AT&T's 5G Evolution branding has been the target of a lot of criticism, including from the other major U.S. carriers. Sprint even went so far as to sue AT&T over the 5G E brand, and now the two carriers have settled their dispute.
AT&T and Sprint today confirmed that they've reached a settlement in the lawsuit that Sprint filed against AT&T earlier this year. "The parties have amicably resolved this matter," AT&T told Law360. Neither carrier has said much else about their settlement, but a source speaking to Law360 says that AT&T will continue using its 5G Evolution branding.
5G Evolution isn't actually 5G, but is actually 4G that uses LTE Advanced technologies like 4x4 MIMO, 256 QAM, and carrier aggregation to boost download speeds on compatible devices. AT&T has caught a lot of flak for its 5G Evolution branding, especially as Android and iOS phones are updated to show "5G E" in their status bar when they're using AT&T's 5G Evolution converage. Some are concerned that this could lead consumers to think that their phone was just upgraded to support true 5G networking.
Sprint came out hard against AT&T and its 5G Evolution branding, calling it "fake 5G" and a "false and deceptive marketing campaign." Sprint even took out a full-page ad in The New York Times' Sunday edition to call out AT&T. Because of all that, it's kind of strange to see Sprint and AT&T settle the dispute with AT&T able to continue using the 5G Evolution branding. That's precisely what's happened, though, and so you'll continue to see 5G Evolution and 5G E branding from AT&T.