Sprint and AT&T have settled a lawsuit over AT&T’s marketing use of “5G Evolution” to promote its LTE Advanced network.
According to a brief filing in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New Work, the case was dismissed with prejudice and each company covered its own legal costs.
AT&T told Dallas Business Journal that it had “amicably settled” the case; the outlet reported that AT&T will continue to use 5GE in its marketing, citing an anonymous source.
In its original complain, Sprint accused AT&T of using “numerous deceptive tactics to mislead consumers into believing that it currently offers a coveted and highly anticipated fifth generation wireless network, known as 5G. What AT&T touts as 5G, however, is nothing more than an enhanced fourth generation Long Term Evolution wireless service, known as 4G LTE
Advanced, which is offered by all other major wireless carriers.”
AT&T maintained in its court responses that it was “overt and transparent” that 5GE “would provide a substantial improvement in customer experience immediately while also laying the foundation for AT&T’s eventual nationwide 5G network.”
There is some evidence that the 5GE icon is influencing consumer behavior. Ookla recently found that AT&T had the fastest network speeds among national carriers, according to analysis of its crowdsourced Speedtest data — and AT&T has widely touted that result. Ookla also found that during a one-week period, there was a notable increase in AT&T customers running speed tests on iOS devices, and that increase corresponded with a software update which put AT&T’s 5GE icon in front of consumers — so many of them promptly ran a speed test to see what kind of performance they were getting.