After being called out by the media and its main competitors, AT&T is finally talking about its decision to label its updated LTE network in 400 markets across the US as 5G E when in fact the devices connecting to the network will never be 5G-capable.
Rather than acknowledge the issue and admit that the company made a poor decision, AT&T’s Igal Elbaz, senior vice president for wireless technology AT&T, tried to minimize the company’s deceptive labeling in an interview with Tom’s Guide. Igal stated that “what we’re trying to do is two things. One is to let the customer know that they are in an enhanced experience market or area. So we’re letting them know this on the device. And there are close to 20 devices that support this.”
He also justified the 5GE labeling of AT&T’s LTE network by claiming that AT&T has been transparent about what they’ve been doing. While we can all appreciate the fact that AT&T didn’t simply make the switch without telling us, that still doesn’t change the fact that changing a 4G icon to 5GE is extremely deceptive, particularly to the everyday consumer who may not know that the label really means.
We can guarantee you that hundreds of thousands of AT&T customers will be telling their friends that their phone can now magically connect to 5G and try to convince them to switch from Verizon, T-Mobile and Sprint.
AT&T may change its stance on this whole issue if it continues to get pressure from Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile, but we wouldn’t count on it.
Source: Tom’s Guide