AT&T has been prepping iPhone plan as Verizon now has an iPhone of their own

AT&T has been prepping a new advertisement plan to do what they can to keep people from switching to the Verizon iPhone. AT&T plans to focus its ads on the fact they say their network has faster 3G speeds and overall performs better than Verizon's network (not sure who they are fooling with that!).

More so than just advertising, AT&T has been taking other steps in preparation for this day of the lose of exclusivity. They have been investing in improvements to their highly criticized network as well as been promoting lower prices for older iPhone models and introducing Android and Windows Phone 7 devices.

AT&T's Chief Executive of Wireless Business, Ralph de la Vega, was asked Monday about what their plans were for the time when they lose exclusivity of the iPhone:

We are ready for it. The short- and long-term viability of AT&T will be good whether we have exclusivity or not. We are much bigger than this.

According to Consumer Reports, AT&T was ranked dead last being named the worst carrier in the US. AT&T better have a good plan in place to make up for all the issues they have run into since the iPhone launched.

One interesting note about this entire thing is the fact AT&T seemed to hit big with allowing customers to upgrade early to the iPhone 4 locking them into a brand new 2-year contract with early termination fees hitting at $325 per smartphone on your plan. This would be big revenue for AT&T if people decide to defect prior to their contract expiring.

[ The Wall Street Journal ]

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AT&T has been prepping iPhone plan as Verizon now has an iPhone of their own

52 Comments

They could just add free-international roaming, something Verizion can't beat because well, you cant roam.

At@T is better in maryland than verizon in most parts. You can't even use data/talk at the same time on verizon haha what a joke! Verizon FTL!

I am interested to see how the VZW unlimited plans affect the decisions of those considering switching, as well as new customers who want an iPhone. I guess it depends on the pricing, but for me that would be a pretty big factor.
I am also curious if AT&T will consider going back to unlimited data plans if they start hemorrhaging customers and losing out on new iPhone customers. It will be interesting to see how VZW getting the iPhone affects both companies going forward.

Ignoring family plans, a $300 ETF only makes up for 2+ months of lost revenue. That would give AT&T a 1-2 quarter cushion to hide the defections from its bottom line.

As for hiding the bottom line, a 300 dollar ETF plus a 200-300 dollar new VZW plan is 5 or 6 hundred dollars.
That's about 10 months of AT&T bills at the entry level plan.
Add to that the monthly bills from VZW, and I seriously doubt many ATT customers will be moving before their earliest exit-without-etf date.
There are only certain areas in the country where AT&T is exceedingly bad. Its very good in my area. So I don't see a huge customer exit.
I also suspect AT&T has been holding something in reserver for this time, they new it was coming. Free video chat on 3G? Tethering? Bumping up the data caps? Return of unlimited?

Right now, AT&T customers should just be smart and sit still to reap some of the benefits: better plans/pricing and better network as customers exit in droves.

I think they'll be ok. For too long verizon has been hyped as the what if... Well now you'll know. Let's wait and hear from disgruntled verizon iPhone users who can't understand why their 3G is so slow.

You can't use data and voice at the same time. I do that a lot. No Verizon for me!! I do wish AT&T would give me tethering for free and let me keep my unlimited data.

Man, jailbreak that iPhone and get either "TetherMe" or "MiWi". With you unlimited plan that you already have, you get free native tether w/TetherMe and MiWi gives you the hotspot feature that everyone is crying about.

I don't know why the globe has a sad face... This isn't a bad thing for AT&T, honestly it's a good thing. People are getting caught up in all the hype and not really looking at the whole picture.
Yes the iPhone has come to Verizon but what are you really getting? It's not the same phone.

  1. It's NOT global.
  2. NO VOICE AND DATA (Simultaneously!!!)
  3. Paying more for less (more expensive plans)
  4. Forget a hotspot feature ... you can get that when you jailbreak ... (duh)
  5. You're getting a phone that is halfway through it's "premiere" lifecycle. Hello! iPhone 5 in June/July!
  6. Verizon just changed it's early upgrade polices (NO 12-18 month early upgrades anymore) What does this mean? You buy it on the 10th, you'll have to keep it for 2 years ... or pay a $325.00 early termination fee.

