AT&T is fighting back with its own TV commercials since a federal judge yesterday denied its request to stop Verizon Wireless from advertising large swaths of white space on maps showing where AT&T doesn’t offer 3G coverage.
AT&T tapped actor Luke Wilson to explain in a new national TV spot: “Who offers the best 3G experience? Let’s compare.” Wilson talks up AT&T’s network speed, ability to talk and surf the Web at the same time, and its popular array of smartphones.
AT&T spokesman Mark Siegel yesterday said the company was disappointed in a federal court ruling in Atlanta that denied its request for a temporary restraining order to stop Verizon’s ads. AT&T filed suit in early November challenging Verizon Wireless’ portrayal of vast white spaces in its ads, which AT&T argued was misleading consumers into thinking AT&T doesn’t have any data coverage in large parts of the country. AT&T has another chance to present its case in court on Dec. 16.
Verizon Wireless wasn’t commenting on the court’s ruling, other than to say it’s concentrating on competing for customers in the marketplace instead of the courtroom.
Earlier, AT&T published a letter to customers on its Web site saying it typically doesn’t respond to competitors’ advertising, but “some recent ads from Verizon are so blatantly false and misleading that we want to set the record straight about AT&T’s wireless data coverage.” AT&T points out that the slower EDGE network covers more than 96 percent of the population, and GPRS covers 303 million people. Its 3G network covers about 75 percent of the population.
Earlier this week, AT&T announced it has completed substantial 3G upgrades in the greater San Francisco Bay Area, and in Seattle, and it introduced 3G in some smaller markets like Hartwell and Toccoa in Georgia.