AT&T targets Verizon, claims it has 'most reliable' LTE network

AT&T Mobility (NYSE:T) is taking direct aim at the heart of Verizon Wireless (NYSE:VZ) with a new advertisement claiming it has the nation's fastest and most reliable LTE network. Verizon, which still outpaces AT&T in terms of LTE coverage, has long made network reliability a core part of its pitch to consumers--and has used that perceived edge as a way to charge a premium. 

But, according to independent third-party data cited by AT&T--the source of which AT&T did not name--AT&T has "the highest success rate for delivering mobile content across nationwide 4G LTE networks." AT&T also cited recent studies from PCWorld/TechHive and PC Magazine as evidence that its LTE network is consistently faster than those of its competitors. 

The back-and-forth between carriers over network reliability and speed is of course nothing new, particularly between Verizon and AT&T, the nation's two largest carriers. However, AT&T is clearly trying to ding Verizon on network reliability, which is notable in light of the fact that Verizon's LTE network covers 301 million POPs and AT&T's stands at around 225 million covered POPs (AT&T aims to boost that figure to 270 million by year-end). "AT&T can make up whatever claim they want," Verizon spokesman Tom Pica told FierceWireless. "We'll let consumers make the ultimate decision." Release

Article updated July 18 at 1:23 p.m. ET with comment from Verizon.