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AT&T Calls Out T-Mobile For Pretending 3G Is 4G
'Misleading customers by labeling HSPA+ as a 4G technology...'
by Karl Bode 08:45AM Wednesday May 26 2010
As we noted yesterday, T-Mobile is expanding faster HSPA+ 3G wireless broadband service into additional markets. However, in their announcement they took a few creative liberties -- referring to the fact their service delivers "4G speeds" -- despite really only being a 3G service. AT&T, who is also deploying HSPA+ before migrating to LTE, apparently wasn't amused. "I think that companies need to be careful that they're not misleading customers by labeling HSPA+ as a 4G technology," says AT&T. "We aren't labeling those technologies as 4G," says the company of HSPA+. Of course AT&T Is no stranger to stretching the truth when it suits them, but in this case they're apparently interested in label accuracy.

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expert007

join:2006-01-10
Buffalo, NY

And they'll be the first......

...to misrepresent something tomorrow. At the end of the day, most users don't really care (or know) if something is 3G, 3.5G or 4G. All they want is consistent, fast speeds without restrictions.

Hell, I know alot of people that don't even know that there's a difference between WLAN wireless and 'cellular' wireless.

mudturtle74

join:2007-06-29
Killen, AL

Re: And they'll be the first......

Oh, how so true. Remember the Verizon vs. AT&T war with all the commercials every 5 minutes for months? 97% coverage of the nation, my foot.

ScottMo
Once in a Lifetime
Premium,MVM
join:2000-12-15
Stony Brook, NY

Re: And they'll be the first......

They say 97% of *Americans* covered, not America. I always point that out to my kids as I'm teaching them to be skeptical of advertising.
jeff17

join:2000-12-11
US

Re: And they'll be the first......

makes sense to put the coverage where the people are.
bdon78
I didn't do it

join:2009-05-18
Decatur, GA

Re: And they'll be the first......

Agreed...seems obvious right?

jap
Premium
join:2003-08-10
038xx

1 edit

Re: And they'll be the first......

Equally obvious that people don't stand in one place, they tend to be mobile. Which is why they have mobile phones. And they want to know which 3% of America they should avoid. Or seek, as the case may be.

thegeek
Premium
join:2008-02-21
right here
kudos:2
but that 97% is only 2G and they are talking about how they have the fastest 3G network throughout the entire commericals. you have to pause it and read the fine print to see that the 97% is only 2G. thats just as bad a misrepresentation.

morbo
Complete Your Transaction

join:2002-01-22
00000

Re: And they'll be the first......

Let me tell you that those ads worked for the average joe. I explained to them why Verizon having 3x the 3g coverage that AT&T has is a different claim that what AT&T was saying in their rebuttal commercials.
cahiatt
Premium
join:2001-03-21
Smyrna, GA

1 recommendation

Re: ATT worried about label accuracy?

Hey ATT! If you are worried about marketing and label accuracy, how about pricing your $19.95 phone service at a real $19.95 plus REQUIRED taxes. Stop with the underhanded bullshit fees.

ScottMo
Once in a Lifetime
Premium,MVM
join:2000-12-15
Stony Brook, NY
I agree it makes sense for AT&T (few providers want to cover very small towns, deserts, and forests), but you have to be careful when reading. 97% of Americans doesn't mean it covers 97% of the country.



In looking at the map, it looks like 80% of America is actually covered (maybe 85% of the Continuous 48).

I'm just urging my children to be careful around advertising especially the wording they choose.
hottboiinnc
ME

join:2003-10-15
Cleveland, OH

Re: And they'll be the first......

that map has been around for YEARS they never up date that thing and a good share of that map is still probably EDGE.
--
www.twopugsbrand.com Kosher, Vegan, and Organic Certified Dog and Cat treats/foods and other products!

