T-Mobile Slapped On The Wrist For “Misleading” Ad Campaign Against AT&T

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Update: T-Mobile CEO John Legere pinged me on Twitter to let me know he responded to the article in the comments below. An image of his comment follows at the end of the article. 

Roh oh, T-Mobile may have gone a little too far in its claims against AT&T as the National Advertising Division has slapped T-Mobile on the wrist for statements made in several campaigns. T-Mobile has become considerably more aggressive under CEO John Legere and a target of Legere’s ire in various tweets and on-stage antics. According to the NAD, T-Mobile’s claims aren’t supported, including the claim that T-Mobile offers 50 percent more bandwidth than AT&T. The NAD, the investigative unit of the advertising industry’s system of self-regulation is administered by the Council of Better Business Bureaus.

The NAD looked at the claim based on both AT&T’s and HSPA networks, but T-Mobile didn’t include AT&T’s LTE network. Therefore, the NAD called T-Mobile’s analysis “flawed” and claimed there was “insufficient evidence” that AT&T’s LTE and HSPA combined networks were more congested and thereby slower than T-Mobile’s network.

The NAD has recommended to T-Mobile that it modify their existing claims and disclose where it has the edge, including disclosing specific situations on location, situations and even the type of phone being used in the tests.

T-Mobile was also asked by the NAD to modify its claim that it has the “most advanced technology” and “faster 4G service.” Lastly, the NAD asked T-Mobile to modify its “call quality” claim, which it called “overly broad” and suggested using more clearly defined verbiage such as “audio or voice quality.”

As for T-Mobile, they are downplaying these calls for change by calling them “very minor” details and that it would consider the NAD recommendations. It sounds like the reality is that T-Mobile’s claims aren’t going to change much at all (and don’t need to) and this agency is making recommendations T-Mobile can take under advisement. Truth be told, I’d still rather see T-Mobile spend its time going after Sprint, a competitor that it has a better chance of creeping up on as Sprint seems to be the only national competition T-Mobile has in the pricing wars. Besides, who doesn’t want to continue making fun of Sprint’s slow-poke network?

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CNET

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  • ChristianMcC

    Sad day, but hopefully this will get a fire under Tmo’s butt to get things in better order in more places. I’m glad they increased the bandwidth by my home finally, which is right by the major mall in the area, so there were major problems a couple weeks ago. Still, they are the best value for me, and loving unlimited 4G:-)

  • http://twitter.com/SParKlngCyaNide SparklingCyanide

    So basically they want T-Mobile to stop advertising the benefits of it’s network while other carriers are allowed to print/say whatever they’d like… Makes perfect sense.

    • tmo_rep

      Yea, if claims are not true. As a call center rep I take way too many calls from customers who have signal/dropped calls/slow data issues, and I’m not even in tech care. I can easily say 2 out of 3 calls I get from customers who are on their mobile device, the call either sounds garbled, fades in and out, or muffled. In my town which has LTE, it works great in some places outdoors, but once you step into most building, hello “E”. We’ve been doing so many other better as of late, we really need to improve our network FAST!

      • thatuptowncat37

        Not that the claims arent true…they arent proven…YET!!!

      • Aurizen

        yeah I agree, I get 2 bars of LTE in my house… and I get 2-4 mbps of speed.. calling is ok for the most part. Tmobile needs more spectrum.. isnt there a spectrum bid in the next few months? maybe T-mobile will get some great new spectrum to support better signal strength.

      • Tina

        Fact is tmobile does the tests only in major markets, New York City. Las Vegas go through the desert outside Vegas and tell me what signal and speed you get. I can’t even go to Amish Country in Sugar Creek, OH, tmobile signal zero there. Verizon, I’m on 3 g at least I can make a call and get slow data.

        • Spanky

          Not even the major markets. I live in NYC and T-Mobile’s data speeds are about 0.5 Mbps downstream in my neighborhood.

        • Trevnerdio

          There’s something wrong with your phone, then.

  • http://www.volkswagen.de/ Quailallstar

    Tisk tisk T-Mobile…

  • jonathan3579

    Well, it’s kinda true… T-Mobile’s “4G” is faster than AT&T’s but that doesn’t necessarily apply to LTE.

