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AT&T Sues Verizon Over "Map For That" Ads

CmdrTaco posted more than 4 years ago | from the sue-sue-sudio dept.

Cellphones 249

MahlonS writes "AP is reporting on a suit filed in Northern Georgia in which AT&T claims that Verizon's 'There's a Map for That' ads are misleading and amount to deceptive trade practices. Verizon had already agreed to modify their original ad to include a tag line that voice and data services are available outside 3G coverage areas." What's interesting is that on some level, this is actually a lawsuit over data visualization.

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Good (1, Insightful)

whisper_jeff (680366) | more than 4 years ago | (#29978424)

I know we love to hate AT&T but, good. Those ads are about as obvious a case of copying one's competition and a misleading way with the intent of creating confusing in the marketplace and thereby diluting the competition's brand strength. We can hate AT&T all we want for their crappy service but Verizon is clearly in the wrong here. IMHO.

can u spot the hidden message? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29978562)

y0u fai1 i+!

Re:Good (4, Informative)

JiveDonut (135491) | more than 4 years ago | (#29978580)

Disagree completely. I think the ads are quite obvious in that

A) It clearly states it is a 3G coverage map

and

B) There is a sentence on the bottom of the screen that says that voice and data service are available outside the 3G coverage area.

IIRC, the ad says "3G" about 1 brazillion times as well.

Re:Good (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29980006)

if those map are accurate, there is positively absolutely nothing bad in showing them off. or are we all forgetting what a free market is?

Re:Good (4, Insightful)

EvilJoker (192907) | more than 4 years ago | (#29978582)

While I understand AT&T's complaint, it is still more of the same from them- just like when they claim to offer the same internet (768kbps) as RoadRunner (now up to 7mbps).

The market is smartphones right now, with the iPhone currently being #1. VZW is about to launch a number of very high-end phones (esp. the DROID) which will chew through data, and 3G coverage is a necessity. The difference VZW is highlighting is exactly what AT&T wants to keep quiet- smartphones will work a lot better in many areas on VZW.

If you can't check e-mail, facebook, IM, etc, then I think it's fair to claim you're out of touch.

Re:Good (1)

Wireless Joe (604314) | more than 4 years ago | (#29980210)

Verizon seems very confident int their network, however they are apparently already preparing for a backlash from any network degradation by smartphone users by doubling their cancellation fees [gizmodo.com] on smart devices.

Even with the decrease of $10/month, that's still $110 to cancel your contract in the 23rd month of a two-year contract.

Re:Good (4, Informative)

nahdude812 (88157) | more than 4 years ago | (#29980276)

Actually the iPhone is only 13.7% of smart phone sales as of Q2 2009 [wikipedia.org] .

iPhone gets all the hype, and indeed it's doing quite well for itself, but it's only selling 2/3 as many units as RIM (though catching up), and it lags far behind Symbian which single handedly enjoys > 50% share.

Re:Good (4, Insightful)

Churla (936633) | more than 4 years ago | (#29978610)

I have to disagree with you on this. The ads do clearly state that it's 3G coverage. And the difference between 2G and 3G for heavy data use Smartphone owners is a very significant one. This ad is less deceptive than the AT&T one claiming the "fastest 3G network" when it is only faster because it's smaller and doesn't have to deal with coverage in spottier areas.

If you want to argue that it gives people the impression that the phones don't have any coverage even though they state it's 3G coverage areas the maps are talking about then you should also talk to Apple about the "If I'm going to move things, why not move to a Mac?" ads which neglect to mention that the difference between moving Xp to Win 7 as opposed to XP to Mac is the fact that you also have to buy a completely new computer on top of a new OS (making it just a tad more expensive...)

Bad analogy? (-1, Flamebait)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#29979032)

you should also talk to Apple about the "If I'm going to move things, why not move to a Mac?" ads which neglect to mention that the difference between moving Xp to Win 7 as opposed to XP to Mac is the fact that you also have to buy a completely new computer on top of a new OS (making it just a tad more expensive...)

You may have to buy a new computer anyway. Many computers made prior to the release of Windows Vista don't have the CPU or RAM to run Windows 7 + antivirus + applications.

Re:Bad analogy? (1)

Real1tyCzech (997498) | more than 4 years ago | (#29979626)

Odd...

My HP ze2113 (circa 2005) runs Windows 7 (with Aero), MSE, and Office just fine. All I did was throw another 512MB RAM chip in it.

Where are you getting your data?

Re:Bad analogy? (0, Troll)

profplump (309017) | more than 4 years ago | (#29980218)

Which is great for you -- you know what Windows 7 needs, what your computer has, and how to change it. Even for relatively savvy users it's likely that one or more of those is not true, making such upgrades implausible at best.

Re:Good (1)

PalmKiller (174161) | more than 4 years ago | (#29979060)

In at least 60% of the cases (and I am being very generous to windows in my percentage), you will either A. Have to upgrade the computer to use windows 7 to its potential, or B. buy a new computer to run it efficiently.

