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AT&T has taken out full-page newspaper ads in The New York Times, USA Today and The Wall Street Journal today to remind people what it thinks of T-Mobile's network. The simple ad in traditional orange and white colors gives three bullet points about T-Mo's network offerings when compared to AT&T's: "2x more dropped calls", " 2x more failed calls" and "50% slower download speeds". AT&T wraps it up in at the bottom with a statement of "Don't be fooled by misleading claims. For the better network experience, count on AT&T."

We're not entirely sure where this is coming from, as AT&T is far from being threatened by the actions of T-Mobile considering it has about three times as many customers. It's possible AT&T is just getting out ahead of T-Mobile's upcoming launch of LTE and offering of "Apple products" in the coming months to make sure its customers don't get any crazy ideas about leaving Ma Bell. No matter the reason, it's entertaining to see the big carriers duke it out on a public stage.

The newspaper ad is quite large, so stick around after the break to see it.

Source: The Verge

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Reader comments

AT&T takes aim squarely at T-Mobile in newspaper ads

63 Comments

Too funny. Weird thing is, neither of them have anything close to nationwide LTE. If I were AT&T I'd avoid questions about data speeds and coverage like the plague while working on catching up.

Why? T-Mobile has what, like 3 LTE markets now? AT&T has the second most LTE markets, has HSPA+ in as many (if not more) markets as T-Mobile, and its HSPA+ data speeds slaughter Verizon and Sprints 3G speeds. Okay, Verizon has a bigger LTE network than AT&T. AT&T's is still faster and HSPA+ is a better back up than EVDO rev. A. Everyone already knows that Verizon has a larger network than AT&T, and this ad is comparing to T-Mobile, who they slaughter in pretty much every way other than price.

And yet in all but the most heavily trafficked interstate corridors that self proclaimed 4G that AT&T brags on is non-existent. Edge is still almost as widely available on their network as their 'faux 4G' is. I'm no T Mobile supporter or even customer, but AT&T isn't any better.

The FCC said it was doing a study comparing every Carrier's network in all the regions of the U.S. so the customers could make an honest, unbiased, informed decision of what carrier to go to with their report. It'll show which carrier is truely fast and which ones are blowing smoke since the big 3 claim the fastest. I can't wait to see the findings, but its been 6 months or so since they announced the investigation.

You're right about HSPA+ being a better backup than EV-DO, but luckily most Verizon users don't have to fall back on 3G. Verizon already has about half of their 3G network covered with LTE. AT&T's too embarrassed to show you their LTE coverage if you're zoomed out too far so I have no idea how close they are to completion.

"..but luckily most Verizon users don't have to fall back on 3G."

That's a joke, right? I find myself on 3G almost as much as LTE in the DC area. Earlier this week, I was downtown, right by the Verizon Center, with its huge 4G LTE signs, and I had to deal with a weak 3G signal.

... and you're stuck having to deal with Verizon contracts, pricing, data caps, carrier locked phones, crappy/slow updates...

Who is At@t trying to fool with it's pitiful data plans and sorry ability to update handsets. Everyone knows At@t sucks rotten eggs in the carrier game. Tmobile shits on At@t all day long. Verizon and At@t both suck equally.

According to you, EVERY carrier except the one you're on "sucks rotten eggs". 1.5 years ago, you were with Sprint and saying how "crappy" T-Mobile, Verizon (the "devil carrier"), and "AssT@T" were. Then you went to Verizon for the Galaxy Nexus and for the first few months, wouldn't shut up about how "pimp slapping" their LTE was. Now you're on T-Mobile saying the same exact crap, despite it being proven that T-Mobile has (generally) slower data speeds, and a heck of lot less coverage. What a joke.

Except if you have a Nexus 4 ... my AT&T speeds were horrible compared to the pretty consistent 15-20MB download speeds.

Show me where in the ad or article AT&T made a comparison to Verizon again? T-Mobile has been running ads comparing its self to AT&T so AT&T is responding in kind. Verizon was never part of the discussion.

No because they only pick on little people, but remember the story about david an goaliath? History could repeat it self oncev
Again!