  • Taylor White

    So when will they be slapping Verizon or sprint across the face?

    • ChristianMcC

      I don’t know any false Verizon claims, but Sprint definitely.

      • Chris

        I still see TV ads from Verizon with that 0 LTE market for T-mobile. As we all know, T-mobile has some LTE coverage now. So if a consumer who’s not aware see the ad, they would still think T-mobile has 0 LTE coverage.

        • kalel33

          Especially when a person tries to look up a coverage map of LTE with T-mobile and finds out that T-mobile won’t supply that information.

        • ChristianMcC

          And that’s where the crowd sourced coverage mapping comes into play. It would definitely be better if they were more transparent.

        • kalel33

          I think they’re not being transparent for a reason. Why show a bad hand when you can bluff your way through it. It doesn’t do them any good to show a coverage map, when people might use it to compare to other networks. T-mobile is hoping that if it works in your city then you’ll probably stay when you find out how it works outside of the city, because you made a pretty good financial commitment to purchase the phone.

          It’s a sound strategy. Don’t promote your Achille’s heel.

      • Taylor White

        Verizon is just so crooked financially with customers, you’d think the BBB would step in

  • bob90210

    The moral of the story is don’t believe anything in an ad. Learn how adversters use words to make the products and services to make them sound better but have no meaning behind them. Phrases such as “most advanced technology” and “call quality” are meaningless. How does T-Mobile prove that they have the most advanced technology? How do you disprove that they don’t? It’s impossible since the terms “advanced” and the “technology” can be defined to mean almost anything.

    • Mirad77

      Not to rain on your parade but the fact the TMUS employ a newer tech in both HSPA and LTE mean they are factually advanced than said att to those two.

      • bob90210

        Are you equating advanced with later? The iPhone 5s A7 processor is later than the Note 3 snapdragon but would you call it more advanced? And what technology are you referring to? Technology can mean anything from the protocols used to the materials for the antennas.

        • Mirad77

          The hspa and LTE T-Mobile uses is a generation ahead of what att is using. You best use Google Things at times.

        • bob90210

          There are thousands of different pieces of technology used to transmit cell phone signals. Which one are you referring? More importantly, which one is T-Mobile referring to when they say “most advanced technology?”

        • ChristianMcC

          It’s supports greater speeds, in both cases, and more, for lack of a better word, users at the same time.

        • bob90210

          So if AT&T’s signals go farther do they have more advanced technology? If Verizon has better signal penetration, do they have more advanced technology? So everyone can have the most advanced technology if they can make claim on some minute detail. And guess what? That’s what every company does.

        • Mirad77

          Penetration is based on frequency not technology. If at this point you don’t get then you will not get I. Sorry.

        • bob90210

          Please answer the question: which technology is T-Mobile referring to when they say “most advanced technology?”

        • Chris

          AT&T is using HSPA+ 21 while T-mobile is using HSPA+ 42. T-mobile laid out plans to move to HSPA+ 84 but that got replaced in moving to LTE. HSPA+ 42 provides more bandwidth 42 stands for 42 mbps. So AT&T’s have 21 mbps.

        • kalel33

          Verizon could say that they have a more advanced network with CDMA calling, because CDMA phones connect to 3 towers at a time which is the reason they get less dropped calls than GSM carriers. Also, CDMA towers can handle 5 times the number of people connecting to it at a time, so that’s more advanced.

          My point is that bob90210 is correct in stating that every carrier can claim “Most Advanced Network” if they pick and choose.

        • guest

          3G (w-cdma) does the same thing to.

        • kalel33

          I was talking about the voice tech, not data tech.

        • Mirad77

          Hspa 42 as opposed to att’s 14.4( but they claim 21) LTE rev 10 as opposed to att’s rev 8. Like I said u best use Google or ask to get informed rather than argue.

  • John Legere

    NAD’s findings are a validation of our marketing approach. In fact, today’s NAD findings won’t result in any substantial changes to our marketing claims. We will continue to spread the word about our coast to coast 4G coverage, superfast 4G network, and superior call clarity, along with our message of simple, no annual service contract plans, unlimited data and the best upgrade program, JUMP!