Simba7
I Void Warranties

join:2003-03-24
Billings, MT
Click for full size
The real at&t 3G map (sorry about the quick Cut and Paste)

RRedline
Rated R
Premium
join:2002-05-15
Attleboro, MA
The point is that Verizon was specifically referring to AT&T's much smaller 3G footprint, and AT&T responded with intentionally misleading advertising about covering 97% of Americans. Yeah, but not covering 97% with 3G! They went from bragging about being able to surf the web while talking on the phone (something that hardly anyone needs or wants to do), to the 97% figure. That was shady advertising, and they knew it.

AT&T spent millions responding with misleading advertising. Those millions could have been spent expanding their 3G footprint.
--
One nation, under Zod!

whoRu

@verizon.net
said by ScottMo:

They say 97% of *Americans* covered, not America. I always point that out to my kids as I'm teaching them to be skeptical of advertising.
Would 97% of Americans and 100% of the Illegals have been better?

en102
Canadian, eh?

join:2001-01-26
Valencia, CA

Re: And they'll be the first......

Yeah - I caught that as well, being a Canadian living in the US, I probably skew their stats. 97% of 'Americans' means 93% of the population.
--
Canada = Hollywood North

en102
Canadian, eh?

join:2001-01-26
Valencia, CA
Hmm... since I'm technically a Canadian living in Los Angeles, I guess I'm not counted.
There's ~10-15million undocumented 'residents' - I guess that would knock the stats down to a lower percentage of people.
fiberguy
My views are my own.
Premium
join:2005-05-20
kudos:3
So who's next? AT&T going after Sprint for advertising "The nations first and only national 4G provider" when Sprint is carrying anything BUT 4G speeds?

You're right, though.. people don't really know what 3G and 4G is... they just want the next thing... Its sad when a technically defined term is muddled up for the purpose of marketing only.
Blueboy1986

join:2004-08-15
Addison, IL

lets focus on the real world speeds instead...

What if instead the carriers stand behind their actual real world speeds instead of the technology behind their wireless service? Because at the end of the day the users don’t really know what 3G and 4G really is and they are being educated by the carriers marketing departments.

MalibuMaxx
Premium
join:2007-02-06
Chesterton, IN

Re: lets focus on the real world speeds instead...

And thats where we get half our problems... but i also don't think the general public should be educated by the engineers either...

Simba7
I Void Warranties

join:2003-03-24
Billings, MT

1 edit

4G Speeds != 4G

I guess at&t only reads what it wants to. T-Mobile specifically said "4G Speeds", not 4G. They never said they offered 4G service.

Maybe they should beef up their own network before flaming others. Ever notice they say they have the most coverage (which they don't).. But also didn't mention to put 3G in any of that?

So, maybe 10% of the U.S. has 3G and the other 90% has EDGE or less?
--
Bresnan 15M/1M
MyWS[PDC@3.6GHz,4GB RAM,2x1TB HDDs,Win7]
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kamm

join:2001-02-14
Brooklyn, NY

Re: 4G Speeds != 4G

Exactly and what's more hilarious is that TMO is actually FASTER with HSPA+ than the so-called 4G from Sprint/Clearwire or even VZW's demonstrations:

God, can you tell that after riding EDGE and baseline UMTS for so many years I looove posting my current incredible results...?
--
[BQUOTE=[user=bicker]]Waaaa waaaa waaaa. You just want what you want and don't care to factor in what is right or true. Your perspectives are un-American, and deserve far more ridicule than I'm prepared to pile on them.
[/BQUOTE]

thegeek
Premium
join:2008-02-21
right here
kudos:2
i was thinking the same thing when I read it. They said 4G speeds, not 4G technology.

Gbcue
Premium
join:2001-09-30
Santa Rosa, CA
kudos:8
Reviews:
·AT&T U-Verse
Yeah, "4G speeds" doesn't mean they offer 4G.

My U-Verse internet connection can supply me with "4G speeds" too but then again, AT&T doesn't understand English or marketing.
--
My Blog 2.0
fiberguy
My views are my own.
Premium
join:2005-05-20
kudos:3
said by Simba7:

I guess at&t only reads what it wants to. T-Mobile specifically said "4G Speeds", not 4G. They never said they offered 4G service.
But 4G speeds are defined as, what,... 100mg? Are they offering 100mb service??

