Verizon spits at AT & T; AT & T bites back

Fri, 11/13/2009 - 7:20am
Brian Santo

Ever since Verizon and AT&T began offering video services, they’ve been sniping at rival MSOs in their ads, and vice versa. Frequently the ad spats have ended up in court. So from cable’s point of view, it’s nice to see Verizon and AT&T squabbling amongst themselves for once, and taking each other to court.

It’s wireless vs. wireless, and not FiOS vs. U-verse, but still. Verizon is running an ad campaign that compares a map of its 3G cellular coverage with AT&T’s. AT&T has sued Verizon, saying the ad misrepresents its cellular coverage; in most areas where it does not have 3G coverage, it has 2G coverage.

It’s wireless vs. wirelessIn other words, the map and Verizon’s claims are all accurate, they just leave out some pertinent information. AT&T is concerned the general public will assume that it doesn’t have any coverage in areas where it has not yet made 3G available.

… Especially now that it’s facing stepped-up competition from Verizon.

AT&T Wireless is thriving with its exclusive support of Apple’s iPhone, but usage of the iPhone is so extensive it is also famously swamping AT&T’s network. And now Verizon is starting to support smartphones, based on Google’s Android operating system, that rival the iPhone.

AT&T is actually suing Verizon over the ads. Verizon is not backing off an inch, however, so AT&T felt compelled to issue a release that purports to set the record straight. AT&T reminded that its wireless data coverage reaches 303 million people – or 97 percent of the U.S. population – with a combination of 3G and EDGE (2G) technology. “The only difference – with some data applications, 3G is faster than EDGE,” the company says. It also reiterated its claim that it has the fastest 3G in the nation.

Just wait until Sprint starts publishing 4G coverage maps. …

More Broadband Direct 11/13/09:
•  Comcast's On Demand Online service will go live next month
•  Liberty Global to acquire Unitymedia
•  Kudelski gains control of OpenTV
•  BendBroadband scores NFL RedZone, NFL Network
•  Verizon spits at AT&T; AT&T bites back
•  Now on shelves: Flo TV's Personal Television
•  Juniper Networks upgraded
•  Blockbuster's Q3 loss widens; closing 115 stores
•  Broadband Briefs for 11/13/09



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