November 3, 2009
Have you seen Verizon's "There's a map for that" ads yet? Of course you have; so have the folks at AT&T, and apparently they believe the ads falsely depict the wireless giant's mobile coverage area. Because of this, they have filed a lawsuit against Verizon and are hoping to have the ads at least temporarily removed until the whole mess can be resolved. According to Engadget, AT&T's concern is that the maps in the ads may lead customers to believe that the gaps in coverage are actual service gaps and not just 3G coverage gaps.
In essence, we believe the ads mislead consumers into believing that AT&T doesn't offer ANY wireless service in the vast majority of the country. In fact, AT&T's wireless network blankets the US, reaching approximately 296M people. Additionally, our 3G service is available in over 9,600 cities and towns. Verizon's misleading advertising tactics appear to be a response to AT&T's strong leadership in smartphones. We have twice the number of smartphone customers... and we've beaten them two quarters in a row on net post-paid subscribers. We also had lower churn -- a sign that customers are quite happy with the service they receive.Apparently AT&T had already asked Verizon to change the ads once before. They had Verizon remove a portion that said the company was "out of touch" and had them add "Voice and data services available outside of 3G areas," but apparently that just wasn't enough. AT&T has stated that its network reaches about the same number of people as Verizon's thanks to its massive 2G network. So what do you think? Does AT&T have a valid concern? If Verizon were to change the ads again, they could simply add another color to the map indicating AT&T's total coverage area, but then the point of the ad would be completely lost.