The NARB is not an independent body - it's an advertising industry group that aims to self-police its members. It didn't say whether or not the 5GE icon would disappear from customers' devices (i.e. the area where the misleading claims matter most), but it isn't using 5G Evolution as part of its current advertising.
Yet, convincing people AT&T will deliver a superior experience when that time comes may be more hard considering the company rolled out a fake network with a misleading name ahead of time and a fair amount of its consumers might think they already have 5G, as the NARB suggests.
If AT&T doesn't follow through, BBB National Programs has a process that first involves seeking more information on what steps the company has taken to halt the messaging.
In fact, AT&T's response to the Sprint lawsuit was that it was simply too bad if competitors didn't understand, because its customers supposedly "loved" the "5G E" branding, although we have to assume that was based entirely on a false assumption that they were on a significantly better network than they actually were. The NARB panel agreed with NAD's analysis.
"Thus, consumers may well interpret "Evolution" in the challenged claims as signifying that AT&T's technology has already evolved into 5G", the NARB panel said. It said a reasonable consumer could conclude the reference was the advertiser's way of promoting a 5G network while promising an even better 5G network later. AT&T uses its custom logo anyway, putting it in the corner of smartphones and marketing the superior network speeds, despite the confusion it may cause customers and tests that prove the benefits of the network upgrade are negligible. It's not clear what that means and how much AT&T uses the "5G Evolution" branding today in its stores and ads today. It stood by its advertising claim, but as a supporter of the industry's self-regulation process, said it would comply with the NARB's decision.
AT&T said it disagrees with the decision, but will comply, according to the opinion. We couldn't reach the telecommunications giant for additional comment.