AT&T Takes Aim at Verizon's Slower 3G Speeds in Latest TV Spot

It's sure getting entertaining to watch AT&T and Verizon duke it out, commercial after commercial. Today we have the latest from AT&T to show you and this one is all about download speed. It seems AT&T has given up on the fact that Verizon covers more of the U.S. in terms of 3G reception, and is now concentrating on the claim that AT&T has the faster 3G speeds.

We've said it before and we will say it again, AT&T just does not seem to get it and they are obviously ignoring most of your comments as a significant amount of our readers feel they should be spending all of these advertising dollars on some more 3G towers...

[Thanks to everyone who sent this in!]

Jeremy

Community editor. Tech enthusiast. All-around geek.

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AT&T Takes Aim at Verizon's Slower 3G Speeds in Latest TV Spot

66 Comments

Haha. It's just funny to see at&t's reaction to Verizon's ads. At the end, AT&T just looks desperate to me. The only reason they have the most subscribers is because of the iPhone. At least that's the only reason I switched to AT&T from Verizon

Why doesn't AT&T concentrate on there own business and quit worrying about what verizon is doing.

Yes verizon has about 10 million more I I think. And AT&T is reliable it's just edge is slow :( but I have 3g here and everywhere I travel so it's not a big deal to me at all

AT&T used to have the most, then Verizon bought Altell, that's the only reason Verizon has more subscribers

@Kdog: because verizon is taking jabs at them. I mean seriously. You were probably the nerd kid that never stuck up for himself huh? The other kids made fun of you and you just put your head down and ignored them ... Huh? If someone makes fun of me once, I might just think he is an idiot and let him be. But if he keeps doing it, I'm going to take action. Do you really think AT&T should be like you and put their head down, ignoring verizon attacks on their reputation? Puss out?

I understand ATT's angle of trying to fight back against Verizon and all that. But the commercials it's producing are just bad. How does this commercial persuade anybody that ATT has a better product. It really should just leave it to Apple to produce commercials that make sense.

@Ody: It does one thing. Tell people that AT&T 3G is faster ... Period. That was not a commercial telling people that AT&T is superior outside of 3G download speed. That commerical was a focused one.

At First I was upset @ Verizon for attacking my Beloved AT&T, But in the last three weeks, i can t get 3G COVERAGE IN MY AREA My Iphone is as useless as you know what on a Bull

Christopher Cox is a little condescending twat. Why do you feel compelled to talk down to people on these forums? Every comment you make has the same premise, you're right, and everyone else is wrong. I'm guessing you were the type of kid that had swimmers ear on a weekly basis from receiving numerous swirlies. Get with the program and try to have respect for people, you ass jacket.

Please stop saying "they should spend this money putting up more towers". Peoples perception of AT&T is just as important, if not more, than the actual coverage they have. While I don't think these ads have been done very well, it is important for AT&T to hit back at Verizon.
Plus, for those of us who are actually in sales and marketing and understand business, we know that unused marketing dollars are not going to be sent over to infrastructure and be used to upgrade equipment.

Joe McG Says:
December 6th, 2009 at 2:22 pm
Please stop saying “they should spend this money putting up more towers”. Peoples perception of AT&T is just as important, if not more, than the actual coverage they have. While I don’t think these ads have been done very well, it is important for AT&T to hit back at Verizon.
DARLING THEY NEED TO PUT UP MORE TOWERS ESP IF PEOPLE HAVE TO DISABLE THEIR 3G ON THEIR IPHONES SO THEY WILL NOT GET ANY DROPPED CALLS...

This is a combination of funny and ridiculous all in one. It's a public pi55ing contest between the two carriers and I am almost getting sick of the commercials.
I have two phones. My iPhone is obviously AT&T and the phone my company gives me is Verizon. After carrying both of them around for years I have to say AT&T has better coverage most of the time.

I love it how people take web blog rumors as the truth for the entire country. Vanity, I have never had to turn my 3G off to get a call, and Ive stood in line the first day the phone was out.

Looks like some people need a lesson in business budgets. There are two types of budgets in a company CapEx and Operations. CapEx = Towers. Operations = Marketing, Advertising and Sales. Money applied to CapEx has tax implications because this can be written off through depreciation and tax credits from buying equipment and putting people to work. Operations budgets do not receive the same attention from the Federal and State governments and have far fewer exemptions.
AT&T in responding to Verizon is not taking from CapEx to fund the ad budget, which is for operations. They are likely defunding some programs like the Rollover Minutes campaign. So this new campaign is not taking away from them building and upgrading their towers. If you have a gripe with the rate that this is happening feel free criticize AT&T but at least do it for reasons that are based in reality and not on assumptions.

