AT&T’s 5G Evolution branding has been the target of a lot of criticism, including from the other major U.S. carriers. Sprint even went so far as to sue AT&T over the 5G E brand, and now the two carriers have settled their dispute.
AT&T and Sprint today confirmed that they’ve reached a settlement in the lawsuit that Sprint filed against AT&T earlier this year. “The parties have amicably resolved this matter,” AT&T told Law360. Neither carrier has said much else about their settlement, but a source speaking to Law360 says that AT&T will continue using its 5G Evolution branding.
5G Evolution isn’t actually 5G, but is actually 4G that uses LTE Advanced technologies like 4×4 MIMO, 256 QAM, and carrier aggregation to boost download speeds on compatible devices. AT&T has caught a lot of flak for its 5G Evolution branding, especially as Android and iOS phones are updated to show “5G E” in their status bar when they’re using AT&T’s 5G Evolution converage. Some are concerned that this could lead consumers to think that their phone was just upgraded to support true 5G networking.
Sprint came out hard against AT&T and its 5G Evolution branding, calling it “fake 5G” and a “false and deceptive marketing campaign.” Sprint even took out a full-page ad in The New York Times‘ Sunday edition to call out AT&T. Because of all that, it’s kind of strange to see Sprint and AT&T settle the dispute with AT&T able to continue using the 5G Evolution branding. That’s precisely what’s happened, though, and so you’ll continue to see 5G Evolution and 5G E branding from AT&T.