Re:Good (1)

iamhigh (1252742) | more than 4 years ago | (#29979142)

This ad is less deceptive than the AT&T one claiming the "fastest 3G network" when it is only faster because it's smaller and doesn't have to deal with coverage in spottier areas.

So one has focused on speed, the other on wide coverage. Sounds like a win-win for consumers... and now that we have all the facts, can we move on?

Re:Good (1)

postbigbang (761081) | more than 4 years ago | (#29979402)

The AT&T uses the *world* as its domain-- where UMTS, EDGE, and GPRS are available to portend that it has the most coverage.

Limit the scope to the 50 US States, and Verizon is right.

But they had to save face..... and perhaps customers that are giving Verizon and (damnation by faint praise) Sprint share-- despite the iPhone phenomenon. AT&T is crippling Apple's growth, and Apple and AT&T know it.

CDMA may or may not suck (this is the transport with 1xRTT and ED.VO and ED.VOa) but capacity is king in saturated airspace and CDMA can do it; GSM is having more problems- and AT&T's GSM deployment is clearly #4 out of five in the US cell service list.

Would I get an iPhone if it could use EV? Maybe. I don't like buying into Apple's Jailed Ecosystems.

Really? (4, Informative)

earnest murderer (888716) | more than 4 years ago | (#29978622)

Because the maps have a giant "3G" label, and they're both quite accurate and easy to compare...

http://gizmodo.com/5024163/att-3g-coverage-maps-updated-now-with-more-3g [gizmodo.com]

You'll have to pull up a 3G map for a city then zoom out to the national level on their own site.. (http://www.wireless.att.com/coverageviewer/#?type=voice&3g=t).

AT&T really doesn't have anything on Verizon's 3g network.

Re:Good (1)

kellyb9 (954229) | more than 4 years ago | (#29978672)

This is obviously a parody of those advertisements. Isn't that covered?

Re:Good (4, Funny)

Sharaz (663667) | more than 4 years ago | (#29978962)

parody? There's a slap for that!

Re:Good (1)

earnest murderer (888716) | more than 4 years ago | (#29978996)

No, and that isn't AT&T's issue either.

The issue at had is purely the positioning of the two coverage maps together makes AT&T look like chumps. Which they are.

Re:Good (1)

Paul Pierce (739303) | more than 4 years ago | (#29978678)

Verizon is in the wrong by showing the competitors poor 3G coverage? It's called competition.

I don't know anyone that watched the commercial and thought they were talking about normal coverage. This is crap, maybe Microsoft should sue Mac for saying their computers are better.

Re:Good (3, Interesting)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 4 years ago | (#29978766)

Every time I hear those commercials, it always sounds like "There's an app for that" They run "a map" together too quickly, obviously trying to make "a m" sound like "an". Can you trademark the homophone of a catchphrase? IE, can Marvel sue if I have a rock-covered guy in a movie yell "It's clobberin' thyme!", even if it's appropriately used (the villain is punching a spice factory).

Re:Good (5, Funny)

syrinx (106469) | more than 4 years ago | (#29978866)

That would be inappropriate, as thyme is an herb, not a spice. :P

Re:Good (1)

fooslacker (961470) | more than 4 years ago | (#29978796)

I have AT&T and an iPhone and I wasn't confused they're saying their service is more important than the fact that AT&T carries the iPhone. The fact that they're suing makes me want to drop my iPhone and get a Droid though. It's irritating when companies think litigation is just a business strategy.

Re:Good (1)

KylePflug (898555) | more than 4 years ago | (#29979310)

Litigation is a business strategy.

Re:Good (2, Funny)

fooslacker (961470) | more than 4 years ago | (#29980318)

Which is what is horribly horribly wrong. Unless of course you're a lawyer in which case litigation is and should be a business strategy. =)

Re:Good (1)

thisnamestoolong (1584383) | more than 4 years ago | (#29979416)

This is a clear cut case of fair use. They are parodizing the competition's catch phrase to sell their own service. This is 100% fair use. As far as this being misleading -- the ads clearly contain all of the pertinent information, and are entirely factually accurate. This is not even a case, it is a complete farce.

Re:Good (1)

tkrotchko (124118) | more than 4 years ago | (#29980100)

"a misleading way with the intent of creating confusing in the marketplace and thereby diluting the competition's brand strength"

Well, I don't think it is. When I first saw the ad, they said pretty clearly "3G coverage". That's not misleading.

Also, when I target a competitor, I am aiming to dilute the competitions brand strength. If there is something false, then AT&T is a big boy. They can come up with a snappy ad that says something like "Why does Verizon not want to tell you the truth?".

Frankly, it hard to think either AT&T or Verizon is a "good guy" in any sense of the word.

