AT&T may have solely solved a false advertising lawsuit with Sprint over its "5G Evolution" branding, but its apparent marketing strategy here turns out to be a disaster. Instead of taking a win to get to real 5G faster than their US competitors – AT & T's actual 5G network currently supports more cities than Verizon – the company still sticks to a meaningless, confusing logo, refusing to go away from.
While AT&T has clearly stated that 5G Evolution is not actually 5G, because it does not meet the technical or speed standards to be classified as such, the ultimate goal is to fool their own customers into believing they are accessing a next generation network through pure confusion. The end result: A number of confusion and news business, like The Verge must routinely emphasize that 5G E is a misleading attempt to give up the syringe without the basis of hard data.
Just take a look at the prominent technology CEO Marc Benioff, who runs the cloud computing company Salesforce. Earlier today, Benioff asked his Twitter audience of nearly 1
Do I mean that I'm now at 5G in San Francisco with 10 Gigabits with super low latency? My phone does not have a5G chipset, but it reads 5G. I saw real 5G last week South Korea and it was amazing. 100,000 antennas and 10,000 servers connected to a 5G core. Who knows the answer? pic.twitter.com/mtQtQ0VesI
– Marc Benioff (@Benioff) April 22, 2019
So yes, even the leader of a technology company seems to be confused by AT & Ts's branding. (He may have only been involved in a small fascinating argument, we have reached Benioff on Twitter to see if he will clarify his intentions with the tweet.)
Anyway, A&T customers out there are legally confused. When I wrote about AT&T 5G distribution earlier this month, talking about 5G availability in 19 US cities, despite not having commercially available devices to make use of it, a confused read sent me to tell me he thought he had access to the network on the phone. Including the screenshot this reader enclosed contained an iPhone home screen with the 5G E logo in the upper right corner. I had to write back and explain that no, it really wasn't real 5G. At least one Verge editor has also had to explain the confused family member that they have not been given a network upgrade overnight; countless examples of other AT&T subscribers have expressed similar confusion on the web .
Now, that's not to say that AT&T's network hasn't been faster over time. According to speed test data, it is collected by companies like Ookla and sent to The Verge by users who run individual speed tests. But as pointed out in the past, the speed holes are not as dramatic as AT&T makes them silent and they have nothing to do with 5G. The data used to make the AT&T speeds sound more impressive also comes with many warnings, such as the fact that the 5G E logo is the look of newer iPhones caused an influx of new tests that skewed recent data in AT & T's favor.
In some cases, the speeds you get at 5G E on AT & T's network may actually be slower than the speeds you will receive on T-Mobile and Verizon using smartphones that can access LTE Advanced and Advanced Pro technologies, which are variants of LTE that AT&T have rebranded as 5G E. That's all 5G E really is – rebranded LTE network technologies.
OpenSignal, the analytical company behind the study that revealed the embarrassing data point, called 5G E "a meaningless marketing movement designed to confuse customers and make AT&T appear to have a technological edge on the wireless technology." Stronger degree added the company: "It is obviously German."
But AT & T does not seem to care. By deciding its fake advertising suit with Sprint today, AT&T plans to continue using 5G E-marketing, according to anonymous sources called by . Dallas Business Journal And when he first defended himself from Sprint, who brought the lawsuit after an investigation, over half of the participants found that 5G E was comparable to true 5G, AT&T said customers wanted and deserved to know when they get better speeds. "
The company claimed that it had done enough to clarify the difference between 5G E and standard 5G. Not enough, in appearances, for prominent tech characters such as Benioff and for countless AT&T customers. AT&T was not immediately available for comment on this story.
The real test will, of course, be when smartphones finally have the required 5G modems required to access AT & T's next generation network, and the company has to explain once again that there is a new and faster technology on the block that is different than before. When that happens, I'm sure AT&T hopes people suddenly know and recognize the difference between 5G E and the real article. Because it will be a real challenge to brag about the next generation of network deployment customers after spending months fooling the same users into believing that the network has already arrived.