AT&T Might Finally Ditch '5GE' Marketing Following National Advertising Board Recommendation [Updated]

Following a challenge from T-Mobile, the National Advertising Review Board today announced that it has recommended that AT&T discontinue its "5G Evolution" or "5GE" marketing claims, noting that they may be misleading to consumers.

5ge iphone label
"5G Evolution" is the branding that AT&T has been using in areas where the latest 4G LTE technologies like three-way carrier aggregation, 4x4 MIMO, and 256-QAM are available. Since the release of iOS 12.2, AT&T has been displaying a "5GE" label in place of "LTE" on iPhones that connect to its network in areas where those technologies are available.

In a statement shared with MacRumors, AT&T said that it "respectfully disagrees" with the decision, but will comply as a "supporter of the self-regulatory process." AT&T added that it is not currently using "5G Evolution" branding in its advertising, but it did not confirm whether it will stop using the "5GE" label on smartphones.

AT&T respectfully disagrees with the reasoning and result reached by the Panel majority. AT&T's customers nationwide continue to benefit from dramatically superior speeds and performance that its current network provides. As a supporter of the self-regulatory process, however, AT&T will comply with the NARB's decision.

AT&T has since launched its actual 5G network in select cities in the United States. The first 5G-enabled iPhones are expected to launch later this year.

Update 1:29 p.m.: AT&T has told LightReading that it does not plan to remove the 5GE icon from phones because it is not considered advertising and thus falls outside of the NARB's recommendation.

But AT&T said the NARB's recommendation only applies to its advertising and therefore will not affect the one element that really matters: Its service icon.

Top Rated Comments

User 6502 Avatar
9 months ago
They should be fined for misleading advertisement.
Score: 45 Votes (Like | Disagree)
hancox Avatar
9 months ago
They just don't want their towers burned down by morons. "Look, it's not 5G anymore!!"
Score: 27 Votes (Like | Disagree)
NinjaHERO Avatar
9 months ago
I'm happy to see the "fake" 5G label going away. We had the same issue when 3.5G (sorry, don't know if that's the correct term) was being labeled as 4G.
Score: 26 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Mo398 Avatar
9 months ago
Finally, I'm so tired of explaining to friends and family that they don't have 5G - its so infuriating when they keep arguing "well my phone says 5G, so are you calling me a lier"
Score: 25 Votes (Like | Disagree)
tribeaumes Avatar
9 months ago
Good. AT&T’s argument was stupid AF. If it’s not 5G don’t say it is.
Score: 23 Votes (Like | Disagree)
BootsWalking Avatar
9 months ago
AT&T is like that kid in middle school who wouldn't put on deodorant. Everyone in gym class told him he stunk but he couldn't smell it himself and so didn't believe it.
Score: 21 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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