There is a long and colorful history of cell carriers lying to their customers about speeds and sticking terrible names on products, but Brazilian carrier Claro may put them all to shame with its almost breathtakingly dishonest 4.5G network logo. It looks to be trying to pull the same kind of manipulation as AT&T’s 5G E network, just without any of the hard work involved (via Gustavo Santos on Twitter).
@reckless just listened to the 5G Bonus Vergecast. What about this cellular provider in Brazil changing the design of the “4” in the 4.5G ad. pic.twitter.com/s4uceDQjk6— Gustavo R. Santos (@GusRocket) February 14, 2019
So, instead of coming up with a new name to hide behind, Claro is taking the unorthodox approach of just calling its faster LTE network 4.5G, and then making the “5” bigger in hopes that you just don’t notice the “4” next to it?
4.5G still isn’t actual 5G, no matter how big you write the five
Now, Claro’s network isn’t new — the company has been advertising it for a few months now with the new logo. And in case there was any doubt, Claro’s website clarifies that this is basically the same type of network as AT&T’s 5G Evolution (and basically every other LTE Advanced network) — with support for 4×4 MIMO, 256 QAM, and carrier aggregation technology. Claro says that the new network should be up to 10 times faster than its 4G network, which sounds like a lot, but 4.5G still isn’t actual 5G, no matter how big you write the five.
Honestly, the 4.5G branding isn’t that insulting on its own — sure, it’s not the actual name of the spec from the 3GPP (that’d be either LTE Advanced or LTE Advanced Pro, depending on what specifications Claro is using), but it’s not as baldfaced a deception as AT&T’s 5G E. I still don’t know which is worse — AT&T for lying so openly, or Claro for doing it so badly.
But that logo is just such a perfect mix of ineptitude and evil that I can’t help but just stare in awe. It’s like seeing a bad superhero villain monologue about an obviously flawed plan — sure, it’s never going to work, but you can’t help but watch.