I'm not seeing it. (5, Informative)

Paranatural (661514) | more than 4 years ago | (#29978428)

It even said in the FA that they were maps of the 3G coverage. As long as the maps are accurate, I can't see what they are complaining about. Nowhere is it implied that the normal service is limited to those same maps.

A case of sour grapes by AT&T.

Maybe if they'd use some of that iPhone money to expand their infrastructure instead of hiring lawyers and racking up executive bonuses...but nah, that's crazy talk.

Re:I'm not seeing it. (5, Informative)

pcaylor (648195) | more than 4 years ago | (#29978644)

The maps are accurate but Verizon originally referred to the areas without 3G coverage as 'Out of Touch' That sounds a lot worse than 'falling back to 2G EDGE' Verizon has agreed to remove the 'Out of Touch' phrasing though. AT&T wants Verizon to show their full data coverage map without distinction between EDGE and 3G. And on such trivialities, lawyers get rich.

Re:I'm not seeing it. (2, Insightful)

ari_j (90255) | more than 4 years ago | (#29978756)

Fortunately for Verizon, AT&T's full coverage map sucks, too. If AT&T really believed in honest advertising, they would add a few words to their slogan: America's largest 3G network ... because you can roam, at great expense, in Europe and we counted that.

Re:I'm not seeing it. (1)

glop (181086) | more than 4 years ago | (#29978892)

I disagree with AT&T. I want maps, precise maps for 3G. I mean, I have EDGE on my Blackberry and it's very bad. So if I get a 3G service, I really want to be able to make sure that I won't have to fall back to EDGE...

I saw the ad and it really made me think it was cool and informative and I wanted to go online and check this out next time I shop for service. Unfortunately I expect the maps to be deceptive. T-Mobile's maps show reception in areas where I have been and where I would get cut all the time. So the maps are not really very good and can be tweaked.

I guess we need to do our own coverage maps with some Android application that checks coverage, records GPS information and aggregates that on a website. Independent maps are the only way to get anything remotely accurate.

Re:I'm not seeing it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29979256)

I guess we need to do our own coverage maps with some Android application that checks coverage, records GPS information and aggregates that on a website. Independent maps are the only way to get anything remotely accurate.

That would be interesting, if only to see how long it takes to get sued by the big telco corps.

I'm sure they'd come up with something: copyright, DMCA, trade secrets, etc. Some bogus nonsense to threaten a lawsuit no site operator would survive.

Ah the merits of corporatism.

Re:I'm not seeing it. (1)

EvilJoker (192907) | more than 4 years ago | (#29979438)

You're overlooking the marketing potential of this- back when number portability was proposed, all of the carriers opposed it due to cost and concerns over churn. After a while, however, VZW embraced it, because they realized that there would be A LOT of people coming to them because of the new freedom.

Similarly, if VZW could market this ("Most accurate coverage map anywhere"), they could potentially embrace it. The weaker carriers probably would oppose it.

Re:I'm not seeing it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29979654)

The problem is that I can have five phones from a given carrier in the same location and all of them will show different connection levels and have different connection speeds.

I've seen this first hand where different phones on the same network will behave differently. Even to the point of one phone will be showing no signal and another will show about 50%. There's more at play here than simply measuring the tower signal strength.

Re:I'm not seeing it. (1)

thisnamestoolong (1584383) | more than 4 years ago | (#29979496)

I think that the 'Out of Touch' phrasing is accurate in this context -- if I am paying for 3G service and am getting EDGE because I am in a 3G-less area, then I am certainly 'Out of Touch'. This is just like if I realized my 22 Mbps Internet at home was running at 768 kbps all of a sudden -- I still technically have Internet but the difference would be great enough that I would certainly classify my Internet connection as broken, or 'Out of Touch'.

Re:I'm not seeing it. (1)

purpledinoz (573045) | more than 4 years ago | (#29978746)

I just watched the ad on youtube, and I don't find it misleading at all. Verizon has better 3G coverage than AT&T. But I do see the point that non-techies might interpret no 3G coverage as no service at all. But since the ad isn't saying anything false, then I don't see how this lawsuit would succeed.

Re:I'm not seeing it. (2, Informative)

Cornelius the Great (555189) | more than 4 years ago | (#29978806)

As an AT&T customer I hope Verizon wins this one. In fact, I believe that AT&T's map is OVERSTATING their 3G coverage. I live in the middle of a supposedly heavy 3G area, yet I often see my data drop down to EDGE, even if I have 5 bars of HDSPA on my phone.

It didn't use to be this way... maybe the numbers of iPhone 3G/3GS users may be oversaturating the network. But I'm getting very spotty coverage (dropped calls, incoming calls go straight to voicemail often, EDGE data only, etc) in the middle of metropolitan centers with solid 3G in every direction for 50+ miles (according to their map), while my friends on Verizon have more reliable service, even out in the middle of nowhere.

