Are Verizon and AT&T's ad claims misleading?

The legal spat between Verizon Wireless and AT&T Mobility over each others' advertising fizzled out last week when both carriers decided to have the lawsuits dismissed. In the wake of the kerfuffle, Slate columnist Farhad Manjoo argues that both companies are off the mark in their advertising claims because they make broad generalizations about local conditions. Verizon's claim that it has five times more 3G coverage than AT&T only is pertinent if a customer travels outside of AT&T's 3G coverage area (AT&T said its 3G network covers 75 percent of the population), Manjoo notes. Additionally, AT&T's claim that it has the fastest 3G network doesn't necessarily mean that a subscriber's AT&T phone will run faster than a comparable Verizon device since speed often is determined by proximity to a cell tower and other contextual issues. Article


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