Please stop comparing 5G services T-Mobile (aka John Legere)

(featured image: ASSOCIATED PRESS – via Engadget)

So it looks like T-Mobile is up to it’s old (VERY) antics again and making fun of the competition’s 5G services and claiming superiority over the 5G that Verizon is providing. This needs to stop immediately and John Legere needs to live out his days and weeks peacefully. I know in reality, this will never happen, as John’s eccentric attitude is somewhat how T-Mobile got to where it is today, but here’s hoping he reads this, or someone on his team does and passes the word along.

Let me state this up front. I am a T-Mobile fan and a current customer of 5+ years since I left At&t years ago. What I do not like, is the constant “poking” at some other carrier/s, when your stuff isn’t exactly stellar, yourself. T-Mobile marketing team, John and the incoming Mike Sievert, are you listening? Good, let’s get started.

A little history lesson. I will go back to 2012, when 4G was first starting to get out. We (as in the United States) were reaching 3G market saturation (though, some would argue) and 4G was the next-gen fledgling technology that was on the horizon. At&t just one day started labeling their 3G services (HSPA+) as 4G (aka FauxG). HSPA+ is TECHNICALLY just 3.5G, as a slightly faster 3G service. Depending on where you search, you can see evidence of this here, here (“In a lot of markets, except in the USA, an HSPA+ network is unofficially considered and marketed as a 3.5G network”) and here. T-Mobile even followed suit by marketing with Carly Foulkes in a black & pink leather motorcycle outfit and giving her “blazing” blur lines behind her motorcycle to show how fast she was going. I actually covered this marketing debacle back then when it happened.

I digress, but you get my overall point. 4G was still basically new to the market and companies had to market it, so they could sell new handsets, get consumers to buy in and how they were “improving” their networks with faster speeds. Remember, for T-Mobile, this is all pre-John Legere and post the failed 39 billion dollar buy-out attempt from At&t, from the year prior. As I noted in my above article link, I believe that T-Mobile had no “future plans”, since it was expected that T-Mobile would just fold in under At&t. (I even had a tech news show at the time and covered it and even blogged about it as well) This is completely different 8 years later and now we are expecting to see the T-Mobile buyout of the dying Sprint service, hopefully by April 1st, 2020[1] [2]. (T-Mobile may be laying people off, when they boasted that they would be creating jobs during the merger process over the last few years.) My, how the tables have turned for the former underdog, T-Mobile, since John Legere has shown up.

Moving a bit forward in time, I want to temporarily turn my sites over to Samsung (who some may call me a FanBoy) and give you a quick rundown of their similar antics of trolling iPhone, by advertising and continually selling people on the fact that they kept the 3.5mm headphone jack, well after the iPhone 7, into the Galaxy S10, being the last flagship phone to have it. For a few years, Samsung would PROUDLY stand up on stage and boast how they were able to keep the headphone jack in their flagship phones. Soon, after it was found that the Note 10 from 2019 would be dropping it, Samsung quietly deleted all of their trolling marketing materials. Let’s not forget the oddly marketed Galaxy S4 as well, with all those dancers. So my personal advice T-Mobile, let’s just stop trolling now, before you, inevitably have to delete it all anyway.

Now moving forward to a more recent time in history, last year in 2019, At&t started lying to it’s customers again and began labeling their 4.5G LTE Advanced as “5Ge”. Even though, Verizon had already been marketing it as it was intended, LTE-A for years. I assume since At&t was behind this curve on this technology and so close the “launch” of 5G technologies, they figured it wouldn’t hurt to FIB again, as they did in 2012. I even had friends telling me adamantly about how their Samsung device had “5G” already and was getting better service than I was. I had to sadly explain to them that they had been lied to by their service provider and that just because the 5Ge logo showed up, didn’t mean it was real 5G.

I have finally reached the most current marketing scheme, being led by the eccentric John Legere and his team. He started last year with the “verHIDEzon” stuff.

Before I get too deep into the details, let me give you a quick, 10,000 foot view of 5G technology. There are 3 major versions of it currently. There is the high band, high speed 5G mmWave tech that goes SUPER CRAZY fast, sometimes getting in the Gigabit speeds when testing. The problem is, these are very hard to get, and typically need line of sight and cannot be blocked by anything (even tree leaves).