Jim Kirk
Premium
join:2005-12-09

Re: 4G Speeds != 4G

said by fiberguy:

said by Simba7:

I guess at&t only reads what it wants to. T-Mobile specifically said "4G Speeds", not 4G. They never said they offered 4G service.
But 4G speeds are defined as, what,... 100mg? Are they offering 100mb service??
Defined by whom?
fiberguy
My views are my own.
Premium
join:2005-05-20
kudos:3

Re: 4G Speeds != 4G

ITU »en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ITU-R

Gbcue
Premium
join:2001-09-30
Santa Rosa, CA
kudos:8
Reviews:
·AT&T U-Verse
said by fiberguy:

said by Simba7:

I guess at&t only reads what it wants to. T-Mobile specifically said "4G Speeds", not 4G. They never said they offered 4G service.
But 4G speeds are defined as, what,... 100mg? Are they offering 100mb service??
4G hasn't been defined by speed since there isn't a clear winner (LTE or WiMax, although LTE can be said is the winner technically), even still, their max * theoretical* is about 100mbps.
--
My Blog 2.0

kamm

join:2001-02-14
Brooklyn, NY

After ATT's broken pseudo-3G it's downright unbelievable...

...that ATT dares to criticize someone to offer FASTER THAN 4G SPEEDS under the moniker of "4G speed"...

...how about your own slow@ss, craptastic, fake 3G that you sell as "3G" and "fastest network", ATT?

expert

@qwest.net

AT&T calling Kettle black.

AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint need to read the defination of 4G. It's not HSPA+ or LTE untill they reach a download speed of 100 Mbps. All of them are misleading. I compliment T-Mobile because if Clear and Sprint can advertize Wi-Max as 4G when the industry has already defined it as 3G, T-Mobile should be able to do the same. After all, the standards groups have stayed silent, so why not.
AT&T, get over it.......
McRat

join:2009-09-09
Corona, CA

AT&T should not be calling a kettle black...

Digital vocabulary takes on a life of it's own. Didn't 4G mean "fourth generation" yet no specific technology?

Well, the current "third generation" is about 1.0 mbps down, and 300k up in most of the USA I visit. Not advertised or peak speeds, normal 9-5 speeds.

I figure if you can hit 4 mbps normal speeds, it's fourth gen, whether it's two cans and a string, or gamma rays.

By the way, I'm right next to a huge AT&T tower in the center of most populated region in the USA, Southern California.

Let's see, with AT&T's most expensive phone and most expensive plan, in the most populated region they do business in:

1482 kbps down 187 kbps up. Not bad. Just about the highest numbers I've seen out of them. But less than their advertised speeds, and it's not 9-5 yet.

I'd suggest they AT&T hit their advertised speeds in most areas before they point fingers at anyone. We just unplugged AT&T's DSL after they could not hit their advertised 1.5 mbps after 5 years of constant service calls. The day we shut it off it was 300k down and 40k up.

Nhatters

join:2004-01-24
Oklahoma City, OK

...

Guess they don't have anything else better to do, like upgrading their own equipment or something.
ATTuid

join:2010-02-24
Sullivan, MO

AT&T - pot, kettle, black

AT&T's 3G coverage? Certainly their advertising is the most misleading in the marketplace today...97% coverage is not 3G coverage.

Let's go to the AT&T website, because the information is there.

»www.wireless.att.com/coveragevie···pe=voice
Note according to the legend this is not 3G coverage, but is their National GSM Coverage.

Now let's dig up their 3G coverage map...

Here's the trick they are using to hide how truly bad their 3G coverage really is, first zoom in on any location on the orange map.

Now click the checkmark box for "3G/Mobile Broadband Coverage"
to see what their 3G coverage is. It will show up in blue. (Note this checkmark box wasn't there in the first place, until you zoom in on the map.)

Zoom back out but not all the way. Viola! AT&T's 3G nationwide coverage in blue. If you do zoom out all the way, the map will turn orange again and you'll lose the actual 3G coverage map.