Exactly Jeremy. Both Sprint and Verizon blanket this area of Florida(Fort Walton Beach/Crestview/Destin) in EVDO while we have been waiting for AT&T to follow suite with 3G for a few years now. A whole swath of the Florida panhandle is still stuck on Edge. At the very least you would think they would at least cover I-10 by now.

I agree with sting7k... this story became kinda old. Or maybe it's just me because i don't have neither carrier...

Sorry I do not buy the lies here that AT&t has better calls than say a verizon/sprint...That would be a lie..At&t on 3g is like having a metro pcs...But on edge i have never had a dropped call(as in i will never enable my phone to crappy at&t 3g).

My gosh people love to whine about ATT. THEY COVER WHERE THE POPULATION IS DENSE. Why the **** should they waste money on towers in cow land like VZW does? Please explain how that's cost/benefit intelligent. Spend money on a tower doing 3G for 10,000 people in 500 square miles, why?!?!
http://maps.howstuffworks.com/united-states-population-density-map.htm
Check the population density map and then figure where ATT has 3G, they cover MOST of the POPULATION with 3G- 75%. Land area means nothing if you cover corn fields and cows where 200 people live. Its just VZW brainwashing that bigger is better EVEN IF YOU NEVER USE IT.

ATT rocks. I am in Atlanta and have no problems. I had verizon for two years before switching to ATT. I rather have voice and data simutaniosly than evdo 3g where I can't. I think Att comercials along with Apples commercial do a great job showing how ATT is better. I beleive I read somewhere how edge us not much slower than verizons 3g speed.

@JK

Land area means nothing if you cover corn fields and cows where 200 people live.

Sorry, but we are not talking about a restaurant chain here.
Telephone service is a critical service. It needs to be everywhere.
3G service is less critical, but even THAT is becoming essential as more people move to smart phones.
Excuse me sir, but your parochial little world view is showing....

Before I had ATT I used to think that their services were the premium kind. They were/are the expensive kind for those who can afford it.
Now ATT, I guess, has to keep with the demand. But they wanna be quick to spend money on ads. And boy are there ads! I've seen many in spanish obviously English too. They are just WAY too many ads....
ATT, dude quit.
Verizon, keep charching 0.002 cents for texts (or data I don't know) Cuz that totally will get you somehwere.

@icebike
They DO cover the same area with "essential" phone service. 3G is NOT an ESSENTIAL service that every square inch of their coverage area MUST have. Or else you can say the same about Sprint, Tmo, Metro, basically EVERY other carrier. Lame argument, that everyone HAS to match the #1 spot. No one HAS to do anything, if VXW does so then great, use then instead of whine about ATT.
Excuse me sir, but get over yourself.

AT&T has much faster 3G speeds than Verizon. They have also been putting up new towers and expanding frequency ranges at quite a rapid clip. I no longer have issues with AT&T myself whereas a year or more ago i often dropped connections. Yes, they could certainly be better, but Verizon's vaunted network would be in trouble too if they and millions of iPhone users and they know it. But of course it's fashionable to jump on AT&T so people who have no experience with it love to do so.

Sure, public perception is big, but no amount of advertising smoke and mirrors will hide an inferior network.

I switched from T Mobile to AT&T for one reason only; iPhone. Where I live, Hawaii, AT&T coverage is on par with Verizon, maybe even better. But I have no loyalty to AT&T. I have been with every provider and the only one that truly earned by business was T Mobile with it's outstanding customer service. But it's limited 3g coverage and no iPhone made me switch. Despite ATT's great coverage, I have had more dropped calls in 2 months than I had in a year with T Mobile. When/if iPhone becomes available on multiple US carriers, ATT will have problems and deserves whatever happens. Failure to adequately invest in infrastructure at the same time as taking on the data guzzling iPhone was a very big strategic mistake.

@Icebike: Let me clue you into something because you are the same idiot that used to spew out that LTE is not GSM.... Despite the fact that LTE is a software upgrade for UMTS.
It takes 540 days to get a tower approved by the FCC and that is on the basis that the local government is not contesting the tower. Add to that Sprint and VzW only needed to upgrade their towers via software to get 3G unlike At&t who needed to build another network to get 3G.
Now, the things that count is this.. They have 3G where most people live and the only people suffering is the ones that live in the stick. Until a UMTS tower can cover more then 12 miles the sticks will always suffer.