    • http://www.volkswagen.de/ Quailallstar

      Love it.

    • tmo_employee

      The boss himself

      • jonathan3579

        Now if only he could get the team all under one umbrella. Don’t even get me started on the hellish nightmare I (and many others) have been experiencing with pre-orders and their subsequent statuses lately.

    • UMA_Fan

      Can you advertise WiFi Calling please?

      None of the other carriers offer this feature and there are so many ways this feature can be presented to put potential customer’s minds at ease when they are hesitant about the quality of service T-Mobile may give them. There are countless at&t and Verizon customers who don’t get good signal in their homes who just have no idea if they had almost any T-Mobile smartphone they could would get perfect reception thanks to WiFi Calling. Proof of this is when Apple announced facetime audio people were raving that they could actually take calls in their home. I guarantee you those very same people have no idea WiFi Calling on T-Mobile exists.

      The international benefits are amazing too. It’s the PERFECT way for people in the military who travel overseas to stay in touch with their families. Since any wifi hotspot anywhere in the world is basically a T-Mobile cell tower frequent international travelers aren’t hit with over the top roaming charges.

      The perfect commercial would be to show a T-Mobile customer (Bill Hader?) making calls/texts in places Verizon and At&t would never work. Like basements or when bad weather knocks out a cell tower.

      T-Mobile essentially gives people the same reliability as a land line phone. You know how on the news before a hurricane they recommend people keep their land lines handy? They should also be saying: If you have T-Mobile make sure you have WiFi Calling ready.

      • fsured

        WiFi calling is a nifty feature for sure but marketing it can come back to bite them. There are people who do not have home internet. My mother for instance is one. She is on my account from when she lived with me but now that she is in Omaha, network coverage is spotty with very frequent holes of no signal. T-Mobiles response was to use WiFi calling. Driving down the road there is no WiFi, regular supermarkets don’t have WiFi, and more importantly their response suggests my mother pay the cable company for internet when she doesn’t own a computer! Using WiFi calling to cover the network gaps or issue with signal quality is not a viable option for everyone.

        • UMA_Fan

          It’s not for everyone. My point was there are plenty of people who pay for WiFi regardless in their home yet get poor cell phone reception with Verizon or At&t. No one is suggesting WiFi Calling should be used as an excuse for poor signal in a town but instead should be presented as a premium technical feature to show T-Mobile service works in places Verizon can’t. Simply put in places cell phone reception is known not to work well would work with T-Mobile.

        • fsured

          I could see how that would have been a good marketing point before all of these free services came about. T-Mobile let you do WiFi calling and it subtracted from your plan minutes. Now that plans are pretty much unlimited voice they are not going to make money off used minutes and you are not using their data network to eat away at your paid data. Anyone with some tech knowledge can also use Google voice, Viber, Skype, etc. If you have home internet and use Verizon or another carrier, all they would have to do is install the app on their phones and the point of having your phone work in the basement is mute. The last thing they would need is to promote the feature and tech industry point out that anyone with a smart phone can do WiFi calling and point out T-Mobile having weak indoor signal and widespread coverage.

          They need to do something different to make WiFi calling stand out aside from having your phone come with the program by default. If you root your phone and install a custom rom then this feature is now gone since they are building the application into the firmware and not offering the downloaded app anymore. For that they have Bobsled. Anyone who wants WiFi calling will just use a different service if you are into custom software. I don’t disagree that the feature is neat. I used it on my G1 and MT4G. The potential is there for large events where WiFi is set up and all the carriers are struggling with the amount of people using cellular. Didn’t they get a deal for some sports venues? Perfect place to promote its use and let subscribers know they have the feature.

      • BetterFi

        I would rather that tmobile spent the money making wifi calling work flawlessly rather than in advertising it.

        I’m about to port my tmobile “home” phone to Google Voice because my wifi calling keeps losing connection and deregistering itself and I have the phone six inches away from the router. Besides, if this wasn’t a tmobile problem I wouldn’t have to re-register my phone once or twice a month because tmobile ‘forgot’ about it.

        Another problem that I don’t think it can be easily fixed is the mms through wifi. Rightfully or not, not having mms really bothers me.

