Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity
Posted at 12:44 PM ET, 01/11/2011

Verizon iPhone spurs new war of words with AT&T over networks

By Cecilia Kang

With the just-announced Verizon Wireless iPhone comes a whole new level of warfare between the nation's two biggest mobile service operators as they race to lure and retain valuable smartphone customers.

AT&T and Verizon are among the nation's biggest spenders on advertising, and the deal has sparked a war of words.

AT&T spokesman Mark Siegel downplayed the competitor's deal, which will put an end to the company's exclusive partnership with Apple for its popular iPhone.

After Verizon's announcement, the Dallas-based phone giant touted how its GSM network technology allows users to place calls and use apps at the same time. Verizon iPhone 3G customers won't have that capability.

"For iPhone users who want the fastest speeds, the ability to talk and use apps at the same time and unsurpassed global coverage, the only choice is AT&T," said Siegel.

AT&T has been dealing with complaints for the last two years that its network hasn't been able to handle the data-intensive traffic iPhone users create. The company has acknowledged that it wasn't prepared for how much Internet data its users would consume and has responded by boosting its network. But its network quality and customers service continue to plague the company, which ranked last in Consumer Reports' survey on wireless service providers.

Verizon, which will begin offering the iPhone 4 on Feb. 10, said its customers have asked for the the smartphone for years. And it pointed to AT&T's reputation for reasons why customers may want to migrate to Verizon Wireless.

"The AT&T network can't handle AT&T calls," said Verizon Wireless spokesman Jeffrey Nelson. "AT&T iPhone customers should come on over. We have built a network that will ensure their calls go through. What a nice change for iPhone lovers."

By Cecilia Kang  | January 11, 2011; 12:44 PM ET
Categories:  AT&T, Apple, Verizon  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Treasury moves to the cloud
Next: Metro PCS rebuts accusations of net-neutrality violations

Comments

One correction to note: AT&T uses GSM technology and allows app usage while on a call. Verizon uses CDMA and cannot currently support parallel information streams on 3G.

Posted by: figgy_va | January 11, 2011 1:47 PM | Report abuse

"After Verizon's announcement, the Dallas-based phone giant touted how its CDMA network technology allows users to place calls and use apps at the same time. Verizon iPhone 3G customers won't have that capability."

This is VERY confusing and VERY wrong. As someone who works in wireless telephony...ATT has never been CDMA. Earlier in its history it had some tdma technology..but T is all GSM now.

Posted by: belkwriter | January 11, 2011 2:09 PM | Report abuse

Simply a personal observation:

My personal phone in on the Verizon network. My employer-provided phone is on the AT&T network.

I cannot drive anywhere in the DC metro area without AT&T dropping a call. It's so bad that I now have a mental map of all of AT&T's dead zones. It's embarrassing to tell a customer, "I'm approaching Vienna, so I know I'll lose you shortly."

I've driven from NY to Florida and I can't EVER recall Verizon dropping me.

I realize that the blue map vs red map commercials were a bit of Madison Ave., but my experience has been that I might as well use a piece of Swiss Cheese as a proxy for an AT&T coverage map.

Posted by: kjclark1963 | January 11, 2011 2:14 PM | Report abuse

Those silly coverage maps you speak of are a very clever sleight of hand by AT&T. Yes, they can claim they have the 90%+ coverage thet tout. They just forget to mention its not for the smart phone technology. However, a flip-phone works just swell. I like Verizon. I have no use for an iphone, or droid, so I could care less.

Posted by: dougw3 | January 11, 2011 2:28 PM | Report abuse

Customer service, not with AT&T. They don't have any, and what they claim is customer service could be better called customer disservice.

Posted by: gmclain | January 11, 2011 3:07 PM | Report abuse

I wish the FCC would regulate the crap out of AT&T. They've gone beyond false advertising to flat out bold-faced lies in every one of their adds.

Their 3G is NOT the fastest.

HSPA+ is NOT 4G - its not even 1/2 as fast 4G - and they've said as much public;y before but now call it 4G in their adds.

They have THE MOST dropped calls - THE MOST congested network and the slowest everything in the country and the only thing sustaining them is the iPhone.

Apple is nearly as bad - I bet 75% of the morons with iPhone 4s believe they're 4G cause they say "4".

Sprint has by far the fastest 4G network and the only true 4G in the country. Verizon is close behind and has slightly wider coverage but with a much heftier price tag.

Get an Evo or Epic and get Sprint or get a Thunderbolt and get Verizon - anything else is just stupid.

Posted by: mac2j | January 11, 2011 3:07 PM | Report abuse

Sorry Mac2, but Sprint does not have 4G either, as yet in the US no one does.

"Sprint Nextel has begun using Mobile WiMAX, as of September 29, 2008 branded as a "4G" network even though the current version does not fulfil the IMT Advanced requirements on 4G systems."

If you look into the figures, AT&T's network is congested as iPhone users are complete bandwidth hogs, the phone becoming available on Verizon might benefit both parties.

