AT & T sued for changing the network icon from 4G to 5G E
In January of this year, Habré published the news that the American AT & T telecoms operator “switched” to 5G, simply by changing the 4G icon. There was no real upgrade on the fifth generation network, and there could not be, since there are no mobile devices in the public domain that could work with 5G.
The real transition to fifth generation communications is not a quick and very expensive business for telecom operators, and therefore the deployment of 5G is a matter of the distant future. AT & T decided to just release a software update for a number of smartphone models, including the Samsung Galaxy S8 Active, LG V30 and LG V40, which replaced the 4G icon with 5G. And now, it seems, the company will have to be responsible for this marketing ploy.
The competitor was sued by Sprint , which claims that AT & T is violating the law, misleading its customers. “Because of the fraudulent claim that the company offers 5G, in reality, by giving access to the 4G LTE Advanced network, AT & T creates conditions for unfair competition in the oversaturated cellular services market,” Sprint said in a statement. The plaintiff is unhappy that the owners of mobile devices are being deceived about the real state of affairs, considering that AT & T has something that other telecom operators do not have.
Sprint recalls that false advertising is prohibited in the United States, and these provisions are further reinforced by New York State law. Here the penalties for violations are very strict. Sprint requires you to punish a competitor - both with a fine and with administrative measures. In addition, the company asks to prohibit the use of such marketing techniques.
By the way, last year we tested the bandwidth of telecom operators in the United States. As it turned out, AT & T for this indicator is lagging behind almost all competitors (except Sprint). So even 4G of this operator does not work in full force, so to speak.
But despite all the allegations, AT & T does not plan to retreat. The company said that it understands why competitors do not like all this, but the operator will not return the 4G icon in the 4G LTE Advanced coverage area.
“We understand why our competitors do not like all of this, but users are very satisfied. We introduced 5G Evolution more than two years ago, explaining that this is an evolutionary stage of development, a step towards fifth-generation networks. The 5G E indicator simply shows where the user's device can receive and transmit data two times faster than in a conventional LTE network. This is exactly what 5G Evolution is, ”an AT & T spokesman said.
The company plans to fight all charges in court.
It is worth noting that AT & T is not the first case of aggressive marketing associated with the substitution of concepts. A similar advertising campaign was conducted by the telecom operator in 2012. Then HSPA + networks were displayed in users' mobile phones as 4G. The company explained that it was a simple advertising campaign. Now, apparently, about the same thing is happening, and AT & T has managed to attract a lot of attention of both American and foreign journalists to this action.
The equipment for 5G is now being produced by readable companies, including Huawei and ZTE, Ericsson, Nokia and Datang. And this is just the beginning of a long 5G deployment process. This year, most likely, manufacturers will put on the market the first mobile terminals supporting fifth-generation networks. They will be bigger and heavier than standard mobile phones, because the power consumption of 5G devices is higher than that of conventional devices.
Only in one country have 5G networks already been put into commercial operation. We are talking about South Korea, there are several thousand base stations installed here that provide 5G networks. The first subscribers will start connecting to them this year after 5G smartphones are on sale. The implementation of the 5G deployment project from the Korean operator took several billion US dollars.
As for AT & T, now marketing tricks may no longer get away with the operator, since many people are dissatisfied with the methods of his work.