AT&T Fires Marketing Shot At Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile
AT&T brings out its bloviated marketing bazooka and takes aim at its competitors' network speed claims.
T-Mobile recently whipped up a firestorm of criticism for re-branding its HSPA+ 3G network as "4G" instead. T-Mobile did this in order get on the same marketing page as competitors AT&T, Sprint and Verizon Wireless, which are all touting 4G networks of their own.
T-Mobile isn't the only company making shady claims. Some say their network is the largest, others the fastest, and yet others the "most advanced." AT&T's note to the press today doesn't make the message any clearer.
According to AT&T, third-party tests "scientifically prove" that AT&T's mobile broadband network is the country's fastest by a wide margin. AT&T claims its network is running at least 20% faster than its closest competitor in terms of speed, and 60% faster than its "largest competitor by subscriber count" (a.k.a., Verizon Wireless). The study also concluded that 98.59% of all voice calls made through AT&T's network go through without interruption. (I have to wonder of New York City and San Francisco were completely omitted from the test regions.)
AT&T said these results were derived from Global Wireless Solutions, which drove some 950,000 miles across 400 major U.S. markets, covering 88% of the U.S. population.
AT&T shares some speed comparisons for us to ponder.
For example: based on national average speeds, AT&T customers could download an MP3 album (40 megabytes) more than a minute faster with AT&T than the next-fastest wireless network. An 80-megabyte video file would download about 2 minutes faster on average with AT&T as opposed to the next-fastest network. The same video file would take more than 5 minutes longer to download on average with AT&T's largest competitor's network.
You know what AT&T doesn't share? Actual speed test results. Nowhere in its press note does it reveal what those average and peak download/upload speeds are, not for AT&T's network, not even for its competitors' networks. If the proof is in the pudding, AT&T isn't sharing the pudding.
AT&T did say that it is spending gobs of money to update and improve its network, however. By the time 2010 comes to a close, AT&T says it will have spent between $18 and $19 billion, which includes adding more cell sites, improving the backhaul capabilities at its cell sites, and improving the performance of its cell sites.
Fast is a relative term. AT&T doesn't say anything about the bandwidth capacity at its cell sites (number of connections each site can handle), which is an extremely important factor in using the mobile Internet. AT&T also doesn't say anything about latency, which is how fast the network responds to requests for a connection.
Right now, AT&T officially offers HSPA at 7.2Mbps to properly equipped phones. T-Mobile is offering HSPA+ at 21Mbps, and has two smartphones capable of hitting absurd download speeds.
Maybe AT&T's network truly is the fastest (on average), when you weigh the 950,000 miles of data generated by the study. I don't know, I haven't seen the data.
Fast, large, advanced, whatever. What matters most to consumers is that their network works when and where they need it.
InformationWeek Elite 100Our data shows these innovators using digital technology in two key areas: providing better products and cutting costs. Almost half of them expect to introduce a new IT-led product this year, and 46% are using technology to make business processes more efficient.
The UC Infrastructure TrapWorries about subpar networks tanking unified communications programs could be valid: Thirty-one percent of respondents have rolled capabilities out to less than 10% of users vs. 21% delivering UC to 76% or more. Is low uptake a result of strained infrastructures delivering poor performance?
InformationWeek Tech Digest, Nov. 10, 2014Just 30% of respondents to our new survey say their companies are very or extremely effective at identifying critical data and analyzing it to make decisions, down from 42% in 2013. What gives?