Ever since 2017, AT&T has had a fake 5G network called 5G Evolution. It’s nothing but a rebranding of 4G LTE Advanced, and in some cases, it’s not even as fast as competitors’ 4G networks. Well, after over two years, it turns out that calling a 4G network 5G might not be a good idea.
Today, the National Advertising Review Board recommended that AT&T stop using the terms “5G Evolution” and “5G Evolution, The First Step to 5G”. The reason, if it’s not completely obvious, is because consumers might not realize that what they’re buying isn’t actually 5G. The press release also noted that the ‘LTE’ in 4G LTE stands for long-term evolution, and customers might think that AT&T’s 4G has already evolved into 5G.
As for the “The First Step in 5G”, that is mainly because 4G LTE Advanced isn’t a step in 5G at all. AT&T subscribers might believe that they’re on 5G, with a better 5G network coming later. And of course, this isn’t the case. In fact, most of AT&T’s 5G Evolution devices don’t support any kind of 5G at all.
The company that challenged the issue with the National Advertising Division was, you guessed it, T-Mobile. AT&T’s response to today’s news is that it “respectfully disagrees with the reasoning and result reached by the Panel majority.”