Sprint, AT&T reach settlement in lawsuit over rebranding 4G as '5G E'

Posted:
in iPhone
A settlement has emerged in Sprint's lawsuit against AT&T, which accused the rival carrier of "blatantly misleading consumers" with its use of the term "5G E" to market high-speed 4G connections.

AT&T 5G E on iPhone


"We have amicably settled this matter," an AT&T spokesperson explained to the Dallas Business Journal. The exact terms of the agreement haven't been made public.

AT&T will, however, get to keep using "5G E," according to other Journal sources. If true, that would suggest Sprint was compensated or simply decided to drop legal action.

AT&T first began using "5G E" around early January, for instance showing the label on connected iPhones. That drew an outcry not just from Sprint but T-Mobile and Verizon, all of which have held off on the 5G label outside of authentic networks.

U.S. 5G is still in its earliest phases. Verizon has marginal coverage in Chicago and Minneapolis, and while AT&T did launch real 5G in December, that's only in the form of a portable hotspot -- phone support is still in progress.

iPhones aren't expected to include 5G modems until 2020. That may be a result the now-ended Apple v. Qualcomm battle, as well as slow development by Intel. Indeed Intel dropped out of the 5G race shortly after the Qualcomm settlement.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 24
    Ahhh, so Sprint wasn't doing anything other than trying to gain publicity.
    chasmStrangeDayscurtis hannah
  • Reply 2 of 24
    jbdragonjbdragon Posts: 2,078member
    AT&T are liars as always. Nothing has changed, go figure.
    flydogStrangeDaysairnerd
  • Reply 3 of 24
    JWSCJWSC Posts: 388member

    Can’t yet figure why anyone needs 5G on a mobile phone - maybe some killer app that some junior high school kid is going to figure out in the next 3 years and become the next multimillionaire.

    But I can’t wait for 5G to replace my super duper crappy satellite internet service at home - yes I’m looking at you HughesNet - contract is up in October.  I just need a 5G box for my home network.

    And yes, AT&T is lying to y’all.

    chasmcurtis hannahairnerd
  • Reply 4 of 24
    wood1208wood1208 Posts: 1,945member
    Long as 5G E is explained as evolution than no misrepresentation. I would not object if ATT uses 5G B, where B is for bridging to 5G.
    I would object ATT if ATT uses 5G, standard based 5G or 5G A, where A for advance.
  • Reply 5 of 24
    bonobobbonobob Posts: 167member
    iPhone users should all call Apple Care to report a bug when their phones show 5GE. Enough people do that, and maybe Apple will back out the change.
    chasm
  • Reply 6 of 24
    kmareikmarei Posts: 77member
    I wish I could pay them in $50E bills
    $50 bills but the  evolution version, which I say is worth $100
    Sounds fair right 
    stompyStrangeDaysbala1234airnerdGeorgeBMac
  • Reply 7 of 24
    chasmchasm Posts: 1,420member
    wood1208 said:
    Long as 5G E is explained as evolution than no misrepresentation. I would not object if ATT uses 5G B, where B is for bridging to 5G.
    I would object ATT if ATT uses 5G, standard based 5G or 5G A, where A for advance.
    Except that “5Ge” isn’t an evolution. It’s literally nothing but the existing LTE working as designed. So it is, in fact, a misrepresentation. It literally has ZERO to do with 5G on any level, it misrepresents that your phone is capable of any sort of 5G (it isn’t) and it misrepresents that your speed is higher than it was before when you were standing in that same place a year ago (it isn’t).
    minicoffeeMplsPflydogbonobobairnerdGeorgeBMac
  • Reply 8 of 24
    chasmchasm Posts: 1,420member
    It’s a pity the US lacks a functional FCC; the previous head of that agency would be all over this.
    MplsPflydogStrangeDaysGeorgeBMac
  • Reply 9 of 24
    M68000M68000 Posts: 61member
    How does the FCC allow this to go on?
    StrangeDays
  • Reply 10 of 24
    I'm neither an expert on wireless communications nor on US wireless carriers, (nor do I even live in the US) but I seem to recall when T-Mobile (which is trying to merge with Sprint now) was guilty of exactly the same thing when they called their 3.5G network "4G". https://wontek.com/news/T-Mobile-Continues-To-Push-Fake-4G-Branding  (The last sentence of the article on that link seems oddly prescient now.) My guess is that AT&T reminded them of this and then Sprint decided it's better to be quiet. 
    chasmthisisasj
  • Reply 11 of 24
    yoyo2222yoyo2222 Posts: 116member
    "5G E" isn't new behavior for them.

