Sprint joined Verizon and T-Mobile US in hitting out at AT&T’s 5G marketing, arguing the company is blatantly misleading consumers with its network claims.

In a statement to Mobile World Live Sprint CTO John Saw (pictured) said AT&T’s 5G Evolution service “is not real 5G”.

AT&T is marketing the service as providing customers access to speeds faster than standard LTE, however the operator drew fire from its rivals after it updated Android devices on its network to display a 5GE logo on the screen, indicating they have connected to the 5G Evolution experience.

Sprint’s comments follow a warning from Verizon regarding 5G expectations: specifically that players in the mobile ecosystem should avoid “engaging in behaviour designed to purposefully confuse consumers, public officials and the investment community about what 5G really is”.

Meanwhile, T-Mobile appeared to openly mock AT&T’s move, releasing a video on Twitter with someone taping a 9G sticker on a smartphone.

Real 5G
As well as slamming AT&T for misleading consumers with its claims, Sprint took the opportunity to reiterate its own 5G rollout plans, stating it will launch and market “real 5G that is standards-based in the first half of 2019”.

“We’re designing our mobile 5G footprint at launch to cover the downtown metro areas of nine top cities, with sights on providing our customers with contiguous coverage using the first 5G smartphones in the US,” said Saw.

T-Mobile and Sprint are currently undergoing regulatory scrutiny over a proposed $26 billion merger.