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AT&T’s faux 5G network

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There’s risky rebranding, and then there’s the pot-stirring AT&T’s doing. Rival Sprint decided to take matters to a higher power...and that higher power is the federal court system.

Sprint (0.00%) has sued AT&T (+0.34%), alleging it deceived consumers into thinking they were using a next-generation 5G wireless network...which hasn’t yet been widely deployed.

We’ll explain. AT&T customers in 400+ markets have seen a “5G E” indicator on their mobile devices, right next to that battery icon hanging on to 7% for dear life.

  • But users are still on a 4G network…mostly because smartphones on Android and iOS aren’t yet equipped to support 5G.
  • AT&T is just calling it 5G Evolution, Sprint claims, to gain an unfair advantage. AT&T will tell you the 5G E network is a necessary stepping stone to get to “ultimate 5G.”

What’s one more G? Well, 5G can offer data speeds up to 100x faster than 4G networks. And every wireless carrier is battling for the first-mover advantage—if your engineers are running behind schedule, send in the legal team.

Morning Brew

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