The service is getting to be so bad that it's affecting non-3G service. Voice calls on non-3G phones are getting dropped like crazy. Couple weeks ago, I got a text message stating that AT&T just added another cell tower in my vicinity, but I see no difference.

I've been a customer for 10+ years, but when my contract expires in March, I'm out.

Re:I'm not seeing it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29979152)

AT&T built two towers near me in the past year.. Just sayin.

Re:I'm not seeing it. (1)

michrech (468134) | more than 4 years ago | (#29980180)

AT&T just built another in my town, and put one some miles away to cover some smaller towns (less than a few thousand people, total). Last night, I watched a friend lose a call he was in the middle of, on a brand new phone (not an iPhone). My house is only, at most, 2 or 3 miles away from the "new" tower (as the crow flies). That is not a very ringing endorsement of their service. Meanwhile, my friends and I on US Cellular and Sprint (I have Sprint) have never had any such issues...

What's worse is AT&T decided to have the local paper report on how "much cash AT&T is infusing into our market to improve service" (such as our market is -- we're a town of roughly 17k people, though we do have a medical (osteopathic) and liberal arts college in town). Nice going, AT&T...

Re:I'm not seeing it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29980208)

The maps aren't comparing equivalent networks. They are comparing their 2G coverage to AT&T's 3G coverage.

It'd be like saying that my 16 fl oz orange juice has twice the vitamin C of your 8 fl oz orange juice.

sprint (0, Offtopic)

Kleppy (1671116) | more than 4 years ago | (#29978460)

I have sprint so I could care less. My blackberry works fine and I have no intent of using either company (Verizon or AT&T) personally. AT&T is too cocky with the iphone ONLY on their network (a la M$ - XBOX ONLY games) and Verizon just seems like cocks in thick black glasses.

Re:sprint (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 4 years ago | (#29978538)

You just haven't been screwed by Sprint yet. It might not happen, but I wouldn't bet very much against it.

Re:sprint (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 4 years ago | (#29978774)

That's why he said he could care less.

If Sprint screws him, then he won't be able to care less.

OT: The Caring Continuum (0, Offtopic)

Known Nutter (988758) | more than 4 years ago | (#29978568)

When one usually states "I could care less", they usually mean "I could not care less". [e.g. "I could care less about linguistics."]

In order for one to "care less" about a subject, they must first care about it somewhat. Saying "I could care less about ... " does indeed imply, nay dictate, that there is some degree of care.

http://incompetech.com/gallimaufry/care_less.html [incompetech.com]

Sorry, and thank you.

Re:OT: The Caring Continuum (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29978670)

Man, you really need to get a life and get out more often!

Re:OT: The Caring Continuum (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29979422)

Man, you really need to get a life and get out more often!

So he can meet more mouth-breathers who don't understand the language they are speaking? That doesn't sound like fun.

Re:OT: The Caring Continuum (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29979464)

Maybe he hasalive but it it filled with people
who do asloppy job of everything It start with not paying a tension to grammar and then poeple dont care somewhat much after that either in other things. It not a slipper y slopw but more like a spectrum disorder. The have a saying "What me I could care less?

(Whoosh In Advance)

Re:OT: The Caring Continuum (1)

Kleppy (1671116) | more than 4 years ago | (#29979358)

But I could care less... I just would have forwent the posting of not caring thus not caring more than I cared to post about caring that I cared.

Re:OT: The Caring Continuum (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29979568)

When one usually states "I could care less", they usually mean "I could not care less" and is illiterate.

Fixed it for you.

Re:sprint (1)

Stupendoussteve (891822) | more than 4 years ago | (#29979910)

Sprint roams on Verizon...

So, you've still got the network.

Are the maps accurate? (1)

gblackwo (1087063) | more than 4 years ago | (#29978540)

Is verizons depiction of at&ts 3G coverage accurate? If so, then it couldn't be false advertising and at&t is just upset that their 3G coverage looks so poor compared to verizons. Otherwise, maybe this could fall under false advertising.

Re:Are the maps accurate? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29978684)

Its been said before that some providers maps don't actually show you where they have a signal, but where the FCC has licensed them to have a signal.

Companies like t-mobile show actual expected signal levels on their coverage maps.

I am highly suspect of Verizon's maps being FCC licensed coverage areas, not where there is an actual RF signal. As I live in central Florida and their maps show as having 3g signal out in the middle of BFE, Really?

Re:Are the maps accurate? (1)

ari_j (90255) | more than 4 years ago | (#29978844)

I live in BFE, North Dakota, and my parents live even more remotely. You can usually get Verizon or Alltel 3G service on their farm. I personally dislike Verizon, but their map is accurate. By contrast, you can't even get an SMS out through AT&T in many of the populated (that's a relative term) areas up here.

Re:Are the maps accurate? (1)

Stupendoussteve (891822) | more than 4 years ago | (#29980042)

T-Mobile is just as bad. In my area I should have "best" coverage. Only problem is T-Mobile has few if any towers in the Omaha area and one bar or less. When I moved here I had T-Mobile, I could not make a call anywhere in my house, nor many places outside.

