updated 11:40 am EST, Fri November 13, 2009
Carrier continues attempts to deflect criticism
AT&T has turned to direct communication in order to discourage customers from believing recent Verizon TV ads. The carrier has issued a new memo, claiming the ads are "so blatantly false and misleading" that it has to "set the record straight" about data coverage. It notes for instance that roughly 233 million Americans should have access to AT&T 3G, while 301 million can fall back to EDGE (2.5G) service, and 303 million have at least GPRS.
Verizon ads however have focused not on population but the geographic distribution of AT&T's 3G coverage, particularly as it relates to the iPhone. A collection of areas in the US remain without 3G, which can negate the benefit of the iPhone's unlimited data plans. AT&T is nevertheless pursuing a lawsuit, charging that Verizon is giving the impression that many areas in the US have no AT&T coverage at all. It is asking that the 3G-related ads be pulled.