Sprint is getting to be more and more like T-Mobile every day

Sprint is getting to be more and more like T-Mobile every day
AT&T found a clever, and misleading, many people say, way to get ahead of the field on 5G. By taking its 4G LTE network and increasing the number of connections between a cell tower and phone (4 X 4 MIMO), packing more data into signals (256QAM) and widening a "data lane" (carrier aggregation), the carrier can offer data speeds twice that available on 4G LTE. AT&T calls this 5G Evolution and added a "5G E" icon on the status bar of its handsets that are connected to this network.

Some might consider this to be just plain wrong since most consumers have no idea what 4 X 4 MIMO, or 256QAM is. And when they hear about 5G Evolution and see the 5G E icon, they must think that they are enjoying 5G data speeds, which is hardly the case. Sure, 5G Evolution does feature enhanced 4G LTE service, but do AT&T's customers know this?

Last month, Sprint filed a lawsuit against AT&T, claiming that its rival used "numerous deceptive tactics to mislead consumers into believing that it currently offers a coveted and highly anticipated fifth-generation wireless network, known as 5G." Spotted by Ars Technica, over the weekend Sprint did something that it might have taken from the T-Mobile playbook (both firms are waiting for regulatory approval to merge). It took out a full page ad in The New York Times correctly stating that AT&T's 5G Evolution is not 5G. The ad also notes that AT&T seems to have taken some delight in deceiving the public. 

Ironically, AT&T did launch mobile 5G service in 12 markets back in December. This service uses a Netgear Nighthawk mobile 5G hotspot to connect to the wireless provider's 5G network. A limited number of subscribers are receiving a free 90-day free trial. AT&T says that when it does offer the service next quarter, the Nighthawk will cost $499 and 15GB of 5G data will be priced at $70 a month.

Meanwhile, Sprint is not allowing AT&T to get off scot free with its 5G Evolution deception by challenging AT&T in the court of law and in the court of public opinion.

New reasons to get excited every week

Get the most important news, reviews and deals in mobile tech delivered straight to your inbox

FCC OKs Cingular\'s purchase of AT&T Wireless