Friday, 05 June, 2020

AT&T to change its controversial ‘5GE’ marketing strategy

In stunning reversal, AT&T may get rid of its very stupid and misleading After Appeal, NARB Recommends AT&T Discontinue "5G Evolution" and "5G Evolution, The First Step to 5G" Claims
Cecil Davis | 23 May, 2020, 11:40

NAD is the investigative unit that reviews national advertising across mediums as part of the industry's self-regulation system.

However, critics have argued that the term is misleading and could make consumers believe their phone is capable of connecting to 5G networks even though it's still using 4G connections.

A panel of the National Advertising Review Board is recommending that AT&T stop its "5G Evolution" label for its network. Both NARB and NAD are divisions of BBB National Programs.

As a reminder, 5G E is simply a faster version of the 4G LTE standard, but it comes nowhere close to the speeds promised by the actual 5G spec finalized by the global cellular standards group 3GPP in 2018. The NARB panel agreed with NAD's analysis.

AT&T says it will stop advertising its wireless network as "5G Evolution" after a division of the Better Business Bureau determined that its language was misleading.

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Further, the Panel agreed with NAD's conclusion that the addition of "The First Step in 5G" does not cure the concern that consumers could reasonably take away the message that beginning 5G technology is delivered.

The company says it's already ceased using 5G Evolution in its branding, likely because it's been promoting its real 5G network of late.

While AT&T and also various other cordless service providers in the United States. have actually now started rolling real 5G cordless networks, AT&T in December 2018 started discussing a "5G Evolution" solution that was now offered in numerous markets, and also positioned a "5G E" symbol on phones when they linked to the network. It's not clear what that means and how much AT&T uses the "5G Evolution" branding today in its stores and ads today. As a supporter of the self-regulatory process, however, AT&T will comply with the NARB's decision.

AT&T stated that it "respectfully disagrees with the reasoning and result reached by the Panel majority", and reiterated its position that its customers nationwide continue to benefit from dramatically superior speeds and performance that AT&T's current network provides. Those are national advertisers (49 members), advertising agencies (26 members), and public members (12) made up of academics and former members of the public sector.