Then there is the complete opposite side, the low band, slightly higher speeds (typically about 20% faster than current 4G LTE) of the sub 600Mhz spectrum. You can also see more tests about this and how it is much easier to stay connected indoors and out. This is the technology that T-Mobile decided to start with, so they could market it as being the “first nationwide 5G” rollout. While this isn’t the same tech that At&t mistakenly chose to start their “5G” marketing campaign with, the sub 600Mhz isn’t as fast as the mmWave tech that a few cities around the US are currently experiencing. Which is why John decided to start his trolling with the aforementioned “verHIDEzon” ads.

I didn’t forget the 3rd portion, known as mid-band, but this most likely won’t be seen until the completion of the merger with T-Mobile and Sprint and T-Mobile starts transforming the current 2.5Ghz towers into their coverage. There are quite a few good explanations of this out there, but I think T-Mobile has a great quick little video with Bill Nye the science guy that explains the best for all peoples.

Now back to the HIDEzon stuff. As Verizon began rolling out their mmWave 5G in select cities, sidewalks and crosswalks around America, they weren’t being real forthcoming with their 5G coverage maps, because they knew that it was spotty at best and you could literally block the tech with tree leaves, the wind or even glass. It wouldn’t be a good idea to tell people on a mass public scale of their 5G coverage if it suffered from small blockages and then have to explain themselves. As far as I am concerned, this was a very good idea, not to speak at all and just let it be tested by the tech bloggers and journalists, so they could see it for themselves and explain it to the masses. Free marketing. Win. Win.

Unfortunetly, John Legere took this as a way to troll Verizon and started his whole campaign on how they are “hiding” their maps from the public and T-Mobile was working in the background on their upcoming nationwide coverage, so he felt it was “cool” to kick this off. It was funny to some, but overall in my opinion was a flop in a marketing attempt as it didn’t reach the levels I think he wanted, as the twitter account was deleted soon after.

As of this last week, he has now created a second attempt and changing the Verizon name into “verWHYzon” ads. He has already started paying for more ads again. Yes, as in before, he has created a soon to fail, twitter account, again. This time, it seems to be headed up by Neville Ray, their President of Technology, but I am sure it is being orchestrated by Legere himself, as a coup de grâce on his way out as CEO. As I noted in a discussion thread on Reddit, I just want it to stop immediately.

If you are going to be the “best”, I ask that you shut up, be quiet and just BE THE BEST. I think Rene Ritchie said it best, when he noted that Apple doesn’t even use other companies in their advertising or comparisons at all. They just show you their products, as if there are no other competitors at all in the market. They can create the “reality” that Steve Jobs was known for, that they are the “best” and there is no need to look for companies. I am in no way an Apple fan, but Rene has a point.

So, T-Mobile, until you fix your CURRENT 4G LTE coverage, you can’t tout about how your BUDGET level sub 600 5G is nationwide and you are “better” than Verizon. It’s like touting you are the fastest turtle on the beach.

One of your biggest fans, but slowly getting frustrated, with you sending me a microCell to FIX your LTE connection issues at my house,
-Rusty G

We’re really not the Largest 4G or the fastest… At All.

Ok, I really hate for next blog to be complaining about stupid things, but this is JUST PLAIN LYING. Let me give you a little background here. All of the 4 major cell phone providers have been trying to have a 4G war for the like the last 2 years. It’s the basics of a pissing match, or to see has the biggest junk, is what it all boils down to. Let me first say this, so that you know what TRUE 4G is. Right now in the 48 contiguous states of the United, there is only one true 4G product being used, and this is LTE. LTE stands for Long term evolution. I think At&t actually put it best in this video they have on their website.

Check it out below:

The ironic part of this video being done by At&t is the fact that they are actually telling the truth in this one. ONCE and only ONCE. One more background on the 4G wars. When this whole thing started, At&t was standing it’s ground and keeping with the 3G moniker and saying that everything was still 3G, until January 2011, when out of the blue, someone kicked the CEO and said, hey, we are falling behind in the 4G wars, we need to fix this. So they just started saying they had 4G, and there were no network improvements, no back haul changes or any sort of upgrades. It was if it was magic, and someone had flipped the switch and all of sudden, we were 4G! WHEW! Well what does that mean? Nothing really, because at the time, they didn’t even have HSPA+, which T-Mobile at the time was touting they had for their “4G” devices(which by the way, isn’t really 4G either). At&t was sticking with HSPA (no plus), which is a 3G technology. You can see this right now on their website: http://www.att.com/network/?. Go to the technology tab, and you will see HSPA marked at 3G. HA, so this is where At&t started telling their little white lie. Then, came along HSPA+ and we continued to call it 4G, because At&t figured, well we started with a little white lie, lets keep it going. (Thanks to the marketing department) The funny thing is, looking back, NOW At&t calls HSPA 3G as it really is now, when they were calling it “4G” when it was around.
4G