I do not believe there is any one phone fits all in the argument, for some a droid based phone might be best (if chosen with care, and the knowledge of exactly which version it is running, or will be capable of running, and knowing whether the carrier has crippled up with default apps or interfaces). To others the iPhone might well meet their needs.

Customer service, well they all suck ;-)

* - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/4G

Posted by: scarlettbueller | January 11, 2011 3:45 PM | Report abuse

please please all you disgruntled AT&T customers go to Verizon. It will only make my life better.

Unless there is no alternative I will never be a Verizon customer. All customer service sucks. Verizon sucks more.

Posted by: rtkx7hwed | January 11, 2011 4:07 PM | Report abuse

uhm, the times I've called
Verizon customer service, it's been quite good. And I've never had a call dropped. So, I've never considered leaving VZW. I'm glad they have the IPhone now, and have already signed up to get it in my hands.

Posted by: Hattrik | January 11, 2011 4:27 PM | Report abuse

ATT is simply the worst company I have ever used. I wish I had read Consumer Reports before I dealt with them. I look forward to Verizon's entry and hope other companies will be available later.

Posted by: Anna8 | January 11, 2011 5:55 PM | Report abuse

What a crock! 3G, 4G, who cares? I don't, that's for sure. I've been a customer of Verizon since those heady days when "can you hear me now?" was being asked 40 times a day on tv. No, I still can not hear you. In spite of sending these jokers 50 bucks a month for 6 years for a phone service that does not include the feature where I can actually make or receive a call from inside my home. I have not switched to AT&T because the word is that they are even worse. Anyone who thinks they're going to like Verizon should have their heads checked by a trained professional. Remember this: you are dealing with the phone company (s) and they don't care.

Posted by: mikie44 | January 11, 2011 6:00 PM | Report abuse

Responding to the post pasted below:

You should do a little research about why this may be and why it may not be. As someone who lived in DC from 2000-2007, I can tell you why this happens.

DC is the classified data capital of the world. You have all kinds of 3 letter agencies who are working in downtown buildings and through out the Metro area that require signal jamming. Second, Verizon spent all kinds of money in the middle part of the 00's to get towers everywhere, including in the Metro stations.

ATT doesn't have the authority to do the same thing....just ask Metro.

Simply a personal observation:

My personal phone in on the Verizon network. My employer-provided phone is on the AT&T network.

I cannot drive anywhere in the DC metro area without AT&T dropping a call. It's so bad that I now have a mental map of all of AT&T's dead zones. It's embarrassing to tell a customer, "I'm approaching Vienna, so I know I'll lose you shortly."

I've driven from NY to Florida and I can't EVER recall Verizon dropping me.

I realize that the blue map vs red map commercials were a bit of Madison Ave., but my experience has been that I might as well use a piece of Swiss Cheese as a proxy for an AT&T coverage map.

Posted by: kjclark1963 | January 11, 2011 2:14 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: ag1976 | January 11, 2011 6:14 PM | Report abuse

scarlettbueller has it correct. . .there is no one size fits all device. iPhones and Droids are all very cool and effective in they're own ways.

There are holes in EVERY wireless network, that's just the nature of it. So, while my son's HTC Incredible's GPS turn-by-turn app works for a brief period, it crashes when there's even the slightest signal blip. I could blame Verizon, but I know better and I would certainly not dump my Garmin for a smartphone. No company is going to tell you: "Oh, I'm sorry, we cannot sell you a phone / contract because you live in a 200 yard radius where reception sucks".

Smart phones also operate differently than a plain-jane cell phone. Their design is bascially a multi-function device that's termed a "phone", but the phone functionality is SO obviously secondary not only by design, but in the way these things are presented to the market. The real choice: Do you need a speedy, always-on web gadget, or a phone that works everytime you need it to? Many times you will not get both. My solution (which is in NO way the best): I carry a Samsung Alias for text/calls and I carry an iPod touch for web. I happen to live and work where free wifi is plentiful, justifying the iPod. Again, this doesn't work for everyone. And there many times that I carry neither device. . .can't be connected ALL the time, even though advertising indicates I should be :)

As scarlettbueller says - know yourself and know your situation, learn what's availble, and choose with care. But beware, no matter which choice you make, you won't get it all with just one device. . .at least you won't get it all consistently.

Posted by: Smears | January 12, 2011 12:28 PM | Report abuse

Post a Comment

We encourage users to analyze, comment on and even challenge washingtonpost.com's articles, blogs, reviews and multimedia features.

User reviews and comments that include profanity or personal attacks or other inappropriate comments or material will be removed from the site. Additionally, entries that are unsigned or contain "signatures" by someone other than the actual author will be removed. Finally, we will take steps to block users who violate any of our posting standards, terms of use or privacy policies or any other policies governing this site. Please review the full rules governing commentaries and discussions.




characters remaining

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2011 The Washington Post Company