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Mocks Apple's famous Mac vs. PC ads while claiming 'America's largest 4G network'

Today is a new day for the American people. There's a new wireless 4G contender in town, whether you believe it or not. Yesterday, T-Mobile began running television ads that lambaste the iPhone 4 on AT&T's network and while boasting about its own MyTouch 4G on "America's largest 4G network."

The 30-second spot mocks the famous Apple ads featuring Justin Long ("Hi, I'm a Mac.") and John Hodgeman ("Hi, I'm a PC.") standing in white space, arguing about what they can and can't do. In the T-Mobile spot, a fair-skinned woman, much younger than Catherine Zeta-Jones, wearing a magenta- and white-striped dress introduces herself as a MyTouch 4G and boasts about her ability to video-chat anywhere with T-Mobile's 4G network. Next to her is a a blonde man in a suit who introduces himself as an iPhone 4, except he's struggling to carry an older bald guy on his back. 

"Who's your friend?" MyTouch asks.

"Oh, that's the old AT&T network," iPhone 4 replies.

"That'll slow you down," MyTouch says.

"That's the price I pay for 3G speed," iPhone 4 replies.

"Bummer," says MyTouch.

AT&T has long been touting "the nation's fastest 3G network" tag in its own ads. Thus, the war of words has commenced.

The ad began running last night during NCIS:LA, Dancing with the Stars, The Daily Show, andThe Colbert Report -- AndroidAndMe reports -- in advance of today's MyTouch 4G launch. The new MyTouch is T-Mobile's first "4G"-branded device.

AT&T has never been a fan of T-Mobile claiming 4G speeds. And there has been much debate about what 4G really is, anyway. According to the International Telecommunication Union Radiocommunications (ITU-R), 4G "must have target peak data rates of up to approximately 100 Mbps for high mobility such as mobile access." But only WiMax 2 and LTE-Advanced will be capable of those kinds of speeds, neither of which we can expect to see before 2013. If following that standard, Sprint/Clearwire's burgeoning WiMax network, currently marketed as "4G," truly isn't. The same can be said about both Verizon and AT&T's upcoming LTE networks. The bottom line is that "4G," to the average consumer, is merely a branding mechanism. The "MyTouch HSPA+" just doesn't have the same ring.

Here's howNeville Ray, T-Mobile's chief technology officer, justifies it in a press release

4G is about performance and today T-Mobile’s HSPA+ network is delivering 4G speeds that match and often beat WiMAX and are readily comparable to what early LTE will deliver. Our 4G network is capable of theoretical speeds up to 21Mbps and we have seen average download speeds approaching five Mbps on our myTouch 4G phone in some cities with peak speeds of nearly 12 Mbps. Further, independent reviewers have seen average download speeds on our webConnect Rocket between 5 and 8 Mbps with peak speeds up to 8-10Mbps. The footprint of our 4G service is not something that competitors are going to match anytime soon, and starting today, we will begin marketing our network advantage with TV commercials advertising ‘America’s Largest 4G Network’ from T-Mobile.

"Consumers do not understand the technical alphabet soup of technologies involved in 4G, but for our purposes we define WiMAX, LTE and HSPA+ as 4G technologies," added Chris Nicoll, distinguished research fellow, Yankee Group. “HSPA+ is evolving a far more ambitious and long-term road map than was originally envisioned."

With the addition of six new cities (Chicago, Ill.; Colorado Springs, Colo.; Ft. Wayne, Ind.; Louisville, Ky.; and Raleigh-Durham and Wilmington, N.C.), T-Mobile's HSPA+ services are now available in more than 75 metropolitan areas.

In the past, AT&T unsuccessfully tried to sue Verizon for Big Red's television ads that mockingly boasted,"There's a map for that," and pitted the two coverage maps against each other (Verizon visually being the clear winner). It will be interesting to see how the iPhone's carrier -- or is it vice versa? -- responds.

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T-Mobile Not Getting iPhone Then
By ltcommanderdata on 11/3/2010 9:48:31 AM , Rating: 3
Given this ads release close to when AT&T's iPhone exclusivity is supposed to expire at the end of this year I guess we can imply that T-Mobile won't be getting the iPhone. Which is to bad since hardware-wise, supporting T-Mobile would be easier than supporting Verizon.

