Sprint sues AT&T, calls its 5G marketing 'deceptive'

Sprint filed a lawsuit in federal court Feb. 7, alleging that AT&T is misleading customers by marketing its 4G LTE service as 5G, The Hill reports.

Six things to know:

1. 5G is the next generation of internet speed and is poised to change the telecommunications industry, but is years away from being fully realized, according to The Hill.

2. In recent months, AT&T has been changing the 4G label on its customers' phones to "5GE" — or 5G Evolution, the company's latest high-speed network.

3. Sprint claims that AT&T's marketing of its "5GE" offerings are false, since it is not true 5G, and that it creates an "unfair advantage" to the company.

4. In the lawsuit, Sprint argues: "AT&T has employed numerous deceptive tactics to mislead consumers into believing that it currently offers a coveted and highly anticipated fifth generation wireless network, known as 5G … What AT&T touts as 5G, however, is nothing more than an enhanced fourth generation long term evolution wireless service, known as 4G LTE Advanced, which is offered by all other major wireless carriers."

5. Responding to the lawsuit, AT&T spokesman Michael Balmoris said:

"We understand why our competitors don't like what we are doing, but our customers love it … We introduced 5G Evolution more than two years ago, clearly defining it as an evolutionary step to standards-based 5G. 5G Evolution and the 5GE indicator simply let customers know when their device is in an area where speeds up to twice as fast as standard LTE are available."

6. In January, Chicago-based Rush University Medical Center and its clinically integrated provider network Rush System for Health partnered with AT&T to use 5G technology in certain facilities. AT&T has suggested that 5G in the hospital setting will make it easier to deploy technologies such as artificial intelligence.

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