It seems that the T-Mobile 5G network reliability claims may be a bit misleading. According to The Verge, the National Advertising Review Board (NARB) has asked T-Mobile to stop advertising this claim. The NARB investigated T-Mobile’s claims after Verizon complained about them earlier this year. Ironically, the NARB recommended Verizon stop some claims as well.
The NARB also mentioned that T-Mobile should not have to mention speed when discussing coverage in future ads. For its part, T-Mobile says it will comply with the recommendation. Of course, T-Mobile found a way to spin the recommendations into a positive. T-Mobile says it “appreciates that the panel agreed that T-Mobile can continue to advertise its superior 5G coverage without qualification.”
Now telecom giants like T-Mobile and Verizon do not have to follow recommendations from the NARB. So, the fact that T-Mobile has decided to comply is noteworthy. The NARB is a self-regulatory body that is classified as a nonprofit organization. That is to say, it has no governmental regulatory power. Their recommendations have been ignored before by AT&T when they recommended the carrier stop using the “5G E logo”. However, AT&T earlier this year did decide to get rid of their “5G Evolution” branding.
Now even though T-Mobile is agreeing to comply, the recommendation from the NARB is at odds with the National Advertising Division (NAD). The NAD is the regulatory body that oversees telecom advertising. In August the NAD decided that T-Mobile should disclose the speed of its network when claiming its network’s superiority.
T-Mobile 5G Network reliability according to Bill Nye the Science Guy
Here is some background into the claims from T-Mobile. They hired Bill Nye to explain in an ad why T-Mobile’s 5G network reliability claims are accurate. It boils down to Verizon using mmWave technology which has low range but high speeds versus T-Mobile using low-band 5G. Low-band 5G offers greater range but lower speeds. Bill Nye explains this more in-depth in the ad.
According to the NARB T-Mobile’s claiming and accompanying demonstrations implying other carriers’ coverage should stop. Especially those claiming other carriers’ networks cannot cover the “space taken by a single bench”. T-Mobile implying its 5G network provides availability in locations that have been difficult to cover should also stop as recommended by the NARB.
The 5G rollout has been a little confusing, to say the least. There are various wireless bands which each have their pros and cons. This confusion has caused the telecoms to argue over who’s network is better and why. Read the in-depth explanation from the NARB regarding its conclusion on T-Mobile’s claims.
The NARB panel determined that T-Mobile’s express reliability assertions would be understood as comparing its 5G network to 4G networks and that this message cannot be supported based on coverage, as T-Mobile’s 5G network does not equal or surpass its own 4G coverage or that of competitors. Further, the panel concluded that, in context, the claim that T-Mobile’s low-band 5G signal is more reliable than competing 5G signals should be evaluated with at least some insight concerning network performance beyond coverage. Because T-Mobile offered no such support for its 5G network reliability claims, parity or otherwise, the panel recommended that T-Mobile’s 5G reliability claims be discontinued.