Why Verizon’s anti-AT&T commercials are funnier than it realizes
AT&T sure did pick a smart time to bury the hatchet with Verizon. It turns out that AT&T’s 3G coverage map, small and laughable as it is, is even smaller than what we see on the Verizon commercials. The covered areas apparently include AT&T’s partners, which means you can get 3G service with towers that do not belong to AT&T, but are in a sharing agreement with the carrier. The only problem is that it costs AT&T a little extra to provide service through those towers, so if you go over a certain limit, AT&T will warn you, then shut off your service if you continue to consume data over that limit.
According to R. Scott Raynovich of Light Reading:
Upon arriving in Bozeman, my wife discovered some flaky data operation on her iPhone. After checking the AT&T map on the Website, we were assured that there was coverage in the Bozeman area. The icon on the phone showed full coverage. We couldn’t figure out why the data access wasn’t working properly.
Why? I asked.
Here’s how it merges with the map controversy. The official AT&T customer service rep pointed out that that map on their Websites differentiates between 3G access via partners versus AT&T’s own towers. That distinction is not being shown on the current AT&T TV commercials featuring Luke Wilson, which appear to be running 58 times a day on NFL Sundays.
If you take a look at AT&T’s website, you’ll notice that a good chunk of its EDGE and GPRS coverage are split with other partnerships, too! AT&T accused Verizon of confusing customers regarding coverage, and that its maps don’t accurately depict just how much AT&T’s data networks cover. It’s true because we now realize it’s the opposite of what AT&T wants us to believe. If you move to an area where there is AT&T data coverage, like Raynovich and his wife did, but it’s via a partnership, you’re screwed.