The problem with ATT Coverge is not that it's not penetrating "cow land" it's that even going inside a building or driving down the highway the 3G keeps cutting out and thats in major cities like Miami. It's very frustrating if your using google maps or even just on a call. Yeah the edge trips in but the call often gets dropped and maps goes dead. What's the point of an Iphone if the "I" part is dead?

I have tested download speeds using the speedtest.net app on a Droid and iPhone. Mainly in NE Ohio and Raleigh, NC. Both are steady around 1500 kps downloads. The uploads are around 190 kps on iPhone and 800 kps on the Droid. No problems really with getting 3g coverage with either one.

The only reason I ever even consider AT&T was the iPhone.... period. I believe a lot of people are with me on this one. The truth about networks will come out once the iPhone exclusive is over. I only hope that AT&T will not experience a flood of users leaving them. I do believe this competition does drive the networks to be better for us, the end users.

I honestly can't say I've noticed that AT&T's 3G network is allegedly better than that of Verizon. I do know that using my iPhone browser is an infintely more pleasurable experience than the browser experience I endured on my old Blackberry Storm, but that probably has more to do with the overall superiority of the iPhone than anything else.

@Lolipop:

you are the same idiot that used to spew out that LTE is not GSM…. Despite the fact that LTE is a software upgrade for UMTS.

LTE is not a software upgrade. Its totally different radio protocol. UMTS is CDMA. LTE is FDMA. (OFDMA: Orthogonal Frequency-Division Multiple Access. LTE will require replacing the transmitters on all the towers, or rather ADDING new ones, because you can't cut the entire system over at once. You still have to support older phones.
GSM is a feature set, requiring no specific underlying radio protocol.
Continue your education here:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/3GPPLongTerm_Evolution and do learn a thing or two about the radio technology involved here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OFDMA

@JK because those 10,000 customers bring in approximately $2.8 million in revenue which is a conservative estimate and doesn't include customers who are retained, and references from said customers.
I'll agree with the poster that says coverage is not the issue. It's penetration that is the issue. I get 5 bars, and great 3g outside my university, but as soon as I step inside a building I'm lucky to get 3g and get studdering calls most of the time.
At least these commercials aren't as bad as the ellen page/cisco commercials. god those make me want to puke.

JL: "Land area means nothing if you cover corn fields and cows where 200 people live." Unless, of course, you're one of those 200, in which case signing on with the other guys is just stupid. Cost/benefit here: compete with the guys who, with the iPhone, are going to win anyway, or spread out and cover new turf?

Geez, you collective people are insane. It's just a phone for the love of god. I love my iPhone but you realize that we're pretty much all on the same team here -- after all this is the iphoneblog.
Ignore the trolls... they are bottom-feeders anyway. Don't take the bait!

Verizon could have had the iPhone but they refused it. So now they are losing a battle in a long war with Apple and AT&T that they started. In my part of the country, AT&T is taking subscribers from Verizon at a 3:1 clip. The Droid is not helping Verizon, yet.

@Victor.
And what are the tower construction, licensing/leaseing, and operating cost to make that $2.8 million? THATS cost-benefit, not saying that oh itll bring a profit. No crap itll bring a profit, thats obvious. The problem is HOW MUCH WILL IT COST versus that profit. If theyre only making $300,000 off of those people is it worth concentrating their resources there? Its obviously a business choice that its not enough profit to justify dumping money into that area, getting new permits, FCC approval, etc.
@Oboewan
See the above explanation. Carrier arent charities, they arent going to dump hundreds of thousands of dollar into 3G for those 200 people to make a yearly profit at $55 ARPU (average each customer pays) of $11,000. Yes, they should waste 6 figures to make $11,000 a year, that makes a TON of sense. More so then dumping millions into advertising against VZW right, which can at least get them some type of benefit.
Thats life, people choose to move to the sticks and use ATT. It shouldnt be a surprise most carriers dont cover the sticks because its too expensive to do so when the population isnt dense. It makes more towers to cover those few spread out people and not worth their time or resources in the end. VZW has an advantage because the CDMA they use travels further and needs less towers. jsut a technological difference, but you cant blame a company for making a good business decision not to lose money or to maximize profits.
And indoor coverage is MOSTLY dependent on frequency NOT technology (EVDO vs UTMS). Where you live they must be using 1900mhz which doesnt penetrate buildings as well as 850mhz. The lower the frequency the better building penetration. 850 works nearly equally well in buildings between vZW and ATT (where its active)

Here in central Florida, I've been very happy with AT&T's coverage and speed -- much better than Sprint. No complaints at all. I have no basis to compare with Verizon, however.