RE: T-Mobile Not Getting iPhone Then
By TheRequiem on 11/3/2010 10:41:31 AM , Rating: 2
I don't like AT&T, but this commercial is ridiculous. I can't beleive T-Mobile has really decided to use HSPA+ as "4G", it actually pisses me off. As every other carrier roll's out LTE and WIMAX and grows speeds to well over 100mbps, T-Mobile will be limited to a "theoretical" speed of about 30mbps on HSPA+. This is a disgrace and a slap in the face for consumers who don't know any better.

RE: T-Mobile Not Getting iPhone Then
By bplewis24 on 11/3/2010 11:46:41 AM , Rating: 5
Hmmm, so if I hear what you're saying...T-mobile has made a commercial that appropriately mocks the Mac vs PC ads that Apple used while simultaneously using the same type of misinformation spin-job that Apple represented in their commercials?

Sounds like success.


By morphologia on 11/4/2010 2:53:23 PM , Rating: 2
...until Jobzilla sues them, of course.

RE: T-Mobile Not Getting iPhone Then
By nolisi on 11/3/2010 12:28:24 PM , Rating: 5
As every other carrier roll's out LTE and WIMAX and grows speeds to well over 100mbps, T-Mobile will be limited to a "theoretical" speed of about 30mbps on HSPA+.

A) After experiencing HSPA+ on my G2 for the last month, I can honestly say I don't care. It's already bleeding fast, and I would venture a guess that I'm not going to notice a difference between it and 100mbps on a handset. Speedtest on my handset regularly returns speeds faster than my cable connection rated at a theoretical 20mbps.
B) The speed and service here now, and I'm not paying more in terms of service charges for it- just a handset upgrade.
C) I'm certain that T-Mobile isn't just going to stop developing its network with the deployment of HSPA+.

RE: T-Mobile Not Getting iPhone Then
By TheRequiem on 11/3/10, Rating: 0
By acer905 on 11/3/2010 3:53:11 PM , Rating: 2
What will they call their 4g network when that comes out, 5g?

Marketing gimmick or not, it all boils down to what one considers a "generation"

Much in the same way that the Wii is a 7G console, yet it is not "on par" with the other 2 competing 7G consoles. However, it was the replacement for the 6G gamecube, creating a product in the succeeding generation. If you successfully argue that HSPA+ is simply a slimline PS2, instead of the PS3, then it's not 4G. Otherwise...

RE: T-Mobile Not Getting iPhone Then
By jonup on 11/3/2010 4:55:31 PM , Rating: 2
Are you saying that the porn industry will not be able to keep up with your needs and you would have to rewatch your favorates?

On a serious note, I have maxed out my cable at 23mbps and change with and I have not ever thought "Geez, I need a faster internet!" If a cell phone can provide 80% of these speeds I would not be complaining. Unless you want to use mobile broadband connection for a home or a small office 20mbps should be plenty. Do not forget that in general you will be limited by the interface of a device that needs to fit in your pocket.
And no, I do not miss my Nokia 250; I like to cary my phone in my pocket.

RE: T-Mobile Not Getting iPhone Then
By scrapsma54 on 11/3/2010 5:50:48 PM , Rating: 2
Let me get this straight, you are saying that bandwidth of over 20Mbps would not hold significant speed? 20Mbps is decent speed and to say otherwise is just showing that you do not have personal experience on those types of bandwidth.

Now to dish out the fact that 4G is misleading, I understand.
The fact is that T-mobile can do this kind of stuff and they know that the general public goes on about their lives. The only thing that can be done is warn your friends and don't ever sign up for a contract because of their enraging lies and dirty scams.

RE: T-Mobile Not Getting iPhone Then
By TheRequiem on 11/3/2010 7:45:57 PM , Rating: 2
Not exactly, but what I am saying is that it's yet another form of false advertising... Which is my whole point. I have no idea why the argument to that point would be rated down unless people were simply attacking the idea because they don't understand it. It's real simple, while your arguments are valid, they are not correct. The difference is also simple, the wii is actually being marketed as a lesser and cheaper console then the others and everyone knows it's a lesser device, it has no HD capability. However, T-mobile is marketing this "as" 4g technology. It does not matter if 20mbps is enough, what matters is that people will be fooled. No false advertising should ever be endorsed. Even if it ever reaches 20mbps speeds, those who were expecting more would be in trouble. Where as true 4g will have speeds well above 100mbps...

RE: T-Mobile Not Getting iPhone Then
By jonup on 11/4/2010 7:06:56 AM , Rating: 2
The difference is also simple, the wii is actually being marketed as a lesser and cheaper console then the others and everyone knows it's a lesser device, it has no HD capability.