I just think that everyone is getting caught up in the hype and not reading and understand the fine print in it all. AT&T is still the better choice. If I were to ever get an iPhone on Verizon (hahaha, no never) it would be when they came out w/LTE. Does 2012 sound good to you? I think it does. Both AT&T and Verizon will have LTE.
You get all the things that you don't get w/a Verizon iPhone that will be standard in 2 years. LTE is a global standard, it does voice and dat at the same time. As far as plans are concerned competition will bring it down. Finally, its iOS ... you can jailbreak it. Oh well, just trying to inform folks.
I'll be happy when customers leave, more 3G speeds for me! Whooo!

AT&T is not a better choice, anyway you look at it. First of all, AT&T is behind with their LTE creation/roll out and by the time they do roll it out, Verizon will already cover most areas and have tweaked any problems that exist. It is clear that AT&T is getting nervous because they released their HSPA+ handsets at CES, claiming that it is their "4G", just hoping on the bandwagon as T-Mobile. Global capabilities are still possible with the iPhone on Verizon, maybe not in as many countries as AT&T, but really, most people use their phone in the U.S., on their U.S. carrier. As I stated below, most people don't care about simultaneous voice and data. If you really need to use the internet, then you shouldn't be on the phone talking. As for the iPhone 5 coming out, most people don't realize how to use the internet to their advantage; there are websites for trading phones, getting out of contracts, selling phones, etc. So big deal a new phone will come out, all you need to do is sell yours and you've got the money for a new one, or at best trade. People say that CDMA is old and slower than GSM. Well from my experience, and from that of almost everyone I know, Verizon's CDMA has constantly beat AT&T performance all around the U.S. So, stay on your AT&T network and enjoy your dropped calls and slow data, while we enjoy the iPhone the largest and most reliable network.

Verizon doesnt have true LTE either. LTE is going to be voice/data on same pipeline. Currently Verizon LTE is Voice only. so ATT still have the faster network

Granted, the term 4G is being thrown around by all U.S. service providers, and LTE on Verizon or WiMax on Sprint, is not technically 4G, but AT&T is clearly scared of being lost in the other carriers 4G claims. Yes HSPA+ may be faster, but its no match to LTE. And Verizon LTE is data only, for now, and not voice. Like I said in a previous post, AT&T is good in some areas, no doubt, but in comparison to Verizon, it doesn't shape up. Look at the Consumer Reports ranking that came out a while back, putting AT&T on the bottom, there is a reason for that and there is a reason Verizon is the nation's largest carrier.

Your argument only says why you should be an "early adopter" not why you shouldn't pick Verizon over AT&T. Personally I'd say wait for the iPhone 5 since with Apple's product methods that device will possibly end up being a "world phone" with GSM/CDMA in the same device.
"Paying more for less" is NOT an point you can try to use when talking about AT&T verse Verizon. That would be a point when comparing AT&T/Verizon verse T-mobile/Sprint.
As for simultaneous voice and data, personally I'd take call stability (what Verizon offers over AT&T in more geographical locations in the US) over simultaneous voice and data any day. However, if it were REALLY important to me to have voice and data at the same time on Verizon, I'd just use Skype.
As for the early upgrade policy, we'll see what they offer for 1 year contracts for the iPhone. If it's the same as with ALL of their other phones it's only $70 extra on the device cost to go on a 1 year contract instead of a 2 year contract.

ATT will survive this just fine. Verizon will gain customers for sure and stay in the number one spot. Big deal. For me talk/surf at the same time means nothing. I travel to rural areas alot for my job so Verizon works best for me. If simultaneous voice and data is important to you and ATT works for you then go for it. Carrier choice is so location and feature specific to each person that this whole carrier flame war on every blog has gotten rediculous.

I hope this spurs AT&T to offer free tethering to one device (with my grandfathered unlimited plan). That would make me stay. I don't see people tethering that much anyway unless you're in an airport.

AT&T is terrific in my area and it's just going to get better as people leave the network in droves. Adios folks! I'll stay right where I am, thanks.

If I were in the market for an iPhone, the fact that you can't talk and surf at the same time would make me steer away from Verizon to At&t.
Can Verizon customers surf and talk at the same time when they are on a wifi network?

Yes, while on wifi, you can surf/talk all you want. I don't know how the iPhone will work on VZW but Verizon CDMA 3G allows you to text while on a call too, wifi or not. You can't surf on 3G but you can text.
I don't see where teh big deal lies with that though, most of the people I do know with AT&T and iPhones can't get a reliable 3G signal anyways, a lot of times around where I live south of Indianapolis, IN You will drop 3G for EDGE, and most people don't know, but if thats the case, you lose the ability to talk/surf simultaneously on EDGE, you must have 3G.
AT&T's 3G is faster on paper, but real world tests have proven time and again that the speed gain with AT&T's spotty 3G over Verizon's solid 3G is minimal at best because of network traffic.
Like many others have said though, your carrier preference should be based on where you live and where you travel and who's network works the best for you.

