What 5G coverage?
Wireless carrier Verizon has not been shy when it comes to promoting its 5G coverage. However, the company recently announced it would pump the brakes on two of its advertisements that state its 5G coverage is extensive, according to Light Reading and multiple media reports. Verizon’s decision came after AT&T challenged the carrier’s claims.
Given Verizon and AT&T’s battle for a better 5G position, it’s not surprising that the latter brought its concerns over Verizon’s ads to the National Advertising Division (NAD), which aims to guide, “The truthfulness of advertising across the United States.” The NAD is also where companies can go to mediate any advertising grievances.
After review, the NAD noted that Verizon’s ads had, “certain express and implied claims regarding the breadth of Verizon’s 5G coverage and typical speeds potentially communicate a misleading message to consumers.” The statement that the NAD found concerning was, “people from midtown Manhattan to downtown Denver can experience what your 5G can deliver.” The agency stated Verizon’s advertising implied the carrier offered widespread 5G coverage when its own coverage maps reveal its 5G service usually covered just a few blocks in some cities’ downtown areas.
Verizon said it would comply with the NAD’s recommendations, but it did not agree with all aspects of the agency’s decision. The carrier’s permissible 5G advertising appears to be working however, according to Light Reading. PCMag recently reported the carrier is currently selling about 100,000 5G phones a week—more than twice what AT&T and T-Mobile are selling. Part of Verizon’s success could be attributed to the discounts it’s offering on some of its 5G phones, according to PCMag.
The 5G race continues
The disagreement between AT&T and Verizon has highlighted how carriers’ 5G strategies differ. AT&T has implemented a low-band 5G strategy, which means its network will cover more territory, will offer low download speeds. Meanwhile, Verizon has stuck with mmWave, which is faster, but has trouble traveling long distances or through objects. Verizon plans to expand its mmWave 5G service to approximately twice the number of cities that AT&T offers 5G.
Carriers’ 5G strategies could look more similar later this year however, Light Reading reports. Verizon plans to launch its nationwide 5G network on its own low-band spectrum with Dynamic Spectrum Sharing (DSS). If successful, Verizon will join AT&T and T-Mobile in being able to sell the 5G-capable Apple iPhone in the fall.