As much as I love both the commercials that both companies are dishing out, I'm starting to wonder about AT&T's ads.
Remember when they used to advertise the fewest dropped calls? They don't do that anymore because they drop so many calls, at least from what I hear from people who have/had AT&T's service and from people on these forms.
I'm just wondering if they're saying their 3G speed is faster because of some independent study from a company that doesn't know diddly or because they need to say something to go against Verizon.
I would like to see some stats, like megabit per second or something. Someone at work said it best, there's two people going exactly 60mph, but one of them is saying they're going faster than the other person even though they're going 60mph, the same speed as the other.
I don't want to take a Droid and an iPhone 3GS and see which phone finishes faster when loading a website. I've seen the iPhone beat the Droid and I've seen the Droid beat the iPhone, I've even seen them finish at the same time. That's not an accurate test.

@TK
ATT's 3G throughout the country is (theoretical maximum) 3.6 Mb/s. They are also starting to upgrade some areas to 7.2 maximum (again, theoretically). But I am not sure of current status of the upgrades, but the huge majority of 3G is 3.6.
EVDO Rev. A (used by Sprint and VZW) has a theoretical maximum of 3.1 Mb/s.
So yes, ATT does offer faster download speeds under ideal conditions, but actual speeds are much slower on both technologies. In some areas, ATT will be faster, and in some VZW or Sprint will be faster. But in most areas nothing but an actual speed test will be able to tell the difference.

I agree with commenter. I have had my AT&T 3g at about 1mb/s in Muncie IN where I live down to 400kb/s in Anderson and 1.5mb/s in Indy. It really depends on where you are, your distance from a tower, if your in or outdoors, and how many people are using the same tower as you.

@KDog .. Same to Verizon.If AT&T sits back and let another company attack them, they'll appear to be accepting the claims.

just to add on to what commenter said, I do the speed-test on my iPhone every now and then. In Lower NY ( NYC and Long Island ) there are times when I get 1.7mbps but on average 1.1mbps and other times I get .6mbps.
I want 7.2 in my area though =]

That's not true.. my droid has faster speeds then my dads. Atnt blackberry. I get 700dl and 400 upload double what he gets

Ya'll getting paid for sticking up for your beloved phone companies? Drop this corny topic and pick who you gonna pick ant just stick with them

I would like to apologize to apple for being sucked into at&t's lies. They built a great phone maybe even the best phone ever. It's a shame apple has to deal with unhappy customers because of at&t's bad reception. So verizon I hope you put AT&T through hell, because they have put me through hell.

@icebike: are you serious.. Did you even bother to read the links that you posted? It even states that lte is a series of enhancesments for umts...
Good god man learn to read....

Btw w-CDMA is not CDMA.... It has as much in common with CDMA as edge does. Please read the article you post.... Your skimming just makes you look even more like an idiot.

In my area, I have excellent AT&T coverage and only lose it a couple times. Also, the idea that they should just install more 3G towers is silly...an ad campaign probably costs considerably less than installing even a couple of 3G towers. Not only that, but I haven't really seen Verizon's 3G as super zippy. In fact, EVDO, the supposed 3G of Verizon is slower than EDGE throughout my entire state. Fortunately, I'm in an area where I have 3G and it is MUCH zippier than my old Verizon phone's EVDO.

Let's assume for the sake of this argument that people living in remote areas deserve coverage and that people in densely populated areas may actually TRAVEL to remote areas every day. It is beneficial to cover ALL areas because these areas are utilized by people from ALL over.
There are just as many people who travel that complain about coverage as there are those, like me, who don't live in a metropolis. Rural outages effect more than the folks living in those areas.

I live just outside the Philadelphia metropolitan area and I have never had a problem with at&t's mobile service. In fact, it just keeps getting better. Apparently we down here aren't experiencing the same problems as those in NYC and San Fransisco. I just ran a speed test on my iPhone and got a download speed of 1890 kbps and an upload speed of 421 kbps. That's plenty fast and I only here good things about at&t's service in this region and almost all negative feedback when it comes to Verizon.
And I'm not an at&t fan boy I'm just saying it like it is from my experience.

Ignoring everything but the commercial. Did you guys notice that the download starts at different points? I'm on dial-up right now, so I am assuming its the commercial where Luke Wilson is downloading himself. But if you look, they "download" at the exact same speed, At&t's download was just started sooner. I mean Luke talks about how AT&T downloads faster and even makes a comment about how Verison "timed out" but they download at the same rate.