        So yes, wifi calling is good and most likely the biggest reason I have stuck with tmobile. But it needs some work if it wants to compensate for tmobile lack of towers and 3g+. Which btw is not the problem in my area, as tmobile has three towers within a 3-4 mile zone while the others only have one. But I still have no reception indoors.

        • UMA_Fan

          Strangely enough it worked the best when it first came out on BlackBerry because there was hardware in there for it. When it first came out on android it used Gan lite instead of uma but it still worked all right. For some reason they switched to ims WiFi calling and its the buggiest of them all. I wonder why they switched to that?

        • Just Another Techie

          That is probably the issue, the fact that your phone is so close to the router. Try moving it at least a foot or two away from the router, it might work better. Router’s are meant to broadcast a wireless signal across a designated area, not for you to sit right next to it with your wireless device.

    • bob90210

      Wow. People really do like marketing phrases that have no meaning like “coast to coast”, “superfast”, and “superior call clarity.”

      • Paul

        That’s advertising-selling a dream and hoping the buyer won’t notice when it falls a bit short.
        “Upgrade when YOU want,” but after 6 months and only twice a year…so within our limits.
        Good deal, but the verbage is misleading and false.

        ADVERTISING!!

    • Nearmsp

      John, as a 10+ year customer of T-mobile, I would say you do a great job in the cities. But when one travels outside the metro area, the coverage drops to 3G. If I was not as price conscious, I would probably go with AT&T. They have better 3G coverage outside capital cities. T-mobile really needs to improve on their coast to coast edge coverage outside big cities and towns.

      • besweeet

        T-Mobile is all about solving people’s pain points, and currently, the issues with EDGE seems to be the primary one remaining. Hopefully they do something about it.

      • redman12

        Those edge will eventually refarm to HSPA+. Patience.

    • mikkej2k

      Please , get rid of EDGE! A customer of 12 years. Upgrade between major metropolitan markets. Extend 4G LTE beyond cities. Please. In the meantime , make nice with AT&T and get 4G LTE roaming aggreements in place.

    • Concerned Customer

      Mr. Legere,

      I’m a nearly-10 year customer here with a 5-line family plan, and have always been happy with the service — until lately. EDGE is still way to prevalent and my 30 minute daily commute (from DE to MD Eastern Shore) results in 4 dead zones, and thus, 4 dropped calls.

      My flagship smartphone that I spent a lot of money on is practically a dumb phone 90% of the time at home, work, and everything in between. I can’t even check my email/facebook with EDGE, whereas my friends on the other 3 networks surf away with blazing 3G or LTE. I kindly ask, PLEASE eradicate EDGE and send it to the dustbin of history. Time is running out. Best of luck with the revolutionary changes happening at T-Mo.

      B.B.

    • lynyrd65

      They let you keep your Nationwide 4G coverage claim. You must be relieved. I hope uncarrier phase 3 is making it true.

    • twicetheprice

      Just have to say it’s awesome to see the boss himself here replying to this. You don’t see that happen on any other carrier.

      Keep up the good work, John! I just ask that you PLEASE get rid of EDGE and GPRS.

    • AndroidProfit

      Thanks John! I truly enjoy your antics on Twitter. Very cute that a grown man and leader of a company behaves like a 10 year old. Thanks also for the dismal coverage here in ATL! It like living in the 90′s on dial up driving around Atlanta! HOORAH!

      • Dion Mac

        STEFU! I live in ATL… Decatur to be exact(20 miles out) where I get about 10mbps on LTE. Not the greatest, HOWEVER, its faster than AT&T’s home wifi at my house. NOT TO MENTION midtown where I work at, 30(READ IT!!!!) THIRTY MEGABITES PER SECOND during rush a hour traffic at that! Now GTFOOH with that bull poo!!!

        • kalel33

          What’s a megabite? Just playing, I know the word you wanted to type.

    • Brian T.

      Keep up the good work John! As a customer since the VoiceStream days, and suffering through the painful delay in getting 3G going years ago, I can’t believe the pace at which LTE is being deployed. (Other comments don’t seem to realize that it’s obviously the smart play to focus on population centers first. Zero complaints here in Minneapolis.) Thanks for making this whole industry fun and fair again.

