AT&T (NYSE:T) is taking aim at former merger partner T-Mobile USA by launching an attack ad campaign that blasts T-Mobile's network speeds and call performance. The ads, which ran in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and USA Today, said that T-Mobile drops twice as many calls and its network speeds are only half as fast as AT&T's network.
The two companies have been butting heads recently. At the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas earlier this year, T-Mobile CEO John Legere called AT&T's network "crap." In addition, the growing animosity between the two may also have been exacerbated by T-Mobile's recent announcement that it has more than 2 million iPhone customers on its network under the company's "Bring Your Own Device" program. T-Mobile said it is adding new iPhone customers at a rate of 100,000 per month. Many of those iPhone users are likely former AT&T subscribers.
Because T-Mobile now has 142 million people covered by HSPA+ at 1900 MHz spectrum, there are growing number of AT&T iPhone users that can bring their existing iPhone to T-Mobile's network and access HSPA+ speeds.
T-Mobile said it was surprised and pleased by the attention it received from AT&T's ads. In a statement to Bloomberg, T-Mobile CMO Mike Sievert said: "AT&T doth protest too much. Glad they're spending their money to print our name."
Interestingly, Verizon Wireless (NYSE:VZ) launched a similar attack ad campaign against AT&T back in 2009 in its "There's a map for that" campaign that attacked AT&T's 3G coverage. The ads mocked the "there's an app for that" ads from Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) that touted the iPhone, which at the time was offered exclusively by AT&T. AT&T sued Verizon claiming that its ads did not accurately represent AT&T's coverage.
- see this TMoNews article
- see this Bloomberg article
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