AT&T is a service you can live without.

Sincerely,
Former AT&T employee

•••
djeremy

join:2004-07-12
San Francisco, CA

such cry babies

Maybe AT&T should keep their comments to themselves and concentrate on fixing their own busted ass network.
fiberguy
My views are my own.
Premium
join:2005-05-20
kudos:3

Re: such cry babies

This is good advice to ALL business. They need to stop looking foolish by pointing out someone else's short coming as a way to make themselves look better. They ALL have short comings.. In the end, the consumers get it.. bitchy doesn't win the day..

I make an exception though in one particular campaign, becuase the Slowskies are just too funny. Even then, I just like the turtles and often could care less who they're trying to bash; it's lost in the comedy.

JustMeHere

@swbell.net

TMob offers 2.2 Mbps in Houston

I can provide a video on a G1 to prove it, and it peaks at 5Mbps. That is true 3G. (speedtest.net) This is not HPSA+. I was in philly over the weekend and yes I say 5Mbps constant and was impressed.

In contrast we had a 3GS iPhone and a Samsung Moment. Visited 20 midwest and eastern states this past weekend (by car 5 days)

Sprint covered almost every area with 1Mbps even in remote places like the backwoods of Mississippi or Alabama. That was nice, though it had no coverage in Milford PA where T Mob surprisingly did in contrast to ATT.

TMobs service was 3G almost in most metropolitan areas, HPSA+ in eastern metropolitan areas (though they lacked a bit near Elkton MD.) In remote ares G was available and edge networks are almost gone now, though they pop up once in a while.

ATT had 3G that worked at Edge speeds everywhere. They barely broke 0.4Mbps where ever we went. The only two place where ATT had coverage and no one else did, was Geismar LA and Natrium in West Virginia. Everywhere else ATT had the slowest service.

T Mob offers the best bang for the buck, as Sprint charges extra for Landline calls, while both offer similar 70 -80 dollars a month for unlimited everything.

I have pushed the limits with T-Mob.. they cap you out at 10GB/month. The first month they will allow you to go over (I used 13.8GB) the second month I tried it, they slowed my connection to 50kbps, enough for mail an text even google voice. But nothing else. So they really offer unlimited internet. Just wish there 50kbps would be more like 150Kbps and then it would be sweet yet appropriate. They should also offer a trully unlimited like Clearwire on 4G for an additional amount.

Clearwire was part of the mix I tested this weekend, there coverage was comparable to TMobile's, there speeds twice as fast where and when WiMax worked (it doesn't work well when it rains!). Clearwire has limited 4G connectivity in the northeast though covers the South nicely. at 30 a month for a month to month plan they truly offer unlimited wifi.
sragle

join:2005-08-08
San Jose, CA

who cares what they call it

Just give us fast reliable speed, call it what ever you want.
cl0ckw0rk

join:2004-07-28
Kaukauna, WI

Blah blah blah

I don't know what they're doing up here near Green Bay, but I definitely have no problem getting ~3mb down on my 3GS through AT&T.

Old pic, but I am sure you get the point.

»img.photobucket.com/albums/v453/···3d7f.jpg

compuguybna

join:2009-06-17
Nashville, TN
Reviews:
·Millenicom
·HughesNet Satell..
·ooma
·Virgin Mobile Br..
·Charter

Re: Blah blah blah

AT&T needs to SHOVE IT, and mind their own business.
are they jealous t-mobile is surpassing.

I still cuss when I see the AT&T commercials saying AT&T reaches 97% of america. WITH WHAT?????
slow GPRS @ 44kbps or EDGE @ 200kbps?????

NO WHERE 3G!

Verizon rules in most markets, period!

Alanon99

@comcast.net

taunting?

Hmmmm...how exactly is AT&T "taunting". Seems like you need a better headline writer.

Karl Bode
News Guy
join:2000-03-02
kudos:39

Re: taunting?

I changed it just for you!

Alanon99

@t-mobile.com

Re: taunting?

Now THAT is service. The carriers would be well advised to follow your model.