Best part is when I went to switch service, they charged me the ETF because their map said I have great coverage.

Re:Are the maps accurate? (2, Informative)

Fred IV (587429) | more than 4 years ago | (#29978738)

AT&T has voiced no issue with the accuracy of the maps. Their claim is that consumers are too dumb to know that the map is comparing 3G data coverage and not voice coverage, even though the ad makes that comparison clear.

Re:Are the maps accurate? (1)

mea37 (1201159) | more than 4 years ago | (#29979912)

"even though the ad makes that comparison clear" to customers who know what 3G is. Of course, to most people it's just a buzzword thrown around that describes how cool this phone is. Where misleading advertising is concerned, "misleading" means to the common consumer, not the /. crowd.

I had figured there would be a lawsuit about these ads, though I admit I'd guessed wrong about what specifically they'd sue over. Without watching the original ads again and paying more attention to the wording, I can't really say if I think they crossed a line. Win or lose, I hope they think the legal hassle was worth it for what IMO isn't that clever an ad to begin with...

Re:Are the maps accurate? (1, Informative)

Scootin159 (557129) | more than 4 years ago | (#29978744)

I know for a fact they're not 100% accurate - Verizon's map shows 100% 3G coverage for all land within a 20 mile radius of my in-laws house. However, Verizon customers (them) get zero signal there (even when standing outdoors away from any obstructions) - not even enough to send a text message.

Conversely, AT&T shows zero 3G coverage there, and "spotty" EDGE coverage within a 20 mile radius. However, I (AT&T) get nearly full 3G signal there, with great speeds.

However, one case point like this only shows they're not 100% accurate, it makes no indication of a general trend between the two.

What would be very interesting to see is an exhaustive third-party study with a decent resolution. What would be involved in calculating this for all major nationwide carriers (AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, Sprint, etc.).

Re:Are the maps accurate? (1)

edmicman (830206) | more than 4 years ago | (#29979162)

Google, are you listening? Where's the gmaps overlay for *that*?

I'll concur, the VZW map shows Michigan blanketed with coverage, but I know for a fact that there is a great big hole North of I94, West of I69, and East of M66, pretty up until I96. There's spotty coverage in places, but for the most part there's nothing there for big chunks. Still, Verizon offers in general much better coverage in my areas that anyone else, and pretty much anywhere I *do* get Verizon coverage, it's 3G.

Re:Are the maps accurate? (1)

DaMattster (977781) | more than 4 years ago | (#29978868)

False advertising pretty much happens ALL of the time. No advertisement is 100% truthful. I guess you have to cross some invisible, arbitrary line before it becomes a civil tort issue. I mean, come on, if the lose weight fast commercials are any indication, false advertising does happen. This sounds like AT&T is just upset because Verizon is pissing in its Cheerios.

Re:Are the maps accurate? (1)

danlip (737336) | more than 4 years ago | (#29979298)

False advertising pretty much happens ALL of the time. No advertisement is 100% truthful. I guess you have to cross some invisible, arbitrary line before it becomes a civil tort issue.

Truthfulness has absolutely nothing to do with that arbitrary line. That line is crossed when you start insulting your competition (even if it is the truth), and they have lots of money and lawyers. Whether they win the case might have something to do with the truth, but I wouldn't count on it.

File a lawsuit, or... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29978544)

Expand your effing infrastructure! Why do data providers insist on throwing money at advertising and corporate lawyers rather than just making their product better and have it (i.e. their network) speak for itself?

Re:File a lawsuit, or... (1)

tkrotchko (124118) | more than 4 years ago | (#29980280)

Lawsuits are a business tactic, they're not a end in-and-of themselves, they're simply a way to get to your goal.

If people sue each other, it's because it's gotten personal, they want to feel vindicated. Companies sue because it will increase profits or maintain control of a market. They're not looking to right a wrong.

eh, Iphone is lame anyways (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29978566)

I find the 'theres an app for that' commercials to be annoying...not one of the apps is even slightly useful (unless you're so dumb you can't figure out where you are or where to go for dinner)

I've followed Mac for years now and IMO they have become nothing more than an advertising jueggernaut reliant on how people 'feel' about their products.

If the map is accurate for what there 3G coverage is, then I see no problem. And fact is, they cover all the major city centers and that's where all the hipster Iphone tottin kids are anyhow..

Re:eh, Iphone is lame anyways (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 4 years ago | (#29978922)

After all these years following them you should at least know the company is called Apple.

3g doesn't mean fast internet (3, Insightful)

vxvxvxvx (745287) | more than 4 years ago | (#29978640)

While the technology itself is capable of decent bandwidth, the implementations are pretty terrible. Run low bandwidth wires to the cell towers and you just move the bottleneck somewhere else. 3g is more of a buzzword than anything at this point, until we actually start taking advantage of all that the technology has to offer.

