AT&T Settles Sprint Suit Over Whether ‘5G E’ Logo Was Misleading

(Bloomberg) -- AT&T Inc. settled a lawsuit with Sprint Corp. over whether its use of a “5G E” icon tricked consumers into thinking they were getting access to a fifth-generation network.

“We have amicably settled this matter,” AT&T said in an emailed statement. Terms of the resolution weren’t available, but a person familiar with the situation said the carrier will continue to use the 5G E brand -- short for 5G Evolution -- in advertising and on its phones.

Representatives for Sprint didn’t immediately respond to request for comment.

The dispute flared up in February after AT&T began putting a small 5G E icon in the corner of mobile-phone screens -- despite not having the devices connected to a proper 5G network.

Rivals cried foul. T-Mobile US Inc. Chief Executive Officer John Legere called the approach “fake” 5G. And Sprint’s suit described the 5G E label as deceptive and harmful. Verizon Communications Inc. spokesman Jeffrey Nelson joked that the “E” means “eventually.”

AT&T has said that 5G Evolution is just meant to show when a phone is within range of its enhanced 4G network. AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson defended the 5G E branding earlier this year. We are “being clear with our customers,” he said on CNBC. “This is an evolutionary step to 5G.”

The Dallas Business Journal previously reported on the settlement.

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