Not only the nexus 4. I had a Samsung Vibrant, which also had one of AT&Ts bands in my area and it was a lot slower on AT&T, and dropped calls more.

I was getting pretty horrible speeds too, until I tweaked the APN settings. Now I'm averaging about 10mbps. I dunno what T-Mo's speeds are around here though.

Looks like "A Fee & Fee" is getting nervous about T-Mobile, which is probably a good thing. If ATT feels threatened with competition then maybe they won't screw everyone quite as much. BTW there is a report on a major T-Mobile blog that T-Mobile will be announcing that they are completely doing away with contracts and their associated ETF's. This as they dump phone subsidies. I see a lot more Nexus 4's moving at $349(Google Play price, not T-Mobile Price which is more)!

Funny thing is my work phone is AT&T and personal is with T-Mobile and I get better data speeds and less dropped calls with T-Mobile here is Orange County, CA. To each his own I guess. Was a long time Sprint customer and moved to T-Mobile the beggining of Feb and couldn't be happier. :)

I recently dropped AT&T in favor of T-Mobile and haven't been happier. Between me and my wife, we were paying about $140 a month for talk, texts, and 200MB of data. With T-Mobile we're paying just over $80 for talk, texts, and 2GB of data. The overall customer service has been MUCH better. I doubt I'd ever consider AT&T again.

Maybe, i guess, but....
T-mobile:
Great service in my area
Great download speeds on my tablet
is unlimited?... At&t not so much... <- this is why the loose my business.
Cheaper than competition.

If i didn't still have unlimited Verizon data, I would surly have T-mobile, no question. Who wants to pay for overpriced service with AT&T? I only use 1.5Gb-2Gb on my tablet a month streaming music. That is my tablets purpose in life and i'm not about to start tracking my data. I would rather pay a flat fee and never worry about it.

Another uninformed article.... Omfg do some research!! A T-Mobile CEO said AT&T's service is crap at the MWC 2013 and so AT&T is on defensive now.

I can't remember the last dropped call I've had on AT&T in the Seattle area. I mean it has been many many months since I had a dropped call.

I've dropped 2 calls since I've been with T-Mobile Prepaid. I'm very satisfied with the service so far. HSPA+ data speeds are pretty consistent between 8 and 14 mbps. No complaints from Milwaukee, WI.

I really think that this argument boils down to the individual. If that person doesn't do much travelling, then sticking with carrier "x" might be a good fit for them. But that same carrier "x" may not have great nationwide coverage so the same network wouldn't work for others. As far as data speeds on speedtest, it really depends on what server you get connected to. I happen to use VZW, and get vastly differing results sitting in the same parking lot just by changing servers within speedtest. I have use Sprint and VZW, but have friends on ATT, and have traveled with those ATT friends. VZW has been the best as far as the "no matter where I go I have had coverage". But thats not saying that each network is perfect. I have done several coverage tests for the city I work for because we are always looking into cellular coverage for our communications. Each network had their "dead spots", and what really sucks is normally the "dead spots" arent the same for each network. So I guess bottom line is if it works for you, then great, you got lucky.

What AT&T is claiming has not been my experience with T-Mobile and I've been with them for 3yrs now. My 1st device was a the original Samsung Galaxy S and my current device is a Galaxy Note II. I travel a lot for business and my home base is in south west Ohio. From the west coast to the east coast 4G speeds are great in metropolitan areas. In some less populated places it was challenging at times but so were most carriers except Verizon. I'm happy with T-Mobile and can't wait until LTE is unleashed on their network in Ohio AND on my Galaxy Note II. We are a 4 line, 4G family Galaxy S III and Note 2. Go T-Mobile!!

Apparently I live in T-Mobile Nirvana then..

I've never had a call dropped on TMo

I've never had a call not go through on TMO

I consistently get 15 - 20 MB download speeds on TMO

Oh - and I pay < $100 for two lines on TMO.

You can't handle the "truth", ATT..