Re:3g doesn't mean fast internet (2, Interesting)

Archangel Michael (180766) | more than 4 years ago | (#29979338)

Then there is the ATT 3G Coverage that is misleading. I live in a fairly rural area, and near one remote ATT tower I can get full 3G speed, only the tower itself doesn't have much in the way of data off of it, so all that 3G speed is bottlenecked by ISDN speeds, or impacted T1 or some crappy microwave link or ...

So, while they "offer" 3G, it isn't what it seems, and is all but useless for any data. All that data communication is useless, and ATT customeres have to revert back to SMS text messaging.

I now have Vz on a BB, and while I do have issues, they aren't with 3G speeds. If the phone says I have 3G, I have 3G. It at least isn't lying to me.

Verizon/Palm Pre (1)

ground.zero.612 (1563557) | more than 4 years ago | (#29978664)

I can't help but think this is just a ploy by AT&T to attempt to avoid customer loss after the new year. I think the anticipation of the Verizon Palm Pre, as well as the recent Android phone arrivals has AT&T and Apple shaking in their boots.

Some may argue the iPhone is superior to the Pre, and that may be so. I personally think they are both great phones that offer similar features. However, combining the Pre with Verizon's coverage is going to make AT&T hurt in a bad way, and these commercials highlighting the significant difference in 3G coverage has already hurt them.

Re:Verizon/Palm Pre (1)

KylePflug (898555) | more than 4 years ago | (#29979374)

I think the Pre has been dead in the water for quite some time now. The buzz pretty much collapsed on review day. My hopes are higher for the Droid based on software and build quality, though...

white areas (1)

w1 (1604343) | more than 4 years ago | (#29978680)

I can see AT&T's point of view, because the white areas in the maps mean different things. In Verizon's map it mean's "definitely no service" because they have no coverage other than their 3G coverage, but in AT&T's map it means "probable (slower) service" because of their large 2G network. However in relation to the map's purpose they mean the same thing: "No 3G coverage" I can see how someone might be confused by that, but as others have stated the map is accurate and I don't see how Verizon has an obligation to paint a prettier picture for AT&T.

If anything, it's AT&T's ads that are misleadi (1)

dustwun (662589) | more than 4 years ago | (#29978688)

Honestly, all the "Nation's Fastest 3G Network" might be true in theory, but in practice it only holds true in limited areas around the country, and even then it's a crap shoot [slashdot.org] .

Re:If anything, it's AT&T's ads that are misle (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29979434)

They didnt say it was available everywhere. They said in the past that they have the largest network (based on worldwide stats) though. Like getting a super fast sports car. Sure it can go fast, but maybe not that far cause you burned up all your fuel. Marketing ploys are just that, a ploy to attract people and hopefully make them NOT think about it logically/rationally.

at&t sore losers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29978784)

It hurts AT&T when a superior competitor points out the fact that they suck. This is what happens when you stop keeping score in little league and teachers grade papers in purple ink. Eventually even big corps like AT&T cry like little babies when they get their feelings hurt. Boo Hoo, I don't see them manning-up when it comes to their iPhone monopoly or limiting "unlimited" data access. Pot texting the Kettle black.

Brilliant (1)

DaMattster (977781) | more than 4 years ago | (#29978804)

AT&T should get its due reprisal for selling out the constitutional rights of its customers through wonton participation in the BushCo's illegal, warrantless wire tapping program. If AT&T were the last cell phone company, I'd get a ham radio license before using them.

Re:Brilliant (1)

blueZ3 (744446) | more than 4 years ago | (#29979112)

"wonton" participation? Some kind of Chinese fast-food deal with the Bush administration?

Re:Brilliant (1)

Stupendoussteve (891822) | more than 4 years ago | (#29980128)

Because HAM radio is so much more private than AT&T cellular service.

Re:Brilliant (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 4 years ago | (#29980152)

If AT&T were the last cell phone company, I'd get a ham radio license before using them.

Good luck talking to the electric company (or nearly anybody else on a POTS or cell who doesn't have ham) with that ham radio.

Marketing/advertising of a shady nature (1)

Drasham (1626825) | more than 4 years ago | (#29978820)

While the ads with the change may be considered factually accurate, that doesn't change the fact that there are a great number of people who don't read the fine print on TV ads, much less anything else and will form opinions based on the convient "quick glance" interretation of the maps. This is an interesting example of marketing/advertising of a shady nature.

VT Doesn't have that kind of 3G Coverage (1)

sam.haskins (1106069) | more than 4 years ago | (#29978848)

On the Verizon map, it looks like they have 3G coverage over nearly the entire state of Vermont. That'll be the day. They don't even have coverage over main streets in major towns. (though, oftentimes AT&T does). I call BS on that map.

I hope they don't sue ME, too. (4, Funny)

starglider29a (719559) | more than 4 years ago | (#29978954)

i was going to start a "temporary service utilizing various primates for various tasks." My motto?