You can still text while on a call on CDMA because they use the same channel but data connections uses a completely different channel.
Actually you don't lose the ability to surf/talk on EDGE, it's just crippled beyond usefulness in most cases because of the extremely low bandwidth EDGE allows compared to 3G GSM or CDMA.

The mobile wireless industry has been very slow to adopt competitive pricing and feature matching. For years now, we have seen more and more "services" and the nickel-and-dime antics of Verizon, ATT, Sprint, and t-Mo. Sprint and T-Mo have been the most cost efficient but with coverage/service tradeoffs.
I will be interested in seeing how ATT reacts "publically" to the Verizon iPhone and plan offerings. Just like the Microcell, those under contract or thinking of leaving may need to call in to place what I like to call, "the threat call", where a retention specialist makes some attempt to throw in credits/discounts/etc to try to get the person to stay.
Aside from that, I am not so sure we are going to see plan redesign or price cuts just to combat the Verizon iPhone. I could be wrong, but my gut tells me I am not. I sure hope I am and that ATT makes a strong (public) push to keep people.

A bad thing for at&t? How do you figure? This at&t bashing is just bad writing. Nothing is going to happen. 100% of iPhone users will not jump ship. Why? Because, as many people are about to find out, Verizon is crap. No more or less than at&t, but different crap. People will hate them too. This can only help at&t since the focus will be off them an their network will be able to breathe a little.
What a horrible article.

First off i wanna say that in now way am i the most technologically advanced guy out there. However, I do think there is going to be alot of problems for Verizon coming up. #1 If a ton of people do decide to switch over to verizon to get the iphone, their network is going to be so bogged down. Can Verizon's network really handle all those people switching? #2 Just like every new phone out their, its going to have so many bugs and crashes its going to start a Verizon Frenzy and people will be running down the streets pissed cause they can't use their iphone. #3. I read this on this thread that AT&T profit margin will still look the same in the early stages due to etf's. Which i agree with totally. Can AT&T honestly expect to sit by and do nothing as they watch millions of customers switch to verizon? No way, I can see a price drop in plans coming from AT&T, maybe some free tethering, or back to the unlimited data since like i said millions will switch freeing up alot of data flow and their networks. Will AT&T upgrade their towers even more so than they have in the past to compensate for lack of crappy service? I personally switched from Verizon to AT&T and I am very happy. Its cheaper than verizon, the 3g has been faster than verizon, and the service (in my area anyways) is the exact same. Bottom line is, pretty soon AT&T will have to do something drastic to their plans or service to keep customers coming to their door. If not I honestly think it will be a brutal blow to AT&T. Just my two cents on the whole matter.

My how county in Maryland isn't served by VZW. I'd make the switch just to have the stronger nationwide coverage but can't deal with marginal data in my own (Washington) county.

New AT&T ad campaigns:
"Our Wireless guy's name is Ralph. Theirs isn't."
"We have a MUCH better logo."
"Red is just so gauche."
"Verizon's lock-in is way worse than ours."
"Three words: Voice. Data. Simultaneously."

Everyone has to knock if off with the simultaneous voice and data. Is that really necessary? If I get a call, it's for a reason, to talk! There is no need to have to surf the web while on a phone call. For all of those Verizon haters out there, you're wrong. Look at the # of subscribers, customer service satisfaction surveys, etc. I am in NYC and when I had the iPhone 4 on AT&T, I had full bars almost all the time. But with full bars, all I got was dropped calls, usually 5-10 times a day, slow data, and when I did use data while on a call, just for the hell of it, the call usually dropped anyway. Granted, AT&T might be better in some areas, but nationwide Verizon triumphs. And as for being global, how often are the majority of subscribers, millions of people, actually travelling abroad for months at a time, that having a GSM phone is a deal breaker.

Data and voice at the same time to some people may be important. For most its not but for some people it is the key factor behind having a phone. I get what your saying though for a normal person who wants to have a smartphone it really isn't necessary. I have had both verizon and AT&T. I honestly have never had problems with either one of the companies as far as dropped calls, slow internet, no service. So before going to jump to conclusions and say drop the voice and data, for someone who doesn't know (which may be very unlikely) it could be the deciding factor for them.

