A spokesman for AT&T today told Law360 that the case has been "amicably settled". Details of the terms of the settlement have not been shared, but AT & T plans to continue using its 5GE branding.
AT & T earlier this year began displaying a 5GE icon on some iPhone and Android smartphones. 5GE is the AT & T's misleading name for an improved 4G LTE network and is not an actual 5G connection, which increased Sprint.
Following the AT&T terminology, Sprint filed a lawsuit in the federal court against AT&T in an attempt to prevent AT&T from using 5GE marking. Sprint accused AT & T of damaging consumer reputation and understanding of true 5G and potentially damaging Sprint's planned 5G rollout this summer.
Sprint also released a full-page ad in the New York Times to call AT&T next to the misleading mark that calls 5GE "false 5G". From Sprint's ad:
While Sprint is working hard to deliver mobile 5G and the first 5G smartphone in the US, AT&T is struggling to persuade you that they have already won the race for 5G with something they call "5G Evolution." It's simply untrue.
Don't be fooled. 5G Evolution is not new or true 5G. It's fake 5G.
They would love you to believe they are different … better. The truth is AT&T simply offers customers a nationwide 4G LTE network like Sprint and all the other major wireless operators. It's not 5G.
AT & T uses 5GE for its 4G LTE networks, offering features such as three-way carrier aggregation, 256 QAM and 4
Surprisingly, speed tests have confirmed that AT & T's 5GE service is no faster than LTE from Verizon and T-Mobile.
AT & T has defended its 5GE branding by calling 5G Evolution "the first step on the road to 5G" and claiming that customers "love" 5GE branding because they "will and deserve to know" when "better speeds" are available.
"We understand why our competitors do not like what we do, but our customers love it. We introduced 5G Evolution more than two years ago and clearly defined it as an evolutionary step to standard-based 5G. 5G Evolution and 5GE indicator, let customers know when their device is in an area where speed is up to twice as fast as standard LTE is available, which is what 5G Evolution is and we are very happy to deliver it to our customers
Smartphones that support true 5G connectivity have just begun to cheat, and Apple is not expected to launch one until 2020. No existing iPhone could connect to a 5G network because it requires new hardware.
5G networks from the four major US carriers will be available from 2019, but extended coverage and full expiration will take some time.