AT&T has announced that it will no longer promote its wireless network as 5G Evolution, after a determination by a self-regulatory body found the language to be too ambiguous.
In reality, the network that AT&T marketed in such a way isn't 5G, the latest technology that offers very fast transmission of data via wireless infrastructure.
While AT&T and other US telecoms providers have already started launching legit 5G cellular networks, AT&T started touting a 5G Evolution platform in December 2018 that was already introduced in hundreds of markets, and even put up a 5GE icon on smartphones as the company linked to the system.
But the so-called evolution it boasted about was not really 5G, but simply the existing 4G network that was slower, in comparison to the newest and faster 5G network.
According to Open Signal, the download speed of AT&T's 5G ranked way too low compared to a large number of other telecommunications operators in the United States, South Korea, United Kingdom and Australia, except for T-Mobile.
After criticisms about its confusing ad campaign, AT&T is changing its tone now that it is facing greater pressure from industry leaders like Verizon, the parent company of Engadget. AT&T told Engadget it will now comply with a recommendation from the National Advertising Review Board for it to stop branding its LTE-A network as 5G Evolution.
NARB scrapped AT&T's motion against a determination that the 5GE badge and a 5G Evolution, the First Step to 5G, slogan was misleading to consumers. NARB is the appeals unit of the advertising industry's infrastructure of self-regulation, which is operated by the Better Business Bureau.
The BBB conducted a probe after T-Mobile US complained about the AT&T slogan, claiming the 5G Evolution branding was inaccurate because it implied what it calls a degree of technology that AT&T's service is not capable of providing.
Kate MacKinnon, spokesperson for the AT&T group, refused to issue any comments with regards to how they will use the 5G Evolution name or what changes they will have to undertake.
AT&T faced a major backlash after the telco introduced the ad campaign in 2018, with rivals alleging the company was falsely advertising. The following year, Sprint filed a lawsuit to prevent AT&T from using the term, but the two sides later settled their dispute.