The BBB’s National Advertising Division (NAD) has called Verizon out for ads that make misleading claims about its 5G coverage and speed.
Verizon has been rolling out its 5G network, focusing specifically on the high-band mmWave variety. mmWave has the fastest speeds, measured in gigabits. Unfortunately, it also has the worst range and penetration, requiring base stations or repeaters every couple hundred meters. As a result, mmWave is only suitable for heavily populated areas.
Despite these limitations, Verizon’s commercials might lead a person to believe its network is far more widely available than it really is. Not only is it only available in select cities, but Verizon’s 5G is only available in certain parts of those select cities. That hasn’t stopped Verizon from saying “people from midtown Manhattan to downtown Denver can experience what your 5G can deliver.”
Similarly, Verizon’s advertising makes it seems as though the fastest speeds are available everywhere its 5G network is accessible. Ultimately, the NAD found that Verizon’s message was unclear and could cause consumers to draw the wrong conclusions.
“NAD noted that to the extent Verizon wishes to promote the current availability and performance of its 5G network to consumers across the nation – including people who live in cities and towns across the country that may not receive Verizon 5G coverage for months, if not years – Verizon should ensure that its advertising clearly and conspicuously communicates to consumers the relevant, material limitations of its current network.”
Verizon said that, while it doesn’t agree with the NAD’s recommendation, it will abide by it and adjust its advertising accordingly.