If you watch TV, read publications or surf the Web, you’ve almost certainly seen the ubiquitous wireless carrier ads touting their superior coverage. Unfortunately, these ads are often not comparing “apples to apples,” which can leave customers with erroneous impressions. Is it just 4G or 4G LTE? If it’s not LTE, does the speed really compare? Is the coverage measured in cities, people or some other metric? To make a valid comparison, you really need to have a deep understanding of the carriers, their plans and how they are “spinning” their messages. For businesses, it is a very good idea to get help from the pros, who deal with it everyday. (We can help.)
For example, Verizon Wireless announced that it has expanded its 4G LTE service to 28 more cities. Pennsylvania locations include Lancaster, New Castle, Northern Cambria County, Oil City/Franklin, Somerset and York. Verizon Wireless projects that its 4G LTE service will be in 400 markets by the end of 2012. How does that compare to AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile?
It is very likely that the coverage battle will continue, especially as unlimited data plans disappear. Only Sprint still promotes unlimited data, and there are serious questions if that is a viable business model in the long term, considering the proliferation of data-intensive devices, apps and user behavoir. In the ultra-competitive wireless market, carriers believe coverage is a key differentiation. As new technologies emerge and become practical, expect the war to surge on.