this and consider buying a device with AT&T. Tldr; people are easily believing this false advertisement and their decisions are certainly being driven by it.
In contrast, AT&T has responded to this by stating their consumers are simply loving this term. It reiterates that the company will continue to deploy “real” 5G connectivity and until then call its 4G LTE Advanced network 5GE.
Our stand – It is no doubt that 5GE is a misleading term but everyone is eager to be the first and gain that early-bird advantage. If not AT&T, someone else would have done it and we may never be able to stop it. It is us as consumers who need to be aware of these things before making a decision.
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