One word: oblivion. They don't really have anything special to offer, so they'll just keep coasting along thinking they're the greatest thing since answering machine services.
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At present AT&T has some "advantages" over Verizon when it comes to the iPhone:
- Simultaneous Voice/Data
- "Faster" Data in some areas
But with 4G LTE, Verizon and AT&T will be on the exact same playing field. Given AT&T's horrible customer service record, how will they compete against Verizon? At present it seems that Verizon has better and faster 4G LTE coverage, and on the whole they seem to have better customer service policies.
Is it just me, or should AT&T be VERY afraid of Verizon in the coming years?
Last edited by XFF; 03-03-2012 at 01:12 AM.
http://www.isu.edu (Idaho State University)
Speaking as a Verizon user, I think they have a couple of ways they can stay relevant in the marketplace. I'm sure using GSM which is more useful for international roaming as well as for using international, unlocked devices. Also, they can negotiate for getting exclusive devices, even if for a short while. Plus, they have HSPA+ as a nice stopgap between previous technologies and now LTE, whereas Verizon only has outdated EVDO Rev A and LTE. ATT does have the fastest data with the iPhone for instance.
I am currently jealous of the Galaxy Note being exclusive to ATT but I won't ditch my truly unlimited data with Verizon for them. If Verizon ever gets as bad as ATT with their data policies, then I may switch.
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AT&T will be competive when they actually rush LTE out onto new markets like Verizon Wireless has been doing. As it is, AT&T is still rolling out technology which should have been already out, but since this company is slow with LTE as it is they have no real choices but to start pushing out HSPA+. HSPA+ is the only way for AT&T to remain relevent, along with network upgrades as opposed to band aid solutions.
HSPA+ works, but it isn't the real solution. LTE will have that international roaming capablity in the future, but operators and governments around the world have to be commited to its deployment.
International SIM swappability isn't a significant selling point, and the people who can afford to travel internationally can probably afford to buy another device to travel with anyways.
AT&T right now has Rollover, which is nice, not a huge selling point though. They are better in some markets, and they have a better store experience than Verizon does, with great support at the corporate stores.
AT&T has several years of contracted customers and family plans with tons of iPhones and such, so they are in no trouble in the immediate term. We have also found that people just don't care about speed (iPhone on Verizon outselling every 4G LTE device), so that's a plus for AT&T.
However, AT&T has another problem beyond their network: their phone selection. They have had crappy Android phones from day one. Yes, it has gotten a lot better from the days of the Motorola Backflip, but they still have a lackluster quality compared to Verizon. While AT&T has the most phones of any carrier, they have not have a single leading Android phone, and the majority of their phones suck. Arguably, T-Mobile had the G1, Nexus One, and Nexus S, but the real leaders of Android were the DROID, DROID 2, DROID BIONIC, and DROID RAZR MAXX/DROID 4, and they have all been on Verizon in the Motorola DROID series.
The flip side of this is that AT&T seems to have more really cheap phones, like the "free" iPhone, the "free" Androids, and for some reason, people seem to keep buying those crappy devices. Their overall selection is cheaper, their top phones are $200-$250, while Verizon's leading phones are all $300.
However, I don't see AT&T as in huge trouble. Verizon may jack up their prices, if not, AT&T can drop theirs by a small amount or offer a few more bundled features, without cutting into margins in any significant way. Most people don't seem to care that much about how fast or good their cell phone carrier is, as long as it works in the vast majority of places, which either Verizon or AT&T would.
For the Hofo crowd, however, I see AT&T as in deep $*%%. Their LTE is tiny compared to Verizon's, and their HSPA+ network is a combination of amazing in some places, and a hot mess in others.
I'd like to see Verizon build out a little more on LTE though, right now, AT&T has a bit better coverage nationwide, when you factor in all the roaming, EDGE, etc etc.
What I'm curious to know is does AT&T have any plans to fix their data network in the half of the country that doesn't have 3G? In some parts, EDGE is just fine for the iPhone, but in many, it's so poorly implemented that it just grinds to a halt, and is almost useless. It's also a bit weird that there are places you can literally drop from LTE to EDGE.
I usually support government regulation, but It is unfortunate that the government over-regulated and killed the AT&T/ T-Mobile Merger
The best explanation of the pricing nutiness in the industry.
Why Sprint and T-Mo will always suck.
The only way to end the pricing insanity is to eliminate contracts and subsidies.
I want Wifi calling on AT&T.
If you text while driving, you're an idiot. End of story.
Verizon is on its own with the CDMA/LTE on the lower 700 band, while AT&T still uses world standard HSPA, and shares both HSPA and LTE bands with Canadian carriers. That means AT&T can easily grab international phones with only minor tweaks, while Verizon still needs custom models that lead to a slow rollout. Yes, Verizon still basically owns Motorola, but that's about all they have - the Verizon Nexus was only exclusive in the USA, while the rest of the world (and AT&T and T-Mobile unlocked) got it first.
I'm not saying Verizon is in bad shape, but this year I think we'll see AT&T dominate the Android/Windows Phone space.
Not sure why you are worried about AT&T competing...they will be fine. They have HSPA+ whose footprint continues to expand, and LTE that will expand rapidly in the next few years. It's Sprint, T-mobile and USCC etc. you gotta worry about since who knows how there networks will deploy and whether they can fund them etc.
iPhone 4 on AT&T:
Right, ATT does have a nice, varied selection of smartphones nicely covering all the operating systems out there. Its too bad that Sprint and Verizon only have one WP7 phone each. ATT has an easier time getting phones due to using standards used by most of the world.
Such as with the international Galaxy Note, they just add an LTE radio, change some of the firmware and software and they are done. If Verizon were to get it, they'll have to completely revamp the internals to CDMA and EVDO. But some manufacturers do completely retool their phones for Verizon due to their large customer base. I'm very anxious for Verizon to get the Galaxy Note myself!
So far, I've had no coverage issues with ATT. Everywhere I've traveled, I was able to get and make calls. The only place I really had a problem was in a small town in a rural area. My wife has a service issue with them though. She had a problem with people calling her phone getting a "number not in service" message. ATT refreshed the phone and replaced the SIM card for free and we hope that has fixed the problem. The fact we talked to an employee of our nearby ATT store and she told us she had the same problem tells us we're not alone.
My wife wants to switch to Verizon once our contract expires in about a year, and we're still mulling it over. We're strictly talk/text users, meaning we don't surf the web on our phones and don't use data at all. We're not even heavy talk or text users for that matter.
Not sure what to do.
Since we switched to Verizon 2-3 weeks ago, we have been very happy. Great speeds, great coverage, great customer service. AT&T you think maybe okay, but you really don't notice how bad it is till you leave.