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AT&T might finally ditch deceptive 5G E branding

The use of the term 5G E for what is essentially just faster LTE confused many consumers.

Published onMay 20, 2020

ATT logo stock image 2
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

Like most major wireless carriers, AT&T is working hard to roll out its 5G network in major US markets. However, the company is confusing its customers with its 5G Evolution (5G E) branding.

AT&T describes it as “5G Evolution, The First Step to 5G,” which may be true in that it is slightly faster than traditional 4G LTE connections. However, 5G Evolution is nowhere near as fast as actual 5G, and that’s because it is just a faster version of LTE and not real 5G at all. The company started using this branding in 2017, long before real 5G was ready for the masses.

Thankfully, it looks like AT&T is going to drop the 5G E branding, which is at best confusing and at worst outright deceitful. The company received a recommendation from the National Advertising Review Board (NARB) to get rid of the 5G E branding. According to a report from The Verge, it appears AT&T is going to heed the recommendation.

AT&T's new "5G Evolution" is really still at 4G speeds, for now

The carrier said that it “respectfully disagrees” with the ruling from the NARB in regards to its use of 5G E branding, but noted that it is willing to comply.

The NARB put out a press release detailing its findings, and it said that it “agreed with NAD’s analysis and concluded that the term ‘Evolution’ is not likely to alert consumers to the fact that the service is not 5G.”

AT&T didn’t provide a timeframe for when it would comply, so we’ll have to wait and see when AT&T customers stop seeing 5G E in the top corner of their devices.

Related: Best AT&T plans

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