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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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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.

Brandon


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
quote:
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
quote:
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 speedtest.net 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
quote:
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 SpeedTest.net 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 ;)


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