I left Verizon for T-Mobile and couldn't be happier. Everywhere *I* need to go has had excellent coverage so far. Unlimited everything for half of what I was paying on Verizon and would most likely pay on AT&T makes T-Mobile very much worth while.. Even if I did get a dropped call or two, the savings would make up for it. I haven't had any dropped calls though so I am very happy :)

i just switched from att to tmobile and couldnt be happier, yet to drop a call and my data speeds on hspa+ are between 10mb and 25mb, highest i ever got on att is 7mb

Get between 15 - 25mb down and solid 3.5 up on T-Mobile during the day, even faster at night. Never drop calls. On the other side of the coin AT&T just sucks where I am. Suburb of Boston. Yep I have real unlimited data, calls and text messages, all for under 80 bucks a month. Couldn't be happier.
This is good advertising for T-Mobile, any time someone throws your name on a full page add it ends up being good advertising no matter what it says. AT&T must be a little nervous, why else throw money at the little guy on the block that they say doesn't hurt them a bit?

Maybe AT&T should put the resources to improving it's own network rather than taking out ads to throw mud at another.... Remember the "glass house rule" AT&T. Last time I checked your network was as shitty as what you're making TMobiles network out to be. Enough said.

What compels AT&T to go after a competitor with a third of the customers compared to them? Bad management maybe? From a business prospective, it doesn't make any sense to me.

I thinks what compels them is that T-Mobile is offering a $70 a month unlimited everything plan, and even cheaper unlimited talk and text with "unlimited" data plans as well. Plus the billion dollars they just paid them, and a billion worth of spectrum, the iPhone friendly "4G" bands. Compared to AT&T's only prepaid smartphone plan of $65 a month for unlimited talk and text, but strict 1 GB of data. Plus their data plan prices are ridiculous, $25 for a gig, $15 for 200 MB, and $5 for 50 MB sheesh. If I was on the board, I would be a little worried as well.

Edit: To be fair, AT&T also has a $25 a month plan, but you need to buy data. So 1GB and 250 minuets, unlimited text for $50 a month. And the $50 a month plan, but includes no data, so again you need to add that, which makes the plan more expensive than the $65 plan for 1GB.

Don't forget, those AT&T iPhones will be able to connect to 1900 HSPA+ on TMobile and AWS LTE band when unlocked. And the number of iPhone jumpers keeps growing on Tmobile.

Well ya gotta remember the Duopoly doesn't want more competition. The move away from subsidies and the more aggressive prepaid that Tmo is doing along with the LTE they are coming out with. Are going to put pressure on them. This is why they went after Tmo, not`for spectrum but close them down. Now they are feeling the heat and are doing stupid stuff like this.

That is why I am glad the government shut that down. I know that I don't want to be stuck in a world with just AT&T and Verizon running everything.

This entire comments thread is about everyone on t mobile trying to justify why they can't afford at&t. I get at least 45-50 mbps where I live (greater dc area) and get no dropped calls. Let's see your silly aws speeds entertain the idea of getting anywhere close to that. Just drop it already. At&t is a better provider and this is just an ad. Ranting about how great your service is with t mobile isn't going to make the network any better.

Bashing us for defending our choice isn't going to convince us that you're right anymore than it's going to make your bill any smaller. And like I said in my comment just below yours, AT&T in Memphis is terrible, but in my home town it's probably better than T-Mobile since T-Mobile doesn't even offer 3G there. It's all in where you live and whether or not you think having "superior" service is worth a months house payment.

+1. ATT is king in my town and state. Just that simple. They have the best coverage and fastest speeds. (I have an iphone 5 on Verizon for work for comparison). Superb coverage and speed (except for my Nexus 4, I have to give it to T mobile on that device.) I do not mind paying for a premium network. My wife has t mobile because she got pissed off at ATT years ago and moved over. Never let a woman come between a man and his network!

I can afford At&t; I was on Verizon for the past 6 years, before switching to T-Mobile Prepaid. You're attacking T-Mobile customers for posting about the satisfaction they receive from their service, and then bragging about your service with At&t; sort of hypocritical, don't you think?

Some T-Mobile customers can't afford At&t: I don't think those customers should be bashed for choosing a service that works for them, regardless of whether or not a bathroom commander approves of such a thing.

One network isn't better than the other. Period. Price, area, etc all play a factor.

