Sprint Takes Out Full Page NYT Ad Calling Out AT&T for Misleading 5GE Branding

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Apr 12, 2001
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Sprint on Sunday took out a full-page ad in The New York Times to call out AT&T for its "5GE" network labeling, which actually offers 4G speeds rather than 5G speeds.

In the letter [PDF], Sprint calls AT&T's 5G Evolution "fake 5G" and clarifies that AT&T is not, in fact, offering faster speeds than other carriers who deliver the same 4G LTE advancements that AT&T has enabled such as three-way carrier aggregation, 256 QAM, and 4x4 MIMO.

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 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 first started upgrading customer iPhones to read "5GE" in the iOS 12.2 beta, and the misleading branding will become much more widespread when iOS 12.2 sees a public release.

Devices in areas with AT&T's "upgraded" LTE will display "5GE" instead of LTE, but it's not real 5G. There is no iPhone that exists right now that is capable of connecting to a 5G network, nor does AT&T offer a true 5G network at this time.

AT&T has defended itself by claiming that 5G Evolution is the "first step on the road to 5G," but customers and other carriers are not impressed with its misleading branding that has the potential to confuse customers when actual 5G networks become available. AT&T has, however, claimed that customers "love" the 5GE branding because they "want and deserve to know" when "better speeds" are available.
"We understand why our competitors don't like what we are doing, but our customers love it. We introduced 5G Evolution more than two years ago, clearly defining it as an evolutionary step to standards-based 5G. 5G Evolution and the 5GE indicator simply let customers know when their device is in an area where speeds up to twice as fast as standard LTE are available. That's what 5G Evolution is, and we are delighted to deliver it to our customers.
Sprint has done more than just take out an ad against AT&T. In early February, Sprint filed a lawsuit in federal court against AT&T in an attempt to prevent AT&T from using the 5GE labeling on AT&T smartphones. Sprint says AT&T is damaging the consumer reputation and understanding of true 5G and potentially hurting Sprint's 5G launch this summer in nine metro areas.

True 5G smartphones won't be coming until later in 2019, and the 5G networks to support them also won't be available until later in the year. Rumors suggest Apple isn't planning to introduce 5G connectivity on its iPhones until 2020 at the earliest, so 5G is not a technology iPhone users will be able to take advantage of in 2019.

Article Link: Sprint Takes Out Full Page NYT Ad Calling Out AT&T for Misleading 5GE Branding
 

Porco

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"Sir that will be $500"
-Oh, sure, here's your money.
"Sorry sir, you only appear to have given me $450"
-Yeah, but it's like $500. It's the first step on the road to $500... I call it $500E! It's an evolution of $400.
"Sir, I'm afraid I'm going to have to call the police now... "
 

BWhaler

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Jan 8, 2003
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Good. And Apple should put a stop to this.. it’ll hurt sales in 2-3 years when 5g is really here.

Plus, the one great thing about Tim Cook’s Apple is its ethics. We suffer garbage keyboards and lacking software for the ethics. Apple should stop this deceptive practice.
 
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fairuz

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Aug 27, 2017
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Sprint: The carrier where you still can't do a phone call while using cell data, like it's 2007 again.

I am not defending AT&T's 5G branding, btw. Actually all telco have lost my respect since they keep selling users' live, ~100 yards accurate location data to shady parties. But AT&T's network is pretty good compared to the others.
 

Crowbot

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May 29, 2018
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Sprint: The carrier where you still can't do a phone call while using cell data, like it's 2007 again.

I am not defending AT&T's 5G branding, btw. Actually all telco have lost my respect since they keep selling users' live, ~100 yards accurate location data to shady parties. But AT&T's network is pretty good compared to the others.
I live in NYC. There are probably 5000 people within 100 yards of me. ;)
 
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happyslayer

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Feb 3, 2008
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Been an AT&T customer for a long time and they have generally been great for me. Their customer service, especially compared with Sprint (from 15 years ago) was the reason I switched. However, this kind of misleading crap just makes them look “shady” and dumb. Good for Sprint for calling them out. I am so tired of this world where facts have seemingly ceased to matter. If we say it’s 5G, it is, and the general, non-techy population won’t know the difference. Total BS!
 

1woodwrking

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Jan 8, 2019
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AT&T is like so many other companies that lead only by their ability to hire a good law team.. As America becomes more and more PC - its companies become just as fake as its heavily biased news sources that create a gullibility that sells product that no longer is what its touted as being. A good example is their customer service. They have been The ultimate leader in completely destroying the very meaning of service! The last straw for me was when I found out they were charging me for almost a year for things we had never ordered.
[doublepost=1552345985][/doublepost]
Been an AT&T customer for a long time and they have generally been great for me. Their customer service, especially compared with Sprint (from 15 years ago) was the reason I switched. However, this kind of misleading crap just makes them look “shady” and dumb. Good for Sprint for calling them out. I am so tired of this world where facts have seemingly ceased to matter. If we say it’s 5G, it is, and the general, non-techy population won’t know the difference. Total BS!
+_+_+_
really hard to tell which side you are on.. apparently for you its ALL good? and a source of the problem perhaps?
 
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B4U

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Oct 11, 2012
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It is just another day where the combined AT&T doing its business. Nothing new here, really.
Can't wait til the government break it up again.
 

Kaibelf

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Apr 29, 2009
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Apple should absolutely NOT be playing along with this. It cheapens the brand.

I'm in Phoenix and it's popped up here. I've run 10 speed tests and never pass 30 Mbps. At home in the suburbs on regular ol LTE I'm never slower than 100 Mbps.
I read a story a while back where a guy set up a Raspberry Pi to periodically measure his connection speed, and if it strayed way out of promised speeds, it would auto-post the measurement to the corporate Twitter as a public call-out without giving them the chance to know who they are talking to. Maybe people should do this with AT&T.
 

freddiebarnes

macrumors member
Oct 12, 2018
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I agree with Sprint for calling out ATT’s deliberate lying. Like someone else pointed out, ATT could say it’s LTE+. They know what they’re doing with this 5GE crap. It makes me not want to do business with ATT in the future. I was a happy Sprint customer for over 15 years and just recently switched to Xfinity Mobile to save money, but I loved Sprint.
 
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