T-Mobile recommended to stop claiming it has a more reliable 5G network


Once again, the National Advertising Review Board (NARB) has asked T-Mobile to stop making claims on the reliability of their 5G network. The decision of the board comes after Verizon made complaints on the claims made by T-Mobile on an ad launched this year. 

The ad, featuring Bill Nye, received flak after T-Mobile claimed that their 5G network was more reliable than their competitors. In the video, the celebrity scientist says this line before making a demonstration using mannequins:

“Other carriers have 5G signals that drop if you move two feet. That’s because their 5G is based around millimeter wave, otherwise known as high band. For instance this is how far 5G reaches with our carriers.” 

Nye pointed out that T-Mobile’s 5G network had a more reliable coverage compared to Verizon’s mmWave technology since they use low-band 5G. 

The board said that T-Mobile doesn’t need to mention the speed of its network when discussing coverage superiority in any of their future ads. The board recommended that T-Mobile should “discontinue claims and an accompanying demonstration that imply that other carriers’ 5G coverage is so limited in any area as to cover only the space taken up by a single bench.”

T-Mo accepted the recommendation and promised that they will comply with it by saying that it “appreciates that the panel agreed that T-Mobile can continue to advertise its superior 5G coverage without qualification.” 

Here is the explanation of the board on its recommendation:

“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.”

Just to be clear, the NARB is a self-regulatory body operating under a non-profit organization. It is not part of the government, which means it has no regulatory power to make such decisions. T-Mobile’s compliance with the board is notable since AT&T previously ignored the board’s recommendation to stop using the misleading “5G E” logo. 

Earlier this year, the NARB also took issue with T-Mobile’s TVision ad; to which T-Mo agreed to comply with their recommendations.


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