There have been quite a few discussions with regards to the whole AT&T and Verizon Ads with regards to their network and concerns about how these ads are playing each other out.
So let's get something a little clear on dissecting both ads for you guys to understand what is going on here.
Verizon's Network is using CDMA Technology. It is a 3rd Generation Network Technology that only a few countries use, namely mostly North America and some parts of Central America.
Majority of the world is using GSM Technology. This is also 3rd Generation Network Technology. Europe, Asia and other countries use it as well as North America.
The main reason Sprint and Verizon use CDMA technology is that most of their infrastructure and their primary concerns are with the North American Continent. GSM was adopted by AT&T around 2002-2003 and they have spent a fair deal of their time trying to improve the GSM network in the US along with T-Mobile. T-Mobile is heavily invested in the European market first and have spread their wings over to the US since the late 90s til now.
The CDMA Technology, at the time, was designed for voice or data, not both, as American phone companies are invested in their hardlines and infrastructure for the longest time and wish to maintain that. The Europeans and the Japanese, however, invested heavily into GSM technology because they simply LACKED the hardline infrastructure, and oddly enough because they have many cities older than the US to make it less practical to invest too much into major hardline infrastructure that a Cellular based communications network is preferable.
Now there are documents, like this one from Wikipedia:
Code division multiple access - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
GSM - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Which explains this a bit better or even trounces my understand of the history of both CDMA and GSM.
Now the one thing that also needs to be understood is that some people are going, "Well, I can prove that Verizon can do what AT&T claims they can't."
One thing to note about all this is how you have your phone setup. The most common misunderstanding is WiFi. Many people are now hopping onto the WiFi bandwagon and setting up their phone to connect to the WiFi. This does not use the Phone's normal Cellular network to do Data. So while you can do Voice and Data at the same time, make sure you are not connected to WiFi, as that counts as an 'extra' connection that the phone can use for Data. This is important to understand for Verizon users, as this is one of two avenues to get around that. The second avenue is to make use of VOIP based applications, like Skype or GoogleVoice as those use Data to transmit voice.
Now, the last thing that has to be understood is the infamous map argument.
What most people don't understand with the map argument is how Verizon is presenting the map and how AT&T is presenting their map.
If you look at this:
There is some small disclaimer text at the bottom:
Both services, as well as T-Mobile will claim they cover the area, but as showing above here from the disclaimer from Verizon, results will vary depending on the above. To further point this out, an AT&T customer I know in my office, stated that she can only get phone calls in one part of her apartment up in the Bay Area. One place. Here where we are, in Southern California, not even in Los Angeles, she can get phone calls all over the office building.The competitors' approximate 3G coverage is from publically available information gathered as of August 2009. This does not show exact coverage. Wireless service is subject to network and transmision limitations, particularly near boundaries and in remote areas. Customer device, weather, topography and other environmental conditions affect service which may vary significantly in buildings.
This could be how her place is built versus how our office building is built, or it could be the infrastructure. But as pointed out by one blogger, the only reason he switched from the iPhone to the Droid was due to his network reception. Again, this may be mostly due to infrastructure build up as GSM was only recently started its trend here in the US, but CDMA takes existing infrastructure and only improved upon an older standard.
The important thing to understand is the necessity of what you need. In most cases, the 'need' to browse the internet and talk at the same time is not a 'deal breaker' for many people. The ads that AT&T and Apple are doing are aimed more to keep their customers with them for the benefits that their network and device will provide. Just as the droid marketing campaign is aimed to try and grab at the iPhone and AT&T marketshare by hitting on the things the iPhone and AT&T are weakiest at as well.
And one last note - Text Messaging is not the same as sending an e-mail. Text Messaging uses a system called SMS or MMS which uses the cellular network to send small amount of data, but again, it is not the same as browsing the internet or sending/receiving e-mail.