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AT&T, Sprint settle 5G E lawsuit, but AT&T will reportedly still use 5G E

AT&T will reportedly be allowed to keep using the 5G E term to refer to its 4G LTE networks.

Published onApril 23, 2019

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U.S. carrier Sprint took rival network AT&T to court earlier this year after the latter introduced fake 5G branding on several phones using its network. Now, it turns out that the two networks have agreed to settle the lawsuit, but with AT&T reportedly allowed to keep using its so-called 5G E branding.

An AT&T spokesperson told the Dallas Business Journal (h/t: The Verge) that the two companies have “amicably settled the matter.” This statement was echoed in an official emailed response sent to Android Authority.

Furthermore, a source told the outlet that AT&T will be allowed to keep using the controversial branding. It makes for a disappointing turn of events from a consumer point of view, as 5G E isn’t real 5G at all. The carrier used 5G E as a marketing term for its 4G LTE network, despite this network using the same technologies as rival carriers.

Still don’t believe us? Well, a recent OpenSignal report found that 5G E phones achieved similar speeds when connected to AT&T’s fake 5G network, T-Mobile, and Verizon. In fact, T-Mobile and Verizon speeds were slightly faster than AT&T, according to the data.

Besides Qualcomm, who else is in the 5G race?
5G logo neon sign taken at MWC 2019

The terms of the settlement weren’t disclosed, but it must’ve been compelling for Sprint if AT&T is still allowed to use the branding. Whether it’s a cash settlement, backing for the Sprint and T-Mobile merger, or another concession, it seems unlikely the two settled because Sprint suddenly agreed that 5G E was fair game.

We’ve contacted AT&T for clarification on its use of 5G E branding and will update the article accordingly. What do you make of this settlement though? Give us your thoughts below!

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