Verizon Says It Won’t Launch Fake 5G Icons Like AT&T Did

Verizon and T-Mobile are calling out AT&T for starting a shady marketing tactic that labeled its 4G network as a 5G network. “In an open letter, in which AT&T is not named directly, Verizon says in part ‘the potential to over-hype and under-deliver on the 5G promise is a temptation that the wireless industry must resist,'” reports TechCrunch. Meanwhile, T-Mobile directly called out AT&T, tweeting a short video of someone putting a sticky note reading “9G” on top of their iPhone’s LTE icon. The Verge reports: The promise comes right as AT&T has started to roll out updates doing exactly that: changing the “LTE” icon in the corner of select phones into an icon reading “5G E.” One might assume that a “5G E” connection is the same thing as a “5G” connection, but it’s not. AT&T is just pretending that the faster portions of its LTE network are 5G and is trying to get a head start on the 5G marketing race by branding it “5G Evolution.” T-Mobile isn’t happy about the marketing nonsense either. Its CTO, Neville Ray, wrote that AT&T was “duping customers.”

Verizon says it’s “calling on the broad wireless industry to commit to labeling something 5G only if new device hardware is connecting to the network using new radio technology to deliver new capabilities” (emphasis Verizon’s). Kyle Malady, Verizon’s chief technical officer, says Verizon will lead by example and that “a clear, consistent, and simple understanding of 5G” is needed so consumers don’t have to “maneuver through marketing double-speak or technical specifications.” Malady says Verizon will “not call our 4G network a 5G network if customers don’t experience a performance or capability upgrade that only 5G can deliver.” But that isn’t the same thing as saying “we won’t label our network 5G unless it’s 5G.” In fact, if you turn that sentence into a positive statement, it says “we will only call our 4G network a 5G network if it delivers a 5G-like experience.” The Verge notes that Verizon “has also been misleading about its jump into 5G.” Last year, Big Red bragged about launching the “world’s first commercial 5G service,” even though “it wasn’t mobile; it was home internet service that just happened to be delivered wirelessly during the final stretch to a subscriber’s home; and it didn’t use the global 5G standard — it used a rival 5G standard created by Verizon.”

Read more of this story at Slashdot.