Verizon Shivs AT&T, Says It Won't Mislead Customers With Phony 5G Labels

Earlier today we reported that T-Mobile was taking AT&T to task for its decision to seemingly deceive customers by changing 4G LTE labels on consumers' smartphones to ”5G E” with a software update. 5G E stands for 5G Evolution, which in AT&T parlance is a speed-boosted extension of existing 4G LTE wireless technology.

Now, the nation's largest wireless carrier, Verizon Wireless, is also calling out AT&T. While Verizon technically launched a 5G wireless network, it is limited to just a few cities in the United States at the moment and is only available for a fixed home broadband connection. So, while AT&T might have the only "true" operational mobile 5G service, its decision to muddy the waters with 5G E monikers promoted Verizon to write a blog post entitled "When we say '5G,' we mean 5G."

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AT&T's "fake" 5G E logo

"We’re calling on the broad wireless industry to commit to labeling something 5G only if new device hardware is connecting to the network using new radio technology to deliver new capabilities. Verizon is making this commitment today," said Verizon. "We won’t take an old phone and just change the software to turn the 4 in the status bar into a 5.

"We will not call our 4G network a 5G network if customers don’t experience a performance or capability upgrade that only 5G can deliver."

That seems like a pretty thorough rebuke of AT&T's tactics by Verizon, even if it was as humorously presented as T-Mobile's tweet seen below.

Verizon goes on to talk about the investments that it is making to roll 5G technology out nationwide. Bottom line, Verizon is making it clear that it committing so much time, effort, and resources into 5G that it doesn't have time to deal with such shenanigans as relabeling 4G LTE.


"People need a clear, consistent and simple understanding of 5G so they are able to compare services, plans and products, without having to maneuver through marketing double-speak or technical specifications."