T-Mobile was asked by the NARB (national advertising review board panel) to stop presenting its 5G network as more reliable than its competitors’ 4G and that no other 5G network is as reliable as theirs.
In this video, T-Mobile claims that it can achieve wider network coverage because its 5G network is based on low-band wavelength technology. However, the company doesn’t mention that their tech is excellent at covering a wide area but at a reduced network speed.
On the other hand, Verizon’s 5G technology, which relies on the mmWave spectrum, can’t get the same coverage. However, mmWave technology offers faster speed.
After NARB’s decision, T-Mobile said that it would comply with that and remove the disputed Bill Nye ad posted on their website. T-Mobile was not under any legal obligation to remove the video as NARB is not a government body, and its decisions are considered just as mere recommendations.
NARB is a self-regulatory, non-profit organization, similar to the National Advertising Division (NAD). NAD is another organization that oversees telecom advertising within the United States.
Earlier this year, NAD also received a complaint about T-Mobile’s misleading advertisement. Their ruling was that T-Mobile needed to disclose its network speed to prove its claim of its 5G superiority. T-Mobile appealed that decision. As a result of the appeal, the dispute was forwarded and presented in front of NARB’s panel.
As mentioned earlier, NARB recommended T-Mobile to remove its Bill Nye advertisement, and T-Mobile complied with that decision. But NARB, in its recommendations, also said that T-Mobile doesn’t have to disclose its network speed when advertising its services. That alone is considered a win for T-Mobile.
This was not the first time for T-Mobile and Verizon to boast their strategies while publicly criticizing each other’s 5G networks. This year, NARB and NAD recommended T-Mobile to stop advertising that its 5G network can cover hard-to-reach places such as elevators, parking garages, and cellars. And if the company wants to keep on advertising, they need to reveal their 5G network’s performance in those areas.
On the other side, Verizon also had to reiterate or discontinue some of its claims about the 5G network coverage. As a result, Verizon had to tone down some of its coverage related ads, but it could keep its “speeds 10x faster than T-mobile” ads.