Feb. 8 (UPI) -- Wireless carrier Sprint is suing AT&T, saying its competitor's "5GE" promotional campaign is "deceptive" and illegal.
Sprint accuses AT&T of running an advertising blitz that is "falsely and misleadingly stating that AT&T offers its wireless service on a 5G network" and incorrectly telling customers their phones are operating on a 5G network when they are instead connected to a 4G LTE network.
In the lawsuit, which tech news website Engadget obtained and posted online, Sprint asked for a jury trial and said AT&T is breaking federal and state laws on false advertising and deception.
"AT&T's attempt to increase its strong position in the wireless market through an aggressive and widespread false advertising campaign threatens Sprint's business and goodwill," the lawsuit states. "It harms consumers by holding out AT&T's services as more technologically advanced than Sprint's and enticing consumers to switch wireless service providers (or remain AT&T subscribers) under false pretenses."
AT&T's website says 5GE, which stands for 5G Evolution, "is our first step on the road to 5G." The 5G, or fifth generation, mobile network will offer faster speeds and connectivity, as well as larger capacity, Sprint said in its suit.
In December, Kevin Petersen, an AT&T senior vice president said in a post on the company blog that 5GE services were available in 585 markets, while standards-based 5G services were available in parts of 12 cities.
In a statement to TechCrunch, AT&T pledged to fight the lawsuit.
"We introduced 5G Evolution more than two years ago, clearly defining it as an evolutionary step to standards-based 5G," AT&T said. "5G Evolution and the 5GE indicator simply let customers know when their device is in an area where speeds up to twice as fast as standard LTE are available."