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AT&T tattles on Verizon for making fuzzy claims on 5G. Pot, meet kettle.

AT&T reportedly brought complaints about Verizon's 5G ads to the Better Business Bureau. Ain't that cheeky?

Published onMay 15, 2020

Spider Man Meme

The future is 5G — or so we’ve been told ad nauseum by wireless carriers for the past few years. However, when it comes to the Verizon 5G network, it appears the company (gasp!) isn’t giving us the whole truth in some of its advertisements.

The National Advertising Division (which is an arm of BBB National Programs) is now telling Verizon that it needs to update some of its ads related to the rollout of its 5G networks. The NAD says that two ads in question claim that Verizon is delivering “the most powerful 5G experience for America,” of which the NAD does not approve.

What the ads don’t make clear is that the Verizon 5G network is incredibly small and only available in very specific spots throughout the US. Some estimates point to as little as 3% of a “covered” area actually getting reliable 5G connections.

Related: The best 5G phones you can buy and all the 5G phones coming soon

Verizon has agreed to update its ads to make the claims fall in line with NAD guidelines. However, it also said it will appeal the NAD’s objections with the National Advertising Review Board (which is also affiliated with the BBB).

While all of this isn’t too surprising (carriers gonna be carriers), what is surprising is who brought the misleading Verizon 5G ads to the attention of the NAD: that’s right, AT&T (via Venture Beat). Considering AT&T has been in plenty of hot water over its own misleading claims related to its 5G networks — not to mention the incredibly controversial “5GE” rollout from last year — it’s deliciously ironic that AT&T would try to call out Verizon on this.

Despite the fact that Verizon has agreed to amend its advertisements, it isn’t quite clear what it’s going to do about the lack of reliable Verizon 5G service across the US, even in the few cities that already have the network switched on.

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