    To this day AT&T labels 3G connections as "4G". True 4G LTE connections are labeled "LTE". 

    I connected with this 5G E showing a couple of times but have yet to measure it using Speedtest. Most of the time I still see LTE.
  • Reply 12 of 24
    MplsPMplsP Posts: 1,296member
    M68000 said:
    How does the FCC allow this to go on?
    Look at who’s heading the ;’FCC then you’ll  understand. 
    StrangeDayschasmGeorgeBMac
  • Reply 13 of 24
    Ahhh, so Sprint wasn't doing anything other than trying to gain publicity.
    And make a little coin in the meantime.
    Mergers cost money. 
  • Reply 14 of 24
    wood1208 said:
    Long as 5G E is explained as evolution than no misrepresentation. I would not object if ATT uses 5G B, where B is for bridging to 5G.
    I would object ATT if ATT uses 5G, standard based 5G or 5G A, where A for advance.
    But what about everyone who doesn’t believe in evolution? 😂
    edited April 22
  • Reply 15 of 24
    Johan42Johan42 Posts: 163member
    Today’s FCC is a joke. Tsk. All these laws, policies, and regulations that only seem to apply to the 99%.
    StrangeDays
  • Reply 16 of 24
    MplsPMplsP Posts: 1,296member
    JWSC said:

    Can’t yet figure why anyone needs 5G on a mobile phone - maybe some killer app that some junior high school kid is going to figure out in the next 3 years and become the next multimillionaire.

    But I can’t wait for 5G to replace my super duper crappy satellite internet service at home - yes I’m looking at you HughesNet - contract is up in October.  I just need a 5G box for my home network.

    And yes, AT&T is lying to y’all.

    No one else knows what they’ll use 5G for on their mobile phone, either. I’ve asked multiple times and the best I’ve gotten is a link to a story talking about future, hypothetical uses that really aren’t applicable to mobile phones. That and insults, but if an insult is the best response someone can give to a question it generally means they don’t know the answer. 
    JWSC
  • Reply 17 of 24
    flydogflydog Posts: 268member
    M68000 said:
    How does the FCC allow this to go on?
    The FCC has no jurisdiction to regulate this type of advertising.  That would be the FTC.

    In any case, AT&T has not claimed that 5GE is the same as 5G, only that it is a form of LTE that incorporates some of the technology in 5G (which it does). 

     While I disagree with AT&T’s branding, there is nothing false or deceptive, as far as the letter of the law is concerned. All AT&T did is create their own wireless standard.
    edited April 22 airnerd
  • Reply 18 of 24
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 7,327member
    M68000 said:
    How does the FCC allow this to go on?
    They’ve adopted a hands-off approach to regulation. (Too bad it’s not hands-off my data)
  • Reply 19 of 24
    wood1208 said:
    Long as 5G E is explained as evolution than no misrepresentation. I would not object if ATT uses 5G B, where B is for bridging to 5G.
    I would object ATT if ATT uses 5G, standard based 5G or 5G A, where A for advance.
    But why cant all those labels be on 4G instead?

    Also E seems to interpret “Equivalent” to me, I don’t know if that’s just me.
  • Reply 20 of 24
    chasmchasm Posts: 1,420member
    flydog said:
    In any case, AT&T has not claimed that 5GE is the same as 5G, only that it is a form of LTE that incorporates some of the technology in 5G (which it does).

    Except that’s not true. It doesn’t use any 5G technology.
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