The difference is that T-mobile "4G" (note the quotation marks) is the faster, better product on the market and it is marketed that way. Or do you insist on ATT/Verison marketing their 3G service as a lesser and cheaper 3G than Sprint/T-Mobile. My personal geeky soul would have not mind 3.5G.
I do not understand why do you get all worked out over a commercial; you must have an iPhone4 (cat8 -> maxed out at 7.2mbps) and cannot take advantage of the full potential of the T-mobile 4G network. Besides, a committee of well paid (know their stuff) attorneys decided that they can call it 4G. I am sure you know better, so why don't you drop your ATT/Verison get the T-mobile 4G then find a bunch of other suckers that did the same and go convince a judge?

RE: T-Mobile Not Getting iPhone Then
By TheRequiem on 11/4/2010 4:20:06 PM , Rating: 1
I'm not all worked up about anything, in fact, you still don't understand my point so it is pointless to go any further. My point is: THIS IS FALSE ADVERTISING!

HSPA+ is not the fastest technology available so that is a false statement of yours. True 4g technologies like WIMAX and LTE are, as they can be increased by well over 100mps+ in future roll-outs.

Also, it's important to note that all other major carriers disagree with T-Mobile's marketing. Which is important if they ever do enter a legal disposition over it.

By diskoman69 on 11/5/2010 12:22:20 PM , Rating: 2
This is not false advertising, unless you consider all 4 American carriers to be engaging in it. According to the official definition the technology used must support approximately 100+Mbps speeds NOW, not in some future new version. Wimax & LTE will be increased to over 100+Mbps in future versions of the technology. What you are neglecting is the fact that HSPA+ will do the same.

Don't fault T-Mobile for being smart (as well as fiscally conscious) enough to realize that if they just bond additional data channels they will be able to increase the bandwidth. HSPA+ will be able to scale in a rapid fashion to 42, 84, and even 168Mbps theoretical, which will match the best that Wimax2 and LTE-A have to offer for at least half a decade. Bonding channels is a simple solution, and one that has been used in many other wireless protocols (EVDO for example, which was marketed as 3G when 1xEVDO was no fast than EDGE which was considered to be "2.5G").

The best part is that adding support for using multiple channels within the phones is simple and could actually be done now. The towers themselves just need additional backhaul capacity and new cards, unlike the 3 other carriers. I actually don't know why AT&T didn't go this route themselves. This could've been done much more easily by them, since they can add more backhaul at their towers at will, and the cost of the cards is MUCH less than adding new switches as well.

At the end of the day, 4G just like 3G before it is just a marketing term (even though it does have an actual standard). If T-Mobile's service is able to provide comparable speeds there is nothing that the other carriers can do to stop them from using the term. Indeed, the actual standard does not define 4G as using a particular technology, just the speed level.

By diskoman69 on 11/5/2010 12:38:13 PM , Rating: 2
I just wanted to address point C)
Actually my understanding is that T-Mobile has NO plans at all to move to LTE or LTE-A. As HSPA+ will scale all the way up to 168Mbps theoretical, I for one don't see them spending the money to change their switches to another technology until their hand is forced. As it will likely be sometime after 2015 before LTE-A scales to 200Mbps, I see their point of view. That 168Mbps theoretical, based on the current 21Mbps seeing real world 5-12 Mbps, should have real world download speeds of 40-96Mbps.

Touching on point A), I currently can't even envision a use for this much bandwidth on a mobile phone, as content origination speeds would become a bottleneck. I would love to tether at these kinds of speeds, but unless the carriers get rid of caps and go back to true unlimited what is the point? Even the current speeds are fine. T-Mobile's HSPA+ speeds are as fast or faster than most of their customer's cable or DSL connections (something that I bet irks AT&T - they are having a hard enough time keeping customers). $30 for a data plan @ 21Mbps wouldn't be a hard sell at all if it was truly unlimited compared to $50 to my cable company for a 20Mbps connection.

By Scabies on 11/3/2010 1:11:07 PM , Rating: 2
In a world where companies can successfully sell a 240hz LCD-TV, I'm perfectly fine with T-Mobile calling it "4G." It's merely pointing out speedwise they should roughly keep pace with everyone else's latest and greatest.

Which will continue to be true up until you have a quad-core processor in your smartphone on LTE/WiMax, otherwise I challenge you to find a way to saturate a 100Mbit pipe on a screen smaller than 800x600 with 1GB or less of ram. And doesn't count.

