AT&T and Sprint Settle Lawsuit Over Misleading '5GE' Label for AT&T's 4G Network

Discussion in ' News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Apr 22, 2019.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    AT&T and Sprint have settled a lawsuit that Sprint levied against AT&T for its misleading "5G Evolution" or "5GE" branding that AT&T uses for its upgraded 4G LTE network.

    A spokesperson for AT&T today told Law360 that the matter has been "amicably settled." Details on the terms of the settlement have not been shared, but AT&T is planning to continue to use its 5GE branding.


    AT&T earlier this year began displaying a 5GE icon on some iPhone and Android smartphones. 5GE is AT&T's misleading name for an enhanced 4G LTE network and is not actual 5G connectivity, which incensed Sprint.

    After AT&T rolled out the 5GE terminology, Sprint filed a lawsuit in federal court against AT&T in an attempt to prevent AT&T from using 5GE labeling. Sprint accused AT&T of damaging the consumer reputation and understanding of true 5G and potentially hurting Sprint's planned 5G rollout this summer.

    Sprint also took out a full page ad in The New York Times to call AT&T out for the misleading labeling, calling 5GE "fake 5G." From Sprint's ad:
    AT&T uses 5GE for its 4G LTE networks that offer features like three-way carrier aggregation, 256 QAM, and 4x4 MIMO to provide faster connection speeds to consumers. These features are in no way limited to AT&T and are offered by other carriers, but no other carrier is using fake 5G branding.

    Unsurprisingly, speed tests have confirmed that AT&T's 5GE service is no faster than LTE from Verizon and T-Mobile.

    AT&T has defended its 5GE branding by calling 5G Evolution "first step on the road to 5G" and by claiming that customers "love" the 5GE branding because they "want and deserve to know" when "better speeds" are available.
    Smartphones that support true 5G connectivity are only now just beginning to trickle out, and Apple isn't expected to launch one until 2020. No existing iPhone will be able to connect to a 5G network because it requires new hardware.

    5G networks from the four major carriers in the United States are going to be available starting in 2019, but expanded coverage and full rollouts will take some time.

    Article Link: AT&T and Sprint Settle Lawsuit Over Misleading '5GE' Label for AT&T's 4G Network
  2. AdonisSMU macrumors 604

    Oct 23, 2010
    AT&T should be sued by actual customers for the misleading labels. Apple should be sued as well for accommodating AT&T on this scam.
  3. Statusnone88 macrumors 68000


    Jun 19, 2010
    Maybe Sprint should save its money for their wireless infrastructure instead of litigating with other companies over a stupid icon.

    Yes, 5GE is annoying, but it’s not the first time they’ve done this and they weren’t the first before that (see T-mobile with HSPA+).

  4. strayts macrumors member

    Oct 5, 2011
  5. BakaNode macrumors newbie


    Mar 30, 2019
    Pataskala, OH
    The simplest solution always seems like the most obvious. Just create a new badge for LTE-A (advanced) or LTE+ and keep the 5G label pure.

    4G (HSPA+)

    Sprint lost tons with their faux-G (4G) branding back in the day so I can see their point in trying to spread the justice.
  6. nutmac macrumors 68040

    Mar 30, 2004
    Apple probably didn't want to be bothered by ignorant AT&T customers complaining why iPhone is only LTE when their Android friends are on 5GE.

    Not exactly "courageous" obviously.
  7. nekov4ego macrumors newbie


    Nov 13, 2017
    London, United Kingdom
    Is there any American carrier who is even close to the 4G hardware up/down limit? If not, then upping that limit with 5G sounds kind of pointless.
  8. Cyberpower678 macrumors 6502

    Apr 28, 2015
    I speed tested 5GE in DC, and got a whopping 4 Mbps. They should obviously fix the speeds of LTE first.
  9. Glockworkorange macrumors 68000


    Feb 10, 2015
    Chicago, Illinois
    What a petulant thing to file a lawsuit over. Sprint would have lost, too. Not sure what they settled for, but presumably not much. I don't know how you prove damages without a 5G network of your own and I don't know how they established standing. Publicity stunt.
  10. Breaking Good macrumors 65816

    Sep 28, 2012
    AT&T agreed to allow Sprint customers to roam on its 5GE network. :D
  11. Glockworkorange macrumors 68000


    Feb 10, 2015
    Chicago, Illinois
    Sprint doesn't have a lot of room to talk with their faux "wi-Max" 4G back in the day.
  12. Mabus51 macrumors 65816

    Aug 16, 2007
    They gave Sprint money to stay quiet. Consumers still lose on misguided truth.
  13. iapplelove macrumors 601


    Nov 22, 2011
    East Coast USA
    I just want my phone to work when no WiFi is around.
  14. alexandr macrumors 6502


    Nov 11, 2005
    sprint will do anything to get a mention on macrumors...
  15. macduke macrumors G4


    Jun 27, 2007
    Central U.S.
    So basically this was never about Sprint wanting them to stop using the branding and about Sprint getting a payday? If I were every other wireless company, I’d be getting my lawyers together to go get some free money from AT&T. Heck, maybe we should all do this!
  16. Crowbot macrumors regular


    May 29, 2018
    Amicably...That's all they're going to tell us. :)
  17. lisster macrumors member

    Oct 29, 2008
    It's incredibly stupid marketing. But since ATT wants to play this game with me i've called them like 4 times in the last week complaining my 5g phone wasnt going at 5g speeds and got a reduction on my bill :)
  18. Vasilioskn macrumors 6502


    Jun 30, 2010
    New York
  19. notabadname macrumors 65816


    Jan 4, 2010
    Detroit Suburbs
    Any network provider could reasonably claim damage due to migration of their customer base to the only network with “5G”. False or misleading advertising hurts the competition.
  20. konqerror macrumors 6502

    Dec 31, 2013
    That's not how it works. There's reasons why performance is limited, say because of protocol inefficiencies, not enough radio bandwidth, signal too weak due to towers being too far apart, too many reflections from buildings, etc.

    The goal of newer standards are to perform better given the same situation, by using bandwidth more effectively, using better error correction to handle weak signals, using MIMO to purposely bounce signals, and so on.

    Therefore, given the same situation, newer protocols aim to improve performance.
  21. martyjmclean macrumors 6502


    Jan 24, 2018
    Sydney, NSW, Australia
    Why do americans have to be difficult? Just call it 4G like everyone else - and leave 5G for when 5G is available.
  22. xraydoc macrumors demi-god


    Oct 9, 2005
    Guess Sprint got a big load of “go the f* away” cash.
  23. Exile714 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 14, 2015
    Sprint: You can't say it's 5G, that's misleading to consumers.
    ATT: Here's $100.
    Sprint: Ah, no problem then!
  24. Sweetcheetah macrumors member


    Jun 28, 2007
    Bellingham, WA
    Well, whatever they are doing with law suite, boy when I went into near Seattle, WA area which we rare go into, I noticed on my original iPhone X this 5GE and thought, what the hell is that? Is that like the faster speed than LTE? So I went to my speed test app and saw that it was INCREDIBLY FAST! I mean it was like 160Mbps down and like 30 to 40Mbps up. I'm like daaaaang!!!! Where in some areas, I only get like 15 to 40 Mbps and like 5Mbps up? Sheees, It's like dialup. Yes, I'm with AT&T. So, whatever the naming scheme maybe, it's fast this 5G of sorts.

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