AT&T didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.
Sprint is requesting that the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of NY block AT&T from continuing to use the label "5G E" or any related variant of the label.
AT&T is so desperate to get ahead in 5G that it's prematurely displaying "5GE" icons on phones that absolutely do not support faster 5G cellular speeds.
"We will fight this lawsuit while continuing to deploy 5G Evolution in addition to standards-based mobile 5G".
AT&T is touting its ability to achieve 1.5 Gbps in a field test using its commercial 5G network at the same time it's defending its use of the "5G E" moniker on phones, something Sprint is suing the operator over.
AT&T successfully tested a new software update on its live commercial 5G+ network, which resulted in speeds over 1.5 Gbps, he said, noting that speed doesn't reflect current user-experienced 5G+ speeds, which are lower and will vary.
After being mocked by the internet and other carriers, AT&T is showing no signs of slowing down its push to mislead customers with a "5GE" connectivity logo on phones that do not support any sort of 5G connection. But AT&T could well argue that "5G" doesn't actually mean anything, or that it means what carriers say it means.
"AT&T is deliberately deceiving consumers into believing that their existing 4G LTE network operates on a coveted and highly anticipated 5G network", a Sprint spokesperson said in a statement.
"Sprint will have to reconcile its arguments to the FCC [Federal Communications Commission] that it can not deploy a widespread 5G network without T-Mobile while simultaneously claiming in this suit to be launching 'legitimate 5G technology imminently'".
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There are countless ways for AT&T to share the message that they are delivering an upgraded 4G LTE experience to customers that do not involve telling them their phone now connects in some way to 5G. We introduced 5G Evolution more than two years ago, clearly defining it as an evolutionary step to standards-based 5G.
'But calling its network 5GE does not make it a 5G network and instead deceives customers into believing it is something it is not, ' it continues.
"I don't think AT&T's use of "5G E" is Sprint's biggest problem", Piecyk said. T-Mobile CEO John Legere was less restrained.
AT&T issued its own statement that acknowledged a distinction between its 5GE service and "standards-based 5G" service. "Sprint will have to reconcile its arguments to the FCC that it can not deploy a widespread 5G network without T-Mobile while simultaneously claiming in this suit to be launching 'legitimate 5G technology imminently.'" Sprint and T-Mobile are still awaiting the fate of their proposed merger.
AT&T chief executive Randall Stephenson told CNBC Friday morning that the company feels "very comfortable" with the "5G E" moniker.
And Sprint's 100 percent correct.
As "proof" non-savvy consumers are being fooled, Sprint claims a company-commissioned survey found 54 percent of consumers thought AT&T's 5GE was the same as a real 5G network.