  • weezy34

    If you do side by side tests with friends or family, you will see AT&T has faster data speeds. Maybe its AT&Ts lower frequencies that allow better penetration through walls of homes and buildings ensuring more bars of coverage.

    All my friends who have had Tmobile, are not coming back, though Tmo rates are lower.

    • http://www.volkswagen.de/ Quailallstar

      This is true. My wifes work phone is an iDrone 5 and she gets 2 bars of LTE in the house where I only get 1-0 bars of HSPA+ hence my need for wifi calling.

    • TBN27

      I have. It still varies. Where I live t-Minile data speeds on HSPA+ and LTE were equal on both networks. Recently though I have gotten speeds as high as 33.00 Mbps on T-Mobile than vs. 14-16 Mbps on AT&T. As far as the whole bandwidth thing I would give it to AT&T for during baseball games and the US Open, AT&T speeds on LTE stayed in the teens where t-mobile dropped to 1.09 Mbps in the area. As far as building penetration, together LTE and the HSPA+ on PCS are increasing in strength at least I noticed in buildings I frequently go to. Regardless of this “false advertisement” T-Mobile still works very well and on top of that is still cheaper to have than the others.

    • Dakota

      Most people I know won’t even consider Tmobile

  • ceegii63

    well someone went to cry o mommy

  • S. Ali

    Sad but true, T-mobile needs to stop with its “nationwide 4g” BS. Covering top 200 markets isn’t nationwide. On other networks, like ATT you can actually get HSPA+ on 100mile stretches of road. Unless they plan on phasing out EDGE, they don’t have nationwide anything.

    • niftydl

      Less than an hour outside major metropolitan areas = mostly 2G. It is crazy sometimes.

      • Dakota

        Sometimes 10-15 minutes.

        • kalel33

          3 minutes here.

    • Ĵϵṟϵṃψ Ψαñ

      Totally Agree. T-Mobile does not have coast to coast nationwide 4G. Every time I hear that on TV, I cringe.

    • Jay J. Blanco

      T-Mobile does have nationwide 4G T-Mobile has 4G markets in 45 out of 50 states. So that counts.

      I see if you was talking about U.S. Cellular advertising nationwide 4g and coast to coast coverage

  • Mirad77

    Where the hell were these guys when veri$on was running ads about droid this or droid that sell features as droid only whereas any android phone can do the same thing? Att is the worst when it comes to false ads. If they want to call out, they should call everyone doing it than picking at someone when it best suit them.

    • Spanky

      By the same token, shouldn’t T-Mobile be calling out all other carriers as well, instead of obsessing over AT&T? You mess with the bull, you get the horns.

      • Mirad77

        I don’t get it, is att the horn or NAD? T-Mobile is calling att because they are the only one that employ same tech as them hence better room for comparison.

  • mreveryphone

    Who’s pockets got lined for this?? Somebody obviously scared!!

  • Nearmsp

    I have been with T-mobile for 10 years or so now. I am there with them because it is cheap. I get good coverage in my city. When I travel outstate, it is Edge and sometimes no signal. My son who lives overseas is visiting the US, he has taken an AT&T sim card at $60 because he can actually get 3G while traveling around outside the cities. So, in my opinion, while T-mobile gives a well priced product, it is good only if you do not travel outside metro areas.

    • Dakota

      Yep.. Even in urban areas, I often have no Co erase where friends with ATT or Verizon do.. And their speeds are always faster

  • Mr Tibs

    I like it, call it what is & not what you want it to be.

  • CantStopTheTMob

    David, I was with you right up to the last sentence. I don’t believe that TMobile should start going after Sprint for 2 reasons.

    1) A technical reason- People can bring handsets from AT&T and start using them on TMob’s network. This is not true for Sprint. With BYOD plans, it makes sense for them to try to convert AT&T users who want to pay less with their current device.

