Battle for the Wireless Customer

The ink on the Cingular-AT&T Wireless merger is not even dry, and already two of the largest wireless players are sniping at each other in an advertising campaign that is going to leave Pepsi V Coke looking like a fight at a sorority party. Verizon has been running advertisements saying that the giant merger could cause some serious problems and customers should switch to Verizon. Cingular is saying well they have now “raised the bar.” Cingular claims it has nations largest high speed data network. Well, I think speed is relative. If 1xRTT and EDGE can churn out same speeds, they are neutral. On the higher speeds, Verizon has more markets turned up for its EV-DO service, while Cingular’s UMTS service is available in a handful of markets.

“Regardless, the directness of the ads of both companies are evocative of the battle of the colas and beers, where competitors resort to name-calling and put-downs,” writes The New York Times. Given the amount these companies are spending it is hardly a surprise they want their own brand on the phones, and want to leave handset makers out in the cold. Sprint and Verizon are looking at Chinese handset makers for supplying handsets. Now as a final thought, it would be great for consumers if a price war breaks out between Verizon and Cingular. Lets pray for that!

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