I do not travel abroad all the time, but when I do I want to be able to pop my O2 sim in, go hit an ATM and be rolling on much better rates. GSM. Period. Also. Many people use data while talking. I check my bank accounts while on the phone with the bank to get answers, use maps to navigate while talking, etc. I have verizon for work, Att for personal, so I know how much verizon fails at data rates first hand.

I agree with the fact that simultaneous voice and data is important to some people, but it is definitely not something that people should be throwing around as an argument to steer consumers away from Verizon, especially AT&T with their commercials. Using both services simultaneously is definitely an added-feature, but it doesn't beat having reliable coverage.

Sorry to here it folks. Att&t for me is fine. I not going to bash VZN cause I never had there service here in CT. opinions are based on location and most people here in my area love AT&T . And Verizon suffers from poor customer service.

Man, the first paragraph of this article ends with a decidedly un-journalistic statement.
"AT&T plans to focus its ads on the fact they say their network has faster 3G speeds and overall performs better than Verizon’s network (not sure who they are fooling with that!)."
Not very professional and simply based on your opinion. very simply, the complainers (who may legitimately have issues with reception and dropped calls) are a tiny minority compared to the rest of the millions of iPhone users who are really happy with the iPhone and its performance on AT&T.
I personally live in Portland OR, where both networks have comparable coverage, but where the AT&T 3G network is noticeably faster than that of Verizon.
Dropped calls and connection issues just aren't significant issues for anyone that I know that owns an iPhone.

Same here in MD around the DC area, AT&T and Verizon are pretty equal. In comparison with some friends who have droids on Verizon, AT&T's 3G network is faster.

The only place my ATT phone doesn't work in the DC metro area is the Verizon Center...and my Verizon Blackberry doesn't work there either.
Rock on ATT!!!

"Not very professional and simply based on your opinion."
Seriously? What do you think this site is a new publication? It's a blog, it's meant to carry opinion. If this were a "new publication" this would be an "editorial" section.

No talk and data at the same time....seals the deal. You'd loose a lot of functionality.

With competition, the AT&T iPhone user will benefit. With a monopoly, they could do whatever they wanted to.

AT&T need to start unlocking or giving access to all of the iPhone feature like tethering, FaceTime on 3G and some other stuff. Or customer will start to jump ship, especially when the other US cellular company pick up the iPhone and start offering better deals!

AT&T Should just stop. LEAVE IT ALONE...and let customers go.
They did nothing but diss iPhone users hold us back and blame us for the fact they didn't prep the network to carry the load. They should accept what they did and figure out a way to make the customers they keep happy.
AT&T looks desperate and it is not cute.
With that said, I've been with AT&T since my first bag phone back in the late 1980's. Though I'm pissed with AT&T I'm not leaving.
Hey. AT&T. You know what would be nice? Releasing the 3G lock from Face Time. I wouldn't use it but I'm sure other customers would love it.

The competition between these 2 cariers probably wont amount to much of a cost savings for customers. Instead they'll just snarl in commercials at each other. Their prices are essentially the same now and its in both of their best interest to leave them that way. If this had been an Apple event announcing iPhones for all carriers that would have meant real competition since Sprint and Tmobile are actually cheaper.

In terms of performance and call quality, Verizon and AT&T are pretty much even where I live (in the DC metro area). I will say that I've had excellent customer service experiences with AT&T. However, if AT&T wants to stay ahead of Verizon, they should offer better deals for people with iPhones who travel to other GSM countries (which is basically the rest of the world).
I don't travel internationally that often, but when I do, having a cell phone that works flawlessly in my destination would be awesome. I'd be willing to pay upwards of $100/week to have a cell phone that provides both data and talk while on vacation. I am sure other people would do the same.
I will personally be sticking with AT&T. Unless Verizon does something absolutely mind-blowing with the iPhone, I just don't see the need to switch.

Will Verizon receive the iPhone 5 in June or next January? It seems practical they would wait a year. Maybe that's in their contract. That way AT&T and Verizon win.

AT&T better bring back it's goddamn unlimited plan or I'm switching. I keep going over every month

I'm Happy they Got it , tired of my friends bxtching to me that they wished it was on verizon. The people who are on Red have never been able to use voice and Data at the same time so it's not a big deal to them. For AT&T people , we want it.
I wonder if verizon will get the next iPhone in feburary next year ... I don't think I'll ever get a iPhone if both verizon and AT&T people can line up for the iPhone on the same day ...