    2) A perception reason- I think TMobile is smart to pick at AT&T because they are the #2 carrier. From a brand perception standpoint it’s better for them to have mind association with AT&T. The squabbling and all of John’s hilarious tweets just serve to drive more attention to T-Mobile and their points of parity with AT&T, prompting a customer to consider changing providers. If they were to start picking on Sprint, it would serve to lower their brand image as their squabbling would be regarded as “the two lower-end carriers conceding the top of the market and fighting over the scraps”. Now, to a degree, that might be the case, but it’s really not what you want the public to perceive. I think they are right to set the bar high.

    • http://tmonews.com David

      I don’t disagree with any of those points, but as the industry continues to move into a price disparity between 1 and 2 against 3 and 4 at some point T-Mobile can’t ignore that Sprint is coming very close to similar pricing. All those points you make are great and I don’t disagree with any of them, and don’t get me wrong, I want T-Mobile to continue hitting at AT&T, but I don’t want them to ignore the idea that Sprint is spending more time targeting T-Mobile and at some point they won’t be able to ignore it.

      • Roger Sales

        Sprint is in such inner turmoil with the deathly slow progression of their LTE network, the exodus of Nextel customers, and the fact that they haven’t started using 800mhz for LTE yet(or selling phones that support the band), I think it’s fairly safe to say they are going after the right target. Sprint’s campaign has done nothing to slow T-Mobile’s rise in popularity and they probably know that.

        I think an attack on Sprint in the future would be wise and probably imminent, but not when they’re on the floor of the boxing ring halfway to being knocked out.

        • kalel33

          It’s not deathly slow progression of LTE. They have LTE in more markets than T-mobile does. They recently jumped from 116 markets to 160.

        • Roger Sales

          Its not where they should be with almost a year on tmobile of launching LTE. They initially promised 260m by the end of this year, they ended up changing that to 200m. If their 3G network was solid it’d be fine, but its almost unusable.

        • kalel33

          True, their 3G speeds are abysmal. I just hope that T-mobile doesn’t overlook Sprint, especially when Softbank will be infusing them with a lot more capital to expand their LTE. Sprint’s network is still much larger than T-mobile’s, so if they do make their entire coverage area LTE, like Verizon is doing, then that’ll be problems for T-mobile and their coverage.

        • Roger Sales

          Its purely speculation at this point, we don’t know what the future holds. I personally believe that people will grow disenchanted with at&t and verizons prices and slowly join both of the smaller two in droves. I also think Legere is eventually going to address the rural coverage issue, probably after the 600mhz auction and when voLTE becomes realistic. For T-Mobile it’s always about rolling out the technology when its cost effective so consumers don’t feel the burn.

        • kalel33

          In regards to the coverage, I’ll believe when I see it. I’ve been with them for 11 years and have never seen the coverage expand. The amount of money for towers and backbone, let alone the spectrum, would probably be over $100 billion to come close to matching Verizon or AT&T’s network. Look at what Verizon spent just to buy out Vodafone’s 45% of share, $130 Billion. That network is worth a lot of money. If you want to see the disparity of the coverage then look at T-mobile’s prepaid map and then look up Verizon WIreless’s prepaid map. Verizon probably has 30 to 50 times more coverage, natively, than T-mobile does. You get mostly Edge, outside of metros, because the phone is roaming.
          Rural expansion is a lot of money spent with very little return, except in the long term with customers being happy with coverage.

      • CantStopTheTMob

        Thanks for the clarification David, I see your point. I will have to watch some Sprint commercials to see how they target T-Mobile. For the same #2 reason I mentioned above, I don’t see why Sprint would want to target T-Mobile.

  • Ĵϵṟϵṃψ Ψαñ

    Stop false advertise your “Nationwide coast to coast 4G”, @john_legere. Not until @TMobile upgrade its coast2coast GPRS and EDGE to HSPA+.

    • ChristianMcC

      Or at least the low end of 3G at 384Kbps, which is completely usable and we’d be able to make a call at the same time at least. Additionally, increase the roaming limits back to 200MB or higher.

      • Ĵϵṟϵṃψ Ψαñ

        Is that enough for reliably streaming music? If so I may be able to live with that.

        • ChristianMcC

          It’s the low end for 3G and high end for Edge. Did it overseas, so yes.