Enough of At&t, let’s talk about the quiet company Verizon. This company had recently acquired the 700MHz spectrum from the government. Which was soon to be the now 4G LTE that they are selling. Verizon really never had a horse in the 4G race to begin with, they were sticking to their guns with 3G CDMA/EV-DO. They never really had any 4G marketing going on, while Sprint(which is another story), T-Mobile and At&t were all spatting it out. Then out of the clear blue, Verizon had setup their towers in the background and BOOM! Phones like the Thunderbolt, Rezound, Droid 4 (all android based) started popping up with LTE! TRUE 4G! All the while, At&t, T-Mobile and Sprint were falling behind in the race, the REAL 4G race, LTE.
At&t to this day is still touting HSPA+, as well is T-mobile, as “4G” and this is just a LIE. At&t does have LTE service in select cities, as of this writing, and select LTE devices, but NO WHERE near the footprint that Verizon has, because they won the 700MHz auction BACK in 2008!!

This all leads me to the reason why I am writing this article. I was watching free OTA tv this evening and this commercial came on:

 

It really bugged me, in this frame here:

2000 cities?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Let me say this, this is a flat out blatant LIE. At&t is using “marketing terms”, as it has been dubbed, to be able to say this. Since At&t has been lying since January of 2011, they can continue their charade of saying they have “the most” “4G”. If you subtract the 3.5G HSPA+, which you should, Verizon wins. At&t has under 50 cities that carry the LTE technology, and Verizon has (currently) 230 cities. So SHUT UP At&t.

 

Next on the chopping block: T-Mobile. Why is that you say? Well, T-Mobile has been touting their HSPA+ as “4G” as well. So why are they saying they are the fastest? Well let’s see, marketing has re-branded their wonderful and beautiful Carly Foulkes as no more Mr. Nice Guy and put her in all black and pink leather. I love their idea as to where they were going with this, IF, they had actually had some LTE to launch, but they don’t and they won’t. At&t tried buying them out last year for a record $39 billion dollars, but with millions of people like me, who voted against it, it never happened, and T-Mobile didn’t have LTE on the road map. They basically went on cruise control and thought the At&t buy out was going to happen and they didn’t need to worry about it, because At&t would have to deal with that problem. WHOOPS, we made a mistake! So now sits T-Mobile without any LTE plans, but they need to look like they are still a viable “4G” option. Look, I will say, if you are looking for just voice services and you aren’t worried about data or smartphones, then heck, go with T-Mobile, but they will not satisfy the data hungry smartphones that are coming to market, so keep that in mind. Until T-Mobile comes back with a LTE plan or something else that is true 4G, they have to sit this one out.

Here is my complaint, the commercial that I briefly mentioned above. Here it is:

 

The same thing goes here. The motorcycle is to entice that need for speed feeling and the fact that you want to be the fastest. Well when you put a snail next to a tortoise, then next to a rabbit, this is pretty much what REALLY is happening. Tmo and At&t are the two slower, while Verizon is cleaning house with LTE. Here is the frame I am having trouble with, the same claim that At&t has:

T-Mobile

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now how can At&t and T-Mobile both have the largest? Well, let’s see, if you are going to include a 3G and parade it around as “4G”, then maybe, but let’s count how many LTE devices or cities that Tmo has. Oh wait, I can’t seem to find any. Know why? There is no such thing on T-Mobile. So what about this test drive site that T-mobile is showing, they show it IS faster! That is PROOF (right?).

Not really. Let’s go over these test drive pages they have setup.

#1) Sprint v. Tmobile.

What’s the problem here? Oh that’s an iPhone 4S (or 4, it doesn’t really matter here) and Samsung Galaxy S II. Lets go. STOP. You cannot race a 3G device against a supposed “4G” device. Sprint isn’t even on the same spectrum that T-Mobile is. HSPA+ is going to be faster than Sprint’s 3G (EVDO??? – fact check me someone) network, #DUH. Also if you look at the screens, the Galaxy says 4G and the iPhone says 3G.  SCRATCH. MISTRIAL. WHATEVER you want to call it.

