AT&T CEO on Sprint 5G E ‘deception’ lawsuit: Label stands for 'evolution'

AT&T, an industry leader in transforming mobile services, is under fire for allegedly misleading consumers over its 5G E network label on smartphones.

Its rival Sprint is suing the mobile carrier over alleged deceptive advertising. However, AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson said 5G E stands for the progression of new technology, even though the service is still 4G-based.

“This is all a precurser on how you get to 5G,” Stephenson said during an exclusive interview with FOX Business’ Maria Bartiromo on Thursday. “That’s why we call it 5G Evolution — it’s an evolutionary step.”

The 5G Evolution service is currently in 400 markets across the U.S., according to Stephenson, and he added that AT&T will roll out some full 5G phones across the U.S. throughout the year.


“There aren’t any 5G, what I’ll call full 5G phones, available in the market,” he said. “We’ll have some in the market this year – Samsung and some others are putting some phones into the market; we’ll be selling those and you can get a full 5G experience.”