AT&T Tells Verizon: Yeah, There's a Slap for That

The battle between AT&T (NYSE: T  ) and Verizon Wireless is heating up.

Now that AT&T has been shot down in its attempts to get Verizon Wireless to take down its "there's a map for that ads" promoting greater 3G coverage, it's rolling out its own attack ads.

In the first spot, AT&T enlists Luke Wilson to give the carrier the nod over Verizon Wireless in the first of four categories:

  • Nation's fastest 3G network.
  • Talk and surf at the same time.
  • Most popular smartphones.
  • Access to more than 100,000 apps.

Verizon nabs the final category: Name that starts with the letter V.

It's a hokey ad, and it certainly isn't as damaging as the zinger that Verizon Wireless -- a joint venture between Verizon (NYSE: VZ  ) and Vodafone (NYSE: VOD  ) -- put out a couple of weeks ago.

AT&T's campaign may also backfire if Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL  ) opens up its iPhone availability to Verizon Wireless next year, as many expect. Half of those AT&T category kills are based on the carrier's exclusivity with Apple's iPhone.

However, it's important for AT&T to attack. The Verizon coverage map may be deceptive, given the country's population density, but it's sure to resonate with users. AT&T's refusal to back iPhone tethering and its overloaded networks are weighing heavy on its reputation. It has a lock on the iPhone -- as Verizon Wireless is down to pitching "buy one get one free" Research In Motion (Nasdaq: RIMM  ) BlackBerry deals -- but the ill will is bubbling.

AT&T is right to attack, but sometimes the best offense is a good defense.

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Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz has an iPhone loaded with free apps, and maybe four or five that he has paid for. He does not own shares in any of the companies mentioned here. He is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. The Fool has a disclosure policy.


Read/Post Comments (6) | Recommend This Article (11)

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Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

  • Report this Comment On November 19, 2009, at 1:31 PM, SageOrFool wrote:

    AT&T gets in a few last laughs as Rim blackberry sales may drop through the floors this Christmas/New Year as iPhone/iPod sales reach the sky raking in $$ for AT&T.

    I personally do not like iPhones being sold by Verizon using the outdated and slow CDMA Verizon networks. I hope Apple would explore the Sprint WiMax 4G at speeds 3x to 4x that of Verizon.

  • Report this Comment On November 19, 2009, at 2:19 PM, Gridlocked wrote:

    Apple is having all the success.

    Its obvious from independent network tests that AT&T does not have the fastest network 3G or otherwise and they are spending all their time and resources just trying to keep up with usage from the iphone.

  • Report this Comment On November 19, 2009, at 2:42 PM, SageOrFool wrote:

    It is one of my innate fears that China would exploit the potent power of the all-purpose Apple iPhone platform in tandem of unfettered WiMax network topologies to catapult the Chinese economic machine beyond the means for America to compete handicapped by the legacy gridlock the likes of Verizon's aging CDMA technologies. Japan is already 2.5 generations ahead of America in this area without being crippled by backward technologies like Rim blackberrys. China is 80 times the size of Japan capable of assuming global competitive leadership making the American economic recoveries more pipedreams than reality.

  • Report this Comment On November 20, 2009, at 1:19 PM, metalarmor wrote:

    @Gridlocked: In fact AT&T has the nations fastest network. They are GSM based (like t-mobile), which allows network speeds up to 20mbit/sec with software updates vs Verizon's CDMA which caps at 2.6 approx mbit/sec with all possible updates. T already activated 7.2 mbit/sec upgrade in certain markets and they will probably go down that route until they complete 4G integration. So CDMA based 3G is really 2.6G we may say and GSM based networks are golden since it is world standard. So once they are done, combined with true 3G to fall back where 4G is not available, AT&T's network should rock the boat under any other network career that's not using GSM for their 3G and EDGE (including Verizon). I will put my money on T on this one.

  • Report this Comment On December 04, 2009, at 10:08 PM, Desorious wrote:

    AT&T doesn't stand a chance. Verizon takes tops when it comes to network coverage and that's all there is to it. I actually have a StraightTalk plan that uses Verizon and it's probably the best prepaid I've ever had. The plan comes with unlimited text, unlimited calls and unlimited web for only $45 - not the typical contract from other providers is it? And since it's on the Verizon network, coverage is the best!!!

  • Report this Comment On December 04, 2009, at 10:41 PM, Desorious wrote:

    .,.

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