        • besweeet

          If you can hit 384Kbps, that should be plenty for streaming audio, considering most of that is just 128Kbps.

        • Ĵϵṟϵṃψ Ψαñ

          True, but it may not be reliable enough considering if you are driving interstate, the coverage may be spotty. And even 384Kbps, I don’t think T-Mobile can deliver that, or is planning to do that. GPRS and EDGE is fine back in the days when people don’t use data. Not any more.

        • Roger Sales

          it’s a new era for T-Mobile, I don’t think anything is off the table, especially since they know that consumers are extremely interested in what they do now.

      • Roger Sales

        the roaming is my only real issue with T-Mobile at the moment…..the EDGE only towers too but not as much.

      • kalel33

        If they want to be the uncarrier, then they should allow unlimited data roaming, like Verizon and AT&T do. Sprint restricts it to 250MB and T-mobile is 50MB. If they want to compete then they need to meet or exceed the other carriers.

  • KlausWillSeeYouNow

    Uh, T-Mobile DOES have the most advanced 4G technology – 4G LTE-10. And AT&T’s HSPA+21 network does indeed have half the theoretical bandwidth of T-Mobile’s DC-HSPA+42 network. 42 / 2 = 21. Also, HD Voice is T-Mo’s legitimate claim to fame… nobody else is even close to rolling out VoLTE yet.

    Shame, shame… too bad to see the NAD catering to the big guys. Keep it up, Legere-
    don’t change a word of it.

    • Roger Sales

      AT&T operates HSPA+ 14.4, not 21 If I recall. they opted for 14.4 because it was much cheaper I think….not requiring extra backhaul. (I may be wrong on this, but I don’t think I am)

      EDIT: Apparently they do use HSPA+ 21 now. I was surprised that they bothered, since they suck at keeping up with technology.

      • http://pharaohtechblog.blogspot.com/ Conan Kudo (ニール・ゴンパ)

        They never bothered going up to HSPA+21. The network technology is on HSPA 14.4. They trialled the required radio feature to go up to 21Mbps a couple of years ago, but then they switched it off.

        • Roger Sales

          Of course they did. They could upgrade to HSPA+42 a lot easier than T-Mobile can, but we know that’s never happening. They still advertise HSPA+21 though, isn’t that some kind of illegal or just frowned upon?

        • willzzz88

          Really!? I’ve read on howardforums from someone in the know at AT&T that they indeed do have HSPA+21 on their fiber back-hauled cell sites (’4G’). Doesn’t on UMTS the speed go down when voice traffic increases? Maybe that’s why you’re not seeing high speeds because of increased voice traffic…

    • Jay J. Blanco

      T-Mobile is the only carrier to have vo-lte so far. Thanks to Metropcs

      • kalel33

        Problem is that VoLTE was only put out in one market, Dallas, and only works with a single phone with Metro PCS, that was released a year ago. They never pushed it any further and appears to have been put out to pasture.

  • vrm

    …disclose where tmobile has the “edge” … couldn’t help but laugh. Tmobile definitely has the edge over att.

    Re call quality, where you get hspa, I found tmobile’s call quality better than att. That is anecdotal and it may not be everyone’s experience.

    • Roger Sales

      It’s not a secret AT&T in the past has had problems with call and data reliability. A lot of it does have to do with the unprecedented demands for 3G – the reason being they didn’t turn off enough 2G spectrum for 3G Capacity in most areas to alleviate the burden….but the way they handled it was poor too. They didn’t react and care for their customers fast enough because they had the iPhone and the customers were stuck with them as the only option for the time being. That reputation haunts them now that consumers DO have a choice.

      What I hold them most accountable for is that they always react only after there is a problem with their network, never attempting to do anything before things came to a head. It’s a bad way to do business.

  • Roger Sales

    I think telecom advertising in general is meant to be exaggerated, I mean just look at Verizon’s current ones showing their 4G LTE map VS their competitors. They pretty much filled in nearly every market with red, and everyone else’s are bare and extremely outdated IF they were accurate. I’m not saying they don’t have the most LTE coverage, they do – but at least use maps that are more fair like Sensorly.