There's an APE for that.

Re:I hope they don't sue ME, too. (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29979488)

i was going to start a "temporary service utilizing various primates for various tasks." My motto?

There's an APE for that.

AT&T: There's a lawsuit for that.

They're comparing apples to crabapples (2, Informative)

Wireless Joe (604314) | more than 4 years ago | (#29979022)

What Verizon appears to be describing as 3G service on their super-red map is CDMA (1x), which is actually closer in speed to AT&T's EDGE network (2.5G). For the AT&T map they're using W-CDMA(HSPA+ 14.4mb/s) coverage. So they're comparing their 2G (or 2.5G) service to ATT 3.5G service area, in terms of speed. W-CDMA won't ever be deployed to 100% of AT&T's network, certainly not before they roll out LTE. What they should be comparing themselves to is AT&T's EDGE coverage map, which I believe is 100% of AT&T's licensed coverage area. Also, the slowest of AT&T's 3G service is faster than Verizon's EVDO service.

Re:They're comparing apples to crabapples (1)

tonyreadsnews (1134939) | more than 4 years ago | (#29979208)

ads and marketing not comparing apples to apples in order to make their own product/service look better

I'm shocked....

Re:They're comparing apples to crabapples (1)

EvilBudMan (588716) | more than 4 years ago | (#29979342)

--What they should be comparing themselves to is AT&T's EDGE coverage map, which I believe is 100% of AT&T's licensed coverage area--

I believe you are wrong. Those Alltel towers that AT & T ended up with don't have EDGE at least here in the rural areas. I don't like either one of these companies. But you are right Verizon is slow, but they do have voice at least in areas that AT & T doesn't. Bummer :(

Re:They're comparing apples to crabapples (1)

slimjim8094 (941042) | more than 4 years ago | (#29980154)

No. All of AT&T is EDGE. From Wikipedia:

The AT&T Mobility wireless data network began in 2002 as a Cingular initiative called "Project Genesis" that involved a GPRS (General Packet Radio Service) overlay of the entire wireless network. Project Genesis was completed by the end of 2004. Later, this network was upgraded to EDGE (Enhanced Data rates for GSM Evolution) across the GSM footprint.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AT%26T_Mobility#Network_coverage [wikipedia.org]

Re:They're comparing apples to crabapples (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29979378)

What Verizon appears to be describing as 3G service on their super-red map is CDMA (1x), which is actually closer in speed to AT&T's EDGE network (2.5G). For the AT&T map they're using W-CDMA(HSPA+ 14.4mb/s) coverage. So they're comparing their 2G (or 2.5G) service to ATT 3.5G service area, in terms of speed. W-CDMA won't ever be deployed to 100% of AT&T's network, certainly not before they roll out LTE. What they should be comparing themselves to is AT&T's EDGE coverage map, which I believe is 100% of AT&T's licensed coverage area. Also, the slowest of AT&T's 3G service is faster than Verizon's EVDO service.

WRONG. 100% of Verizon's towers are 3g/EVDO eanbled, therefore the entire voice coverage map is the same as the entire data coverage map. AT&T does not have 100% 3G coverage on every tower, so they have separate maps for voice/edge and 3g. So comparing Verizon's map to AT&T's edge is wrong since Verizon has 100% EVDO/3G coverage.

Re:They're comparing apples to crabapples (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29979504)

Verizon's EVDO service comes in 2 speeds. Rev A is 3 times faster than ATT 3G

Re:They're comparing apples to crabapples (1)

Wireless Joe (604314) | more than 4 years ago | (#29980002)

Are you sure? [cnet.com]

1xEV-DO: Also known as Evolution, Data-Only, this subset of CDMA2000 runs on CDMA networks and reaches peak speeds of 2.4Mbps and averages 300Kbps to 600Kbps. As its name implies, EV-DO networks handle only high-speed data; handsets supporting EV-DO would use the underlying CDMA network for voice calls. Both Verizon and Sprint are launching 1xEV-DO service.

UMTS: Universal Mobile Telephone Service, the 3G service that GSM carriers AT&T and T-Mobile plan to roll out for its subscribers. UMTS boasts speeds of up to 2Mbps, although users will typically see speeds in the 300Kbps-to-400Kbps range.

SO EVDO is comparable to UMTS, with HSDPA and HSUPA (3.5G services) being much faster than both. EVDO is 3x faster than EDGE (average 90Kbps), but that's a 2.5G service. AT&T has more UMTS than HSPA coverage, but they don't show that in their "3G coverage" map, so they're still comparing different generations (3G to 3.5G services).
On a final note, they also neglect to mention that they do not support simultaneous voice and data on their 3G nework.

