AT&T turns to former NBA stars to tout LTE signal strength as March Madness arrives

As the NCAA basketball tournament and "March Madness" prepare to descend on the country, AT&T Mobility (NYSE: T) is turning to basketball greats Shaquille O'Neal, Julius Erving, Clyde Drexler and Christian Laettner to tout its network. In a series of advertisements, the former NBA stars will highlight AT&T's claim that it has the "strongest 4G LTE signal."

AT&T's message is part of the carrier's ongoing battle, especially with Verizon Wireless (NYSE: VZ) and T-Mobile US (NYSE:TMUS), over what metric (or marketing tactic) matters the most in determining network quality. Verizon bills itself the nation's "most reliable network" and T-Mobile says it has the "fastest" network (while Sprint (NYSE: S) notes it has the "newest" network).

AT&T Mobility CMO David Christopher told CNET that the carrier claims it has the "most reliable 4G LTE network" but also likes the idea of marketing the strongest signal because customers can understand that means they will get better service. Christopher said the claim is backed by third-party data, but AT&T doesn't disclose which firm conducted the research. For what it's worth, network testing firm RootMetrics reported last month that Verizon had the most reliable network. "It builds on the most reliable LTE network," Christopher said. "That claim is still ours." Article