    As far as not going after Sprint, Sprint isn’t a threat, they don’t have the network capacity that T-Mobile does even if they do have the pricing, but more importantly AT&T customers are more likely to switch because the networks are nearly 100% compatible which means they don’t have to buy new devices. Instead of paying 110$ for Talk, text and 4GB, they could be paying 70$ and not have to worry about whether wifi is available or even on. That is a big turn on for the price conscious consumer, especially with families where the savings get even deeper.

    Out of curiosity I was looking at AT&T’s family plans when it comes to smartphones and it reads like a textbook of Algebra….a whole lot of terms and numbers people shouldn’t have to add up to make sense of their bill. It’s offensive that any company would make it so hard to find out how much you’re paying a month for service, and what you’re actually getting.

    • kalel33

      How can you not consider Sprint a threat, when they have 20 million more customers than T-mobile?

      • Roger Sales

        They’re losing a lot of subscribers per quarter and don’t have much good news coming their way. They’ve lost momentum.

        • kalel33

          T-mobile just had their first quarter of increasing subscribers with post paid in 3 years. It’s a step in the right direction but you can’t disregard the last 3 years as the elephant in the room. Sprint was gaining customers during that entire period and Sprint could do the exact same thing with a turnaround.

        • Roger Sales

          I hear what you’re saying, but its not just a fluke – there are reports that T-Mobile has had their best August sales quarter ever…even though no major device was released around that time. I think we’re going to see a strong third quarter for T-Mobile, perhaps exacerbated by their first iPhone launch(although I suspect it’s just going to be strong even without factoring iDevice sales).

          I feel that the best thing T-Mobile has going for them is that customers understand where their money is going(because of financing) its not some murky mystery like with device subsidies. Its a a very pro consumer move that I don’t think John Legere has gotten enough credit for.

        • JayMo86

          I also think that the 3 year gain Sprint has been enjoying is mainly due to getting the iPhone, not their other offerings

      • Stew

        10 million. The number is 10 million. Sprint has 53.6 million as of the end of Q2 2013, and T-Mobile, including Metro PCS, has 43 million as of the end of Q2…..and anticipating your counter-argument: Sprint includes their MVNOs in their number (measure of lines on their network), if I’m not mistaken. Sprint is dropping fast, and there’s no need to tell their customers what they already know – it’s pretty much a given that T-Mobile is better than Sprint. Convincing someone to switch from at&t takes a little more work.

        • kalel33

          I forgot about the 10 million that T-mobile bought from Metro PCS. A carrier cannot figure in MVNOs because those are customers of other companies.

          Sprint actually increased their numbers in postpaid in the last quarter. They lost customers on prepaid. The other carriers make the vast majority of their profits from business, government, and post paid. Prepaid customers don’t make companies near as money, especially if they don’t buy the device from the carrier. T-mobile is banking that customers will continue to buy the phones from them to keep them from making prepaid money.

          If customers stopped buying/financing phones from T-mobile then their profits would plummet pretty quick.

          Also, if it’s a given that T-mobile’s network is better than Sprint and T-mobile is cheaper/same price then why are 53 million people with Sprint?

        • JayMo86

          I’m pretty sure tmobile doesn’t make much profit from handset sales since they dropped subsides, so I don’t think they lose much with BYOD customers

        • kalel33

          I know they make quite a bit of profit from selling the phones. As reps, we were able to see what they actually paid for the phones and then we got a discount off of that. My HTC Amaze was still at over $500 from T-mobile when the wholesale price they were getting it at was $208, right when they were closing it out. My Mytouch 4G was $400 but T-mobile’s “at cost” price was $230. Also, just look at how much they jack up the cost of the Nexus 4.

  • brenda

    Well as much as I love tmobile there coverage isnt great outside the city, but hey att aint that great too for roadtrips my man which has a galaxy s4 ,i live in LA and have family in escondido ca, Victorville,big bear u go to those places you will see att also aint that great ha ha its also spotty and edge like tmobile.

  • Dakota

    More bad publicity for a company which already has a bad reputation for its network coverage & quality.

    • ShermCraig

      Don’t be so hard on AT&T.

  • TBN27
  • Sectime

    Stop poking the bear what you get is Gophone LTE and AIO.