In recent weeks, Verizon has been running a series of commercials which emphasize that its 3G network is significantly larger than AT&T’s. AT&T has issued a statement that defends its wireless data options, and points out that there’s more involved than just 3G.
With the holiday shopping season looming, Verizon is trying to draw in customers with TV ads that point out one of its greatest strengths, its mobile broadband network. Commercials like “There’s a Map for That” and “Misfit Toys” show maps comparing its 3G coverage area to its largest rival’s, with Verizon’s being visibly much larger.
AT&T has responded by pointing out that its 3G service covers 233 million people or 75% of the U.S. population. It does so by concentrating on heavily populated areas.
This carrier also points that out it has an extensive 2.5G network using the EDGE standard. This is available to 301 million people, or more than 96% of the population. EDGE is slower than 3G, but it allows users to check their e-mail and access the Web.
AT&T also claims its 3G network is faster than Verizon’s, and has another advantage, too: it lets users talk and surf the web or send e-mail simultaneously.
This company has gone beyond issuing statements; it has filed a lawsuit over Verizon’s ads, claiming that they are misleading potential customers because they might think that it’s a coverage map for its voice service, too.
AT&T’s statement talks about more than just networks. It also asserts that this carrier has other advantages, many of which can be summed up as “We have the iPhone, and you don’t”.
Apple’s very successful device has given AT&T twice as many smartphone customers as Verizon. It also lets this carrier tout the large number of third-party applications available for its phones.
AT&T is the exclusive provider of the iPhone, but Verizon has introduced a model it thinks can rival it, the Motorola Droid. This Android-based device offers several features the iPhone doesn’t, like a hardware keyboard, a much higher-resolution display and, of course, access to the largest 3G network in the U.S.