Sprint sues AT&T for what it calls a "misleading 5G E-campaign" where AT&T is attempting to "mislead customers into believing it currently offers a sought-after and anticipated fifth-generation wireless network known as 5G. "  div> div.group> p: first-child "/>
The complaint is a step towards legal standards in the budding 5G room and can trigger an embarrassing recall for AT & T in its marketing if the judge rules in Sprint's favor Technical news site Engadget first reported lawsuit
According to the lawsuit:
The significance of AT & T's fraud is not overestimated.The following years of huge growth in both the number of computer users and the amount of data consumed require consumers Now wireless service with faster speeds, lower latency (ie faster connectivity) and greater capacity (ie, the ability to accommodate more users) than the current 4G LTE wireless service can deliver. Just offering a 4G LTE advanced network, AT&T tries to secure an unfair advantage in the saturated wireless market.
The complaint, filed Thursday in the US District Court of the Southern District of New York, is trying to stop e AT&T from using the terms "5GE", "5G E" or "5G Evolution" or any term containing "5G" for the current wireless networking services. It also includes the possibility that AT&T may pay compensation for an amount to be determined by the court.
"We feel very comfortable with how we have characterized the new service we are launching," AT & T CEO Randall Stephenson told CNBC's "Squawk Box" Friday. "We have obviously done our homework. We have done a lot of work on how we characterize this and we are very clear with our customers that this is an evolutionary step."
All four major US wireless operators have been rushing to claim the first 5G network in the United States, causing customer confusion. Some of this had led operators such as AT&T to use 5G marketing in areas where 5G will eventually be available, but it is not yet.
"I clearly understand why our competitors may be sorry for this," Stephenson said. "It's not a game that anyone can run. It's a game we really like, and it's a game that will separate us on the market when we start rolling out this year."
Some AT&T phones now show a "5G E" indicator where they used to say LTE, for example. This means that a customer is in a 5G Evolution market where AT&T has distributed network technology that has the highest theoretical speeds of 400 megabits per second, or what AT&T considers the basis of 5G. But this does not mean that the customer is actually connected to a 5G network. In fact, customers can't even buy real 5G phones yet.
5G Evolution is not the same as 5G +, which is AT&T called the faster lower 5G "mmWave" network. It's the network that will compete with offers from Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile, and it's only available in a dozen markets in the US right now.
"The reality is that this network is not" new "and" 5G E & # 39; is a false and deceptive expression, "a Sprint spokesman said in a statement. "AT&T is just like Sprint and all the other major wireless operators are currently running a nationwide 4G LTE network."
AT & T attempted to clean up this confusion in a statement to CNBC on Wednesday, but it takes no reason why AT&T suggests it is actually 5G available when it is not.
"We have brought the 5G E-indicator to some of our most popular and talented smartphones to help customers know when they are in an area where the enhanced wireless experience may be available," a spokesman said. 5G compatible device will see a 5G + indicator when in our mmWave spectrum range. Later this year, we offer 5G over low bandwidth, and customers with a compatible device will see & # 39; 5G & # 39; in these areas. "
The company said in a statement Friday, that it has been in advance about 5G Evolution as a step toward" standard-based 5G. "
" We will fight this lawsuit while continuing to distribute 5G Evolution in addition to standard-based mobile 5G. Customers want and deserve to know when they get better speeds, "an AT&T spokesman said." Sprint must unite its arguments to the FCC that it cannot distribute a widespread 5G network without T-Mobile while claiming that it the case will launch "legitimate 5G technology in the immediate vicinity." "
Read the entire lawsuit: [1