By Crank the Planet on 11/4/2010 6:03:58 PM , Rating: 2
I think what people don't realize is that T-Mobile's HSPA+ speed today is 21mbps theoretical. HSPA+ with simple card upgrades in the existing switches will scale to more than 80mbps. While the other carriers are spending millions to upgrade to LTE (LTE needs entirely new switches, not just cards) T-Mobile is spending tens of thousands. 75 markets will have that speed in a year's time. LTE will take longer. T-Mobile not only has a faster network now, and will have for the next year or more, it's a lot cheaper to build. They pass that savings on to the customer. My buddy just switched. He had AT&T and for the exact same services his bill is $40 a month cheaper. T-Mobile- fast, and cheaper price. Sounds like smart business ;)

By Flahrydog on 11/3/2010 12:27:26 PM , Rating: 2
I guess we can imply

In this scenario, you would be inferring not implying.

Well I have Sprint 4G on my EVO
By cknobman on 11/3/2010 10:37:28 AM , Rating: 2
and while I keep hearing how inferior it is to everything else the service seems pretty fast to me.

I live in DFW and do regular speedtests.
Back in June the speeds averaged around 2-4 Mbits a second but that speed has been steadily going up.

Now I get a regular 8-10 Mbits a second as long as there are 2 or more bars.

With 0 or 1 bars I still get 1.5-3 Mbits a second.

Of course there are still gaps in coverage around DFW but Im hoping those will be filled in with time.

So needless to say in my case I am more than satisfied with the throughput of WiMax and have yet to find a single situation where it was not enough. I stream and download all kinds of crap on my EVO and never find a need for more bandwidth (as long as Im on 4G).

RE: Well I have Sprint 4G on my EVO
By Gio6518 on 11/3/2010 10:50:49 AM , Rating: 2
So needless to say in my case I am more than satisfied with the throughput of WiMax and have yet to find a single situation where it was not enough. I stream and download all kinds of crap on my EVO and never find a need for more bandwidth (as long as Im on 4G).


RE: Well I have Sprint 4G on my EVO
By mcnabney on 11/3/2010 11:57:58 AM , Rating: 2
You do know that your devices will turn back into 3G when Clear switches to LTE?

RE: Well I have Sprint 4G on my EVO
By Gio6518 on 11/3/2010 12:34:46 PM , Rating: 3
You do know that your devices will turn back into 3G when Clear switches to LTE?


They're still flipping on WIMAX pretty rapidly, and their LTE is in trials, so by then I'll be eligible for a new device...

RE: Well I have Sprint 4G on my EVO
By philpoe on 11/3/2010 3:05:31 PM , Rating: 2
Unless they reserve some bandwidth for WiMax the way they did for iDen until they push everyone over to the next thing

RE: Well I have Sprint 4G on my EVO
By mcnabney on 11/4/2010 9:28:51 AM , Rating: 2
They are completely different technologies. There is no 'throwing a switch'. The only thing that can be re-used is the spectrum and they are currently using the crappy 2.5ghz stuff right now.

In order to switch they have to remove the existing Wiimax equipment from their towers/switches and replace all of the equipment that they have sold, including yours. I'm sorry but your EVO cannot do LTE even if you completely replaced all of the software. LTE is SIM-based and you have no SIM.

RE: Well I have Sprint 4G on my EVO
By Chaser on 11/4/2010 12:01:01 PM , Rating: 2
LTE is SIM-based and you have no SIM.
Nor do I knowof a single US Verizon phone that has a SIM either.

T-Mobile is stupid
By mcnabney on 11/3/2010 12:00:31 PM , Rating: 2
If T-Mobile can advertise HSPA+ as 4G does that mean we can anticipate Verizon offering 5G speeds with LTE? It is an equally stupid and dishonest ploy.

RE: T-Mobile is stupid
By blckgrffn on 11/3/2010 2:13:31 PM , Rating: 2
Did you read the article? They all should 3G+ or something until they demonstrate, in the field, speeds that qualify to the technical standard of 4G. According to the article, none have.

What's strange is that the standards board left such a huge gap between 3G (2.4Mbps stationary based on what the internet told me) and 4G (100Mbps+!). What did they ever plan for the in between speeds?

RE: T-Mobile is stupid
By Solandri on 11/4/2010 12:15:29 AM , Rating: 2
Bear in mind that this is an industry which has been getting away for years with selling limited data as unlimited.

"4G" will probably be one of those standards defined by the public's perception, not a standards body. Like how our hard drives are now listed in 1 billion byte GB instead 1024^3 byte GB.

