Verizon's audacious marketing campaign will only get aggressive as we move towards the holiday season and lawsuits might not help AT&T in time to compete fairly against Verizon this season.
Probably realizing just this, AT&T has launched a counter campaign to educate their customers about the misleading Verizon ad campaign.
Taking a swipe at Verizon's 'There's a map for that' campaign (which itself mocks iPhone's ad campaign), AT&T has launched an ad titled 'There's a misrepresentation for that' where it explains what the 3G coverage maps on Verizon's ads actually mean.
In their ad, AT&T compares their own data coverage against the population density across the various regions in US and explains
"A comparison of US population density explains why AT&T hasn't focused its 3G deployment on Nevada and rural areas of the Mountain Time Zone"
However, what AT&T did not emphasize is the fact that in the areas where data coverage is actually available, the AT&T network is faster than that of Verizon's. Verizon's '5X More 3G Coverage' might be misread as five times faster connectivity while in actuality it only means the 3G coverage area in square miles.
Folks at AppleInsider do a good job in explaining why wireless broadband on AT&T network is better than that on Verizon's CDMA network. As they note, in the regions AT&T offers 3G connectivity, the speed provided is close to 3.4 Mbit which is way higher than the maximum speed provided by Verizon's own EVDO Rev A 3G service that can only offer between 0.6 Mbit to 1.4 Mbit. In fact, the other areas where AT&T do not have 3G connectivity, their 2.5G connectivity offers 0.4 Mbit that is still pretty much a respectable service.
AppleInsider also notes that Verizon's upcoming state of the art LTE network is expected to be operational from 2011 by which time, AT&T would have itself moved to a much better HSPA 7.2 3G service that will offer speeds of up to 7.4 Mbit.
Does this then mean that AT&T users have all along had a better 3G service than Verizon? Not necessarily. AT&T's exclusive partnership with Apple has essentially been a double edged sword. While the iPhone has single-handedly driven AT&T's revenue figures up in the past few months, the unprecedented spike in wireless data usage has also meant that their network is much more clogged than the networks of other carriers in USA, including Verizon's.
Smartphones offered with Verizon Wireless have not particularly taken off so far and while this has meant increasing pressure on their top line, it has given Verizon the license to go all-out against AT&T in their advertising campaigns since their network is still not as clogged as AT&T's.
So where is all this heading to? As of now, AT&T is in a better position considering that the challenges that the company is going through because of increased user activity is only a good problem to have. That cannot be said for Verizon though, since their marketing campaigns have not really been backed by strong sales numbers. Until the time Apple keeps the iPhone locked to AT&T, the carrier will have to live with the ignominy of being seen as an inferior network. Opening up the iPhone to other carriers might then only do more good to AT&T than harm.