Re:They're comparing apples to crabapples (1)

limaxray (1292094) | more than 4 years ago | (#29980256)

That info is outdated as it is referring to EVDO Rev. 0. Both Verizon and Sprint are now 100% Rev. A [wikipedia.org] , which peaks out around 3Mbps with a typical speed of about 1Mbps. This puts it on par with the average HSDPA roll out in the US. You should also note that EVDO Rev. A uplink maxes out around 1.8 Mbps whereas HSDPA is limited to only 384kbps.

your crabapples are ap (1)

bryz (730558) | more than 4 years ago | (#29980030)

i'm sorry you're wrong. If you compare verizon's maps here: http://www.verizonwireless.com/b2c/CoverageLocatorController?requesttype=NEWREQUEST&lid=//global//plans//coverage+maps [verizonwireless.com] you'll see the difference between normal digital service (1X) and their "broadband" 3g service (EVDO REVA / B / etc) It's just that the two maps are so similar that you may be getting confused. You can also get it explained/compared with AT&T, sprint, T-mo here: http://vzwmap.verizonwireless.com/dotcom/coveragelocator/images/maps/3Gcomparison.pdf [verizonwireless.com]

Re:They're comparing apples to crabapples (4, Interesting)

limaxray (1292094) | more than 4 years ago | (#29980034)

That's non-sense. 1xEVDO Rev. A is capable of 3 Mbps and all of Verizon's network uses this technology - I'm pretty sure that falls in the the understanding of what is 3G. In actual practice though, Verizon's network supplies a pretty consistent 1 Mbps connection all across the country, which is about 4x faster than the maximum theoretical throughput of an EDGE network.

Furthermore, the fact that WCDMA is very inflexible and depends on 5 MHz channels means that in the few places that there actually is service, you are less likely to be able to use it because there are fewer channels serving fewer clients. Go ask any iPhone user about the fantastic reliability of AT&T's 3G network. WCDMA just doesn't fare well in markets where the use of wireless spectrum isn't dictated by government mandate as it is in the EU. Also AT&T has yet to even deploy HSPA+ on a large scale to the best of my knowledge, so to say that they're service is that much faster (although it is slightly faster) is just wrong.

AT&T (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29979120)

Realizes it's losing the @ home and wireless battle. Verizon is cruising along and is really moving past AT&T on many fronts now. It's a no brainer - ask any business IT which is better and most that I know in the Midwest pick Verizon hands-down for coverage and loss of signal. AT&T on the other hand is in too much stuff again (remember they were a monopoly not so long ago) with their FiBo and UVerse packages, they've now stretched themselves thin. I still get about 3 pieces of AT&T mail a week at home asking me to switch from Comcast and Verizon. Now they're complaining about this??? what a joke.

... for that is the problem (2, Insightful)

night_flyer (453866) | more than 4 years ago | (#29979150)

it's clearly a take off of iPhones "there's an app for that" ad (and probably service mark). It has nothing to do with coverage, or how reliable anything is...

About that "article"... (1)

Anonymous McCartneyf (1037584) | more than 4 years ago | (#29979430)

Is there a link to an article on this that isn't a video?

Valid complaint (2, Interesting)

Mr_Silver (213637) | more than 4 years ago | (#29979440)

I've seen a couple of people who say they don't get it and use the recently modified advert as proof. The first version of the map used the words "Out of touch", had no small print and wrongly implied that outside of the coloured area you weren't going to get any coverage at all.

AT&T's data coverage may be poor (I don't know, I don't live in the USA) but there aren't massive blackspots all over America as this map implied.

See Engadget [engadget.com] for more information.

AT&T's Own Maps (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29979652)

Go look at AT&T's own map of data coverage. http://www.wireless.att.com/coverageviewer/#?type=data&lat=37.3007807135582&lon=-96.3720703125&sci=1

When you look at 3G it looks worse than Verizon's AT&T map on the commercial. Verizon was actually giving them more credit. And if you want it even easier to read click on the voice tab and then check the 3G box at the bottom, the map removed the other data types and shows you the real 3G coverage.

AT&T is sending misleading emails (1)

jaredforshey (838394) | more than 4 years ago | (#29979732)

What annoys me about this is that just a few days ago I got an email from AT&T saying that they've installed new towers in my area and expanded 3G coverage. They had a link to their coverage maps that said "Click here for 3G coverage maps" with a thumbnail of the orange voice coverage map, which is of course much much more dense than their spotty blue 3G map. I found it extremely misleading and would have just assumed that was really their 3G coverage except that I had seen the Verizon commercial recently.

looks like AT&T's strategy turned against them (4, Insightful)

booyabazooka (833351) | more than 4 years ago | (#29980206)

You live by your customers being idiots, you die by your customers being idiots.

I'd bet that if AT&T has decent voice coverage and spotty 3G, it has benefited from a lot of customers not realizing that those coverage areas can be different. Verizon's ad turns the same ignorance against them, and now they're upset about it.

The notion of a mobile phone service provider suing anyone over being misleading is astoundingly ironic.

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