5Ge is not 5G and AT&T will stop using it in ads
AT&T will stop using “5G Evolution” and “5G Evolution, The First Step to 5G” as marketing slogans, The Wall Street Journal and other news outlets report. The announcement came after the carrier lost an appeal with the National Advertising Review Board, the BBB National Program’s advertising self-regulation program.
Rival carrier T-Mobile successfully challenged AT&T’s “5G Evolution” marketing campaign with the National Advertising Division unit of BBB National Programs. That’s when AT&T filed its appeal. The review board came to the same conclusion as the National Advertising Division, however.
“The NARB panel determined that both claims will mislead reasonable consumers into believing that AT&T is offering a 5G network and recommended that the claims be discontinued,” the board said. “At NAD and on appeal, it was not disputed that the AT&T network is not a 5G network.”
AT&T stated it disagreed with the review board’s reasoning, but that it would comply with the decision as a, “supporter of the self-regulatory process,” a company spokesman said. The company suggested it would still display “5GE” icons on its customers’ phones, as the review board’s decision only applies to its advertising.
The 5G battle continues
The major U.S. wireless carriers have fought to tell customers that they will be the first to deploy 5G nationwide and have objected to each others’ claims on the topics, according to The Wall Street Journal. AT&T challenged claims from two Verizon commercials that stated the carrier was, “building the most powerful 5G experience for America.” The National Advertising Division ruled earlier in May that Verizon needed to cease making that claim because it could not support it with any evidence. Verizon will appeal part of the decision.
Meanwhile, Sprint sued AT&T in February 2019 over its 5G marketing. The carrier alleged AT&T was taking part in false advertising. A T-Mobile spokeswoman said the lawsuit was settled in April 2019.
“T-Mobile’s 5G is based on real, standards-based 5G,” the carrier said in a release in December 2019. “AT&T started in 5G by deceiving customers with fake ‘5GE’, which is just LTE re-labeled.”