#2) At&t v. T-Mobile

Is that another iPhone 4S? Wow, this is a little more close,a  fake “4G” device against a fake “4G” device. (Apple actually wanted to stick with keeping the 3G moniker at the top, but At&t made them change it in the iOS 5.1 update. Read more about that here.) The problem here is, At&t and T-mobile don’t run the same spectrum for their fake 4G networks. This is why if you take an unlocked iPhone to T-Mobile, it will never get on their 3G network and you are stuck on EDGE. It’s really horrible for people that leave At&t with an unlocked device, it is suppose to be compatible at that point, but it really isnt. SO, we really have to scratch this race too.

#3) Verizon v. T-Mobile

UMM.. is that an iPhone 4S again??? (I am really beginning to think that T-Mobile is just really jealous, that it is the last major carrier that does NOT have the iPhone.) Same thing as #1 here. Verizon’s iPhone 4S, in still running on a CDMA/EV-DO 3G network. So again.. NO Comparison.

This really just ticks me off to no end, that both companies are really lying flat out, just because they know they are losing the 4G race, and now they are just making outlandish claims and throwing stupid punches. At&t, T-Mobile, Please stop. You are confusing the average Joe, who doesn’t do their research like I do. It is people like me that have to call you out on it, and you need to be corrected.

 

-Rusty G

 

UPDATE:I just saw this BS… wow T-Mobile is still straight up lying…

 

UPDATE: I even liked reading this article on Digital Trends calling “4G” a meaningless term!

T-Mobile brings VoIP chat to Facebook

Well it seems that T-Mobile isn’t going quiet into the night before this At&t merger acquisition. T-Mobile is now releasing a VoIP option for Facebook users, giving them the ability to voice chat instead of typing. This will be built into the chat window that already lives on Facebook. What will happen is the new install from letsbobsled.com will now place a new icon next to your Facebook friends that have the app installed as well, letting you know who you can use the app with. The roadmap apparently shows future use of video chat as well, but for right now, it’s just like making a phone call to all of your 700 friends! Being the fact that it is a VoIP service, it is free to use, via the company Vivox. So whip out your desktop microphones and turn up your speakers, cause now all of your friends will be calling, unless of course you don’t install the app.

You may already use one of the many other VoIP apps like Skype, Tango or Viber, but this just makes it so easy, because it is a simple plug-in inside of facebook, instead of being a desktop published app on your local harddrive. Now I have not heard whether this will work on any mobile versions of Facebook, which I highly doubt at this point, but I am sure this is on the roadmap as well. Even if T-Mo gets gobbled up by At&t and becomes At&t sled. So go try it out and let me know what you think below!

via [MobileCrunch]

At&t set to buy T-Mobile

So in cased that you missed the HUGE news yesterday around 1pm CST, it seems that mobile provider AT&T will be purchasing T-Mobile for a whopping $39 billion dollars, broken up into 25 billion in cash and the other 14 billion in stock of AT&T. The purchase now has to go through the government and be approved, but it doesn’t seem that that will be any problem. The idea behind this purchase is to “…strengthen and expand critical infrastructure for our nation’s future. It will improve network quality, and it will bring advanced LTE capabilities to more than 294 million people” –AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson. The overall seems to put AT&T as the front runner and spread their “4G” footprint. With T-Mobile having roughly 35 million subscribers and AT&T having roughly 95 million, this will springboard AT&T to the largest mobile carrier in the US. Verizon is currently the US largest at 100 million, but now, this purchase will keep Verizon in a far 2nd for a long time.

This is just one of the slides from the buildout slides that shows how the merger will make AT&T better in several states, including Texas, Michigan and West Virginia. The merger with T-Mobile will definitely call off the commercials that T-Mobile likes to tout that their HSPA+ “4G” is faster than AT&T’s 3G. Even AT&T got in on the mess, calling T-Mo out and saying their “4G” wasn’t real 4G. I guess all this bickering was the pre-marital arguing and all will be forgiven for this un-holy monopoly marriage. It will combine AT&T’s 700MHz spectrum and T-Mobile AWS spectrum. T-Mo was also the last GSM competitor to AT&T, so now AT&T will be the only GSM provider in the US. T-Mo customers don’t fret just yet, it is said this purchase will take 12 months, so you have got some time. The only problem is, your customer service levels will DROP, so say goodbye to that. Oh, and the other burning question that all of the T-Mo customers have: There will be NO iPhone for you. (The GSM radios in the iPhone are not set for the T-Mo towers.)

The funny part about this is, the Sprint rumors we were hearing last week, are obviously off the table now. And Sprint has something to say about that!

Feel free to leave comments and questions below!

via [TechCrunch][PCMag][Engadget][Veronica Belmont] … i could go on and on