Not sure why I even responded; you don't even have a posting history lol

I live in Memphis and have been a T-Mobile subscriber for 10 years. I've never had an issue with them in the area. Travel is another story (my home town of Milton FL doesn't have T-Mobile 3G even). I get HSPA+ everywhere in Memphis, and even at my in-laws' far in Faribault, MN.

People I know with AT&T in Memphis are constantly doing the searching for signal walk. And I pay half what they pay for the same voice and text but I get unlimited unthrottled data and they don't.

Of course, if I still lived in Milton FL, I'm sure I wouldn't be so happy.

AT&T is literally the worst company to deal with. I left them for T-Mobile last summer.

All AT&T ever gave me was a bunch a crap, empty promises, and a bill that was $100 more for literally no reason.

I use At&t here in New Orleans and havent had any complaints. My Fiancee had t-mobile and couldnt get a signal at home. Ditched tmobile and moved to Verizon. So far so good. My lte speeds are faster though lok

How bout don't be fooled by AT&T claim of 3000 more 4g cities than Verizon? Come on guys, we all agree by now that hspa isn't 4g right?

I switched from Sprint to T Mobile after buying the Nexus 4 and have not had one single problem. Living in KC you would think that Sprints speeds would be some of the best in the country since its their headquarters but T Mobile's is more consistent and faster. Plus I cut my cell phone bill down from $90 to $30. So AT&T tell us why we should switch to you? To pay more for less?

My carrier can beat up your carrier...
Why don't we just settle this on the playground at recess!

The truth of the matter is that at the end of the day all these guys lie through their teeth. Verizon boasts nationwide coverage yet their network is non-existent where I live and has been that way for 30 years. Sprint boasts about huge investments in their 3G network, yet when my AIRAVE femtocell and broadband internet aren't there to support it, my service is almost impossible to use indoors (which makes life so enjoyable during a blizzard and extended power outage). T-Mobile while usually more robust in my neighborhood was completely MIA during our recent New England blizzard. NO SERVICE, not even 1 bar of connectivity. And as for AT&T, I clearly recall being in Boston in the pre-4G days when I had to go to the window of my office building just to get a clear voice connection (on a Moto RAZR and with full bars showing on the screen). The fact is that our laws allow corporations to blow whatever smoke they choose up our asses and we're simply expected to keep paying the bill while we shut our mouths and enjoy our mediocre service.

I've used Verizon, ATT, and T-Mobile in a smallish market (Eugene, Or) in the past year. I rarely drop calls on any of them and only when outside of town, and who actually cares when they drop a call? It's a 5 second inconvenience that happens rarely. No one can compete with Verizon's network, so they should probably just give it up. That being said, I hate Verizon and will never go back :)

I just switched from vzw to tmo and am very satisfied. Looking at my usage, I couldn't justify the cost... Price gouging. The limits are ridiculously annoying. And att is junk. Everyone I call that uses att either drops the call and/or sounds like utter garbage. Root for the underdogs. Also, no network is worth the money.

It seems pretty cheesy for AT&T to take shots at T- Mobile, maybe because the new consumer report 2012 rated AT&T as carrier number 4 out of the top 4, and T-Mobile was rated Number 3. If AT&T payed more attention to their customers instead of themselves, they would still be number 2 or maybe better. I've had had both carries and I've had way more dropped calls with AT&T than T-Mobile. AT&T should really shine the light on themselves and get it together.

My wife and I switched from AT&T to T-Mobile about a year and a half ago. We used to experience 2-3 dropped calls a month on AT&T here in the Boston and North Shore area. Since switching to T-Mobile we've dropped one call... in about 19 months... combined. Plus we get 4G speed almost everywhere and we're paying less. We couldn't be happier with T-Mobile and will NEVER look at AT&T service again.

Ok, here is the deal: I have T-Mobile and last month my data usage was 175GB. Yes, that's right! 175GB! I have a Note 2 hooked to my HDTV via HDMI and I watch A LOT of HULU and other video streaming sites in HD. I watch them more than regular TV, cable or satellite. What was my bill? $92. How much would it have been on AT&T? My average downstream speed is around 7.5mbit which is very acceptable especially given it's unlimited. If you know the answer as to what that would cost on AT&T, feel free to post it.