RE: T-Mobile is stupid
By mcnabney on 11/4/2010 9:46:04 AM , Rating: 2
4G is not 100mbs!

Those kind of speeds require a ludicrous amount of spectrum.

Tmob vs. Sprint
By semiconshawn on 11/3/2010 10:22:26 PM , Rating: 2
Call it what you want I have Tmob and sprint and tmobs fake 4g is faster than sprints real? 4G. G2 vs Evo. Not even close. Have hit over 9Mbps on the G2 on speedtest. Dowloads teathered are 750-800K a sec. Its crazy fast. Ping is even low ~70ms. Cut those stats in half and you have the Evo and Sprint 4g. The speed does make the 5G cap sound very very low.

RE: Tmob vs. Sprint
By semiconshawn on 11/3/2010 10:26:25 PM , Rating: 2
Austin/SanAntonio, TX

RE: Tmob vs. Sprint
By cknobman on 11/4/2010 9:29:48 AM , Rating: 2
Hmm in DFW on Sprint's 4G with my EVO I get a consistent 8 - 10 Mbit per second.

Only time my 4G speeds drop below that are when I get less than 2 bars.

Either San Antonio and Austin suck big time or your figures are way off.

RE: Tmob vs. Sprint
By semiconshawn on 11/5/2010 10:05:49 AM , Rating: 2
Friends with clear, 3 to be exact getting aproximately same wimax performance at home or with mobile sticks. Dallas network is probably just more mature/upgraded. My biggest gripe with my 4g and sprint is that i can have full bars outside a building walk in and watch the signal just die. Most articles Ive read seeing if my sprint experience was common seem to confirm these numbers as avg. Cool that Dallas has better service I have family in Dallas and go quite a few times a year. F'n Cowboys killing me this year.

She's Gorgeous.
By excrucio on 11/3/2010 9:56:41 AM , Rating: 4
She's Gorgeous!!!!!!........... now what about t-mobile attacking AT&T?

RE: She's Gorgeous.
By ARoyalF on 11/3/2010 8:33:50 PM , Rating: 2
Agreed, and sure beats listening to that obnoxious twit on the AT&T commercials.

But I wonder, will there be a lawsuit for that?

By lifewatcher on 11/3/2010 10:03:59 AM , Rating: 2
T-mobile is acting according to it's status - barking at the big boys. As long as T-mobile is comparing itself to ATT and not the other way around, ATT has nothing to worry about and can simply ignore the underdog.
I've always hated these "I'm better than him" commercials. It's a total lack of class. Such ads won't do miracles for T-mo in terms of subscribers, nor will they transform overnight its network into a real 4G.
Too bad I'm stuck with them for another year...

RE: underdog
By Gio6518 on 11/3/2010 10:49:00 AM , Rating: 2
Thought it was infantile when Apple made these commercials, and feel the same with T-Mobile doing it.

Since election time is now over, I was hoping to get away from the mudslinging commercials.

T-Mobile Customer
By cwilson on 11/3/2010 8:48:21 PM , Rating: 2
Coming from a long time T-Maybe customer, their network is absolute trash almost everywhere I've been. Aside from airports. If there is any sort of service at all. Emergency only calls are frequent while traveling. HSPA+ drops to 3G constantly with that also seeing drops to EDGE. Running my android powered phone in EDGE (2G Only) is something I have to do quite often. The constant HSPA+/3G signal drop makes even simple tasks like a Google search or plain text email response take up to a few minutes to respond. I don't see how they can promote 4G speeds.

I've owned the G1, myTouch 3G and Nexus One. Each one experienced the amazing network that is T-Maybe. I'm happy to say I'll be moving to Verizon in a few months.

RE: T-Mobile Customer
By cwilson on 11/3/2010 8:50:14 PM , Rating: 2
T-Mobile 4G (HPSA+) downloads at a blistering 110 kbps according to the Chrome browser. So much for that unlimited data plan.

Its for a phone!
By stm1185 on 11/3/2010 10:01:03 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah T-mobiles 30mbps is not going to match the supposed 100mbps the other guys will have.

But its for a phone.

Are you downloading any full pc games or blu ray rips? No, your web browsing and streaming music/video, and you should never ever be slowed down doing that at 30mbps.

Minutes or data?
By gstrickler on 11/3/2010 10:59:10 PM , Rating: 2
Do video calls count as normal calls, or does all the video (and audio?) count against your data usage? If it counts against your data usage (and I would bet it does), then that "feature" is basically useless.

Why carry the old man?
By R3T4rd on 11/3/10, Rating: 0
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