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AT&T demands Verizon pull 3G ads

updated 10:50 am EST, Thu November 12, 2009

AT&T escalates Verizon ad lawsuit

AT&T late Wednesday amended its lawsuit against Verizon to demand its rival pull its ads. The new version of the complaint asks the Federal Court to block all Verizon ads attacking AT&T's 3G coverage and would silence much of Verizon's marketing campaign for the holidays. AT&T acknowledges that the coverage map itself is accurate for 3G but implies no coverage in many of the areas AT&T still services with 2G.

It would do "irreparable harm" to AT&T if many customers thought they couldn't use AT&T at all in large portions of the US, company spokesman Mark Siegel says.

Verizon has maintained from the outset that its ads make clear that its maps only show 3G coverage and are meant only to highlight that its network reaches the faster speeds in more areas.

The action comes just as Verizon has released three new TV spots and has taken care to critcize the network alone. It compliments the iPhone as a good device but says the handset is inherently limited by call failures and slow speeds on AT&T's service. [via USA Today]

by MacNN Staff



  1. Gazoobee

    Joined: Dec 1969


    no hope

    I don't see how AT&T has anything to argue here. As much as I hate most advertising and think a great deal of it is highly misleading, and as dismayed as I am that they took one of my favourite childhood cartoons and turned it into an anti-iPhone advertisement, nothing they are saying is factually wrong or misleading in any way.

    They talk about "3G coverage" and show a 3G coverage map. There is simply nothing misleading about that. AT&T hasn't got a case.

  1. Paul Huang

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Forget about it.

    For me, even non-3G coverage is nonexistent. I am so happy to get rid of the contract last week. Now I am on track to pay just $100 for one year of cellphone service on the GoPhone card. With Google Voice, I can tell AT&T where to put it.

  1. dynsight

    Joined: Dec 1969



    I live in one of the blue areas, and am very happy with 3G coverage from ATT, BUT it does drop to edge when traveling to other areas which is noticeably slower.

    When looking at the ads, not once did I ever, ever think that if I was not in a blue area, I could not get coverage. it is fairly clear that it is 3G coverage...

  1. jmonty12

    Joined: Dec 1969


    There is an alternative

    AT&T could, like, improve it's 3G network. Maybe do that instead of paying those freakin' lawyers?

  1. wingdo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    not misleading

    I never for a second thought that lack of 3G coverage meant "no coverage". AT&T just doesn't want its flaws pointed out so prominently.

  1. Heavydevelopment

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Truth hurts

    AT&T how about instead of frivolous lawsuits, you actually do something about your 3G network to maintain the amount of subscribers you have?

  1. TheBum

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Non-techies may be confused

    I, too, know the difference between 2G and 3G, but we're all probably techies here. What about the people who aren't, who make up the vast majority of cell phone users? Many of them won't know 2G or 3G from a hole in the ground and may misconstrue the maps shown in the ads as representing *any* coverage. I'm not condoning AT&T's lack of vigilance in getting their network improved, but if people are jumping ship because of a misunderstanding, it will slow network updates even further as AT&T loses revenue.

  1. danviento

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Not so Truthful

    Daniel Eran Dilger puts an informed POV on the topic here:

    Speeds of the different receivers in these devices is important. Note his point that large and growing portions of the AT&T 2G network are just about as fast as VZW's 3G, with AT&T's 3G being much faster.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Re: Not so truthful

    Right. Let's not listen to people here. Let's go to a completely unbiased blog like roughlydrafted. They certainly don't have an agenda at all. And is he taking into account areas, like NYC, where coverage is supposed to exist, but it doesn't work anyway?

    And speed might be a factor, but no one sees ATT broadcasting how their 2G is just as fast as Verizon's 3G (let alone that its just as fast as Sprint's 4G).

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Re: Non-techies may be confused

    OK. So are you saying that all advertising needs to be dumbed down even more than it already is so everyone can understand what is being said? h***, maybe we should force them to be 2 minutes long so they can vocally state all the issues that might exist with the product, like the drug companies idiotically have to do when advertising their drugs.

    Or put disclaimers on every ad like car companies do with "Closed course. Professional driver. Do not attempt" because some idiot kid might try to drive 100 mph on city streets and trying to all sorts of whacked out c***.

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