NAD recommends T-Mobile discontinue 5G ads that were challenged by Verizon


T-Mobile has been going after Verizon over the big red carrier’s 5G network in advertisements and on Twitter. But today the National Advertising Division (NAD) recommended that T-Mo should discontinue some of its marketing related to Verizon and 5G.

The NAD, a group that offers self-regulation of advertising in the US, has recommended that T-Mobile discontinue some of its 5G advertising. This decision comes after some of T-Mo’s 5G advertising claims were challenged by Verizon.

Verizon challenged a T-Mobile ad starring Bill Nye that says, “Other carriers have 5G signals that drop if you move two feet.” The NAD recommends that T-Mo discontinue the claim because it says there’s no evidence that Verizon’s 5G coverage is so limited in any area that it only covers a bench. The NAD also says that T-Mo’s disclosure — “A slight exaggeration, other 5G signals can cover whole blocks!” — contradicts its main claim and is insufficient to cure the misleading message.

Another claim that was challenged is that T-Mo 5G offers service in locations where customers usually experience a coverage gap, like basements or elevators. It was undisputed that T-Mobile’s low-band signal can penetrate walls, but the NAD says there’s no evidence of the extent to which it can do so or whether it offers coverage in places where cell service is challenging. And so the NAD recommends that T-Mobile discontinue these claims or modify them to more clearly disclose its 5G performance.

Verizon also took issue with a video comparing T-Mobile 5G and Verizon 5G in Miami’s Hard Rock Stadium ahead of the Super Bowl. The NAD recommends that T-Mo discontinue these videos because it didn’t show that the performance of Verizon depicted was typical for Verizon customers and because one of the demos implies that T-Mobile’s 5G network consistently provides no signal loss, decrease in signal strength, or reversion to 4G.

Finally, the NAD recommended that T-Mobile discontinue the claim that its 5G service is more reliable that its competitors’ 5G. While the NAD says that T-Mobile’s evidence backed up its claims about having better coverage, the NAD did not accept T-Mo’s argument that better coverage means better reliability.

There was one claim that the NAD didn’t feel should be discontinued, but it did recommend a modification. The NAD says that T-Mobile backed up its claim that its 5G is faster than its 4G and its competitors’ 4G, but that the claims also convey metrics that “will change our lives in really big ways” and about reliability. The NAD thinks that T-Mo should modify its claims to more clearly state how 5G is superior to 4G like it did with speed.

T-Mobile says that it’s disappointed with the NAD recommendations that some of its ads be discontinued. It plans to appeal the NAD’s decision.

Source: NAD

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  • Daniel Holmstock

    “the Science guy” use a fake scientist – get fake results

    • shawn murray

      first of all what fake science you know the the science guy has a pHD in since right.

      • Daniel Holmstock

        The man can not tell what X and Y Chromosomes are related to a SEX. Please a Ph.D means nothing to me, am i supposed to be impressed?

        “He holds honorary doctorate degrees from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Goucher College and Johns Hopkins”

        key word “honorary”.

        Bill Nye has a mechanical engineering degree, so he would have taken his fair share of physics courses, however, he has not done the work typically required to be considered a “scientist”.

  • SirStephenH

    I can understand the bench part but the other claims are bs. With the bench just make it clear that it’s an example and doesn’t represent actual coverage. They could even keep it the way it is but put a disclaimer along the bottom of the screen.

  • Shaun Michalak

    There is “some” points that Verizon has made, but only to a point.. Losing 5 g by moving 2 feet from a bench is technically possible.. Not very realistic, but it is possible… If moving those 2 feet can be the difference between a direct view to the base station, and being blocked by a brick wall from the corner of a building, then yes, it is possible.. Just like how mmWave 5G is not good for homes, because as soon as you walk in the door, you can lose all signal.. So T-Mobiles statement is not unrealistic taking mmWave signals into account.

    The basement thing.. There is no proof that the 600mhz signal can go to places that are challenging?? Really?? I did not see any complaints when Verizon used about that same comment when they put 700mhz into use.. But now it is a problem that T-mobile uses it, when they are using a frequency that penetrates walls even more then their 700mhz frequency??

    “because one of the demos implies that T-Mobile’s 5G network consistently
    provides no signal loss, decrease in signal strength, or reversion to

    I do not even know where to start with the stupidity of that one.. No signal loss I can go with.. But you are complaining because they are not showing their signal going back to 4G?? If you are in a place that has a great signal, why would the signal go back to 4G?? Basically, it is almost saying that they “want” T-Mobile to fudge their ad to be untruthful to make them look worse.. because asking someone to show their signal going to 4G from 5G, where they have full bars of 5G is just that..

    Reliability.. Well, since Verizon only had mmWave at the time the ad came out, then wouldn’t any working 5G signal be more reliable then no signal?? Technically, they are correct.. Especially since mmWave use is soo small in area, and T-Mobile did not guarantee reliability, just that it was more reliable.. To be honest, if I walked in my front door and lost my 5G signal, or lost it because it was raining, or a truck drove between me and the base station.. Well, that kind of leads to T-Mobile being truthful there..

    • Mike

      I agree with most of what you said. The only part I would add on to is that there 600mhz is not much better than 700mzh. The reason is that there 600mhz is actually 618-698. Half of that is toward 700 mhz. So I don’t think the characteristics are that much different. These bands are only as good as the signal from the phone back to the tower goes.

      • Shaun Michalak

        Same could be said for Verizon’s 700 mhz range.. Both, T-Mobile and AT&T’s regular 700mhz is lower frequency, in both up and download, then the lowest Verizon 700mhz.. So that will make it close to a 100 mhz difference.. I am not saying it is a “great” improvement in signal in these places.. I was more emphasizing 2 things.. First, Verizon used about the same ideology in the bragging when 700 mhz first came out. The difference, Verizon mentioned in your homes, and T-Mobile stated in places like basements.. The second, since Verizon has no bragging rights in the 5G range, other then in mmWave in a few tiny spots of the country.. That makes the comparison between mid or low band vs their mmWave a huge difference.. so there will be a huge difference in coverage..

        • Mike

          Very good points on what you said. Verizon would hype up there’s too if they had more coverage added. That is were Tmobile is doing good because they had alot of ground to cover. One thing I know Tmobile swapped around alot if frequencies prior to buying Sprint, and they traded with both Verizon and ATT. So all these headlines crack me up. In the end they will have have a 5g network. Why Verizon and ATT didn’t get into the 600 mhz auction is beyond me.

        • Shaun Michalak

          When they swapped spectrum, it was so that each carrier could keep the same spectrum across the board.. For example, T-Mobile may have had A block in Texas, but B block in Mississippi.. So they traded spectrum so they had a constant A or B block and not both, which makes it much easier to keep constant coverage at the edge of coverage areas, and not have to worry about overlapping at the border.. or leave dead spots to make sure that they did not overlap..

          As for the 600 auctions.. I think it was AT&T that did buy some, but then they sold it off afterwards.. To quote “AT&T, for example, sold all of its 600 MHz holdings through separate transactions with Columbia Capital and Tstar.”

          Since AT&T got all the extra 700 mhz spectrum from the first responders deal (which gave them about 40% more spectrum then Verizon or T-Mobile), it was not like they were lacking, so I can understand why they did not worry about keeping it.. But Verizon on the other hand.. Well, it is not like they have a huge amount of it.. In fact, T-Mobile has about the same amount as Verizon before the merger.. So why Verizon did not invest in it?? I have no idea..

    • marque2

      You don’t even have to move 2 feet. You can rotate 180 degrees and lose signal.

  • Verizon is a sourpuss

  • Mike

    Well here it is again, just in a form of challenges, another time to squish all the hype of 5g. These carriers should just build out there systems and at the end let customers figue who is best. No more hype, no more crappy coverage maps, and no more BS. Plus, lower the prices of those phones as $600.00 or more is over the top. Again, no phone should be that high, unless it’s covered in gold.

    • Shaun Michalak

      Don’t say that too loud.. Especially to Apple users.. That is what their phones start out as..

      As for coverage.. There is no best.. Every carrier has their good and bad points.. There is places that Verizon has a better signal, and other places that AT&t does, yet other places that T-Mobile does.. There are some places that only one of the 3 actually have any service.. and there are places that all of them have none.. Every area is going to be different as to whose coverage and service is better..

      • dcmanryan

        Well said. There will never be a best carrier as to hold that claim they’d need to have the best coverage and speed in every area and that’s not going to happen with any carrier.