Fresh off a small victory over AT&T, Verizon Wireless is now taking on Sprint, according to reporting from the Associated Press.
The National Advertising Division (NAD) of the Council of Better Business Bureaus, an advertising watchdog group, has asked Sprint to stop calling itself “America’s most dependable 3G network,” after a challenge from Verizon, which believes the title to be its own.
Recent tests from researcher Nielsen have showed that “Verizon had fewer calls blocked or dropped than Sprint. Sprint argued that reviewers should look at more than one set of tests to avoid one-time events like weather or bad cell towers,” AP reported.
Sprint says it is appealing the NAD decision.
“The NAD is mistaken in its determination that signal strength is not relevant to dependability,” Sprint said in an official statement sent to eWEEK. “Between 70-80% of 3G data use takes place indoors, and the Nielsen signal strength tests indicate whether a signal is likely to penetrate a building and provide coverage inside. If a 3G signal is too weak to penetrate a building, a subscriber will not be able to dependably connect to the network.”
While Sprint calls itself the most dependable network, Verizon has labeled itself the biggest, and AT&T calls itself the fastest.
A series of holiday-timed ads boasting about the size of Verizon’s 3G network – by comparing it against AT&T’s – caused AT&T to file a suit against Verizon, on Nov. 3, stating that the ads, while true, were potentially misleading. While the suit is being settled, AT&T asked a judge to force Verizon to pull the ads – a request that was denied on Nov. 18.
The legal drama additionally played out through the introduction of Motorola’s Droid on the Verizon network and has affected the public perception of Motorola, as well as AT&T and Verizon, according to YouGov’s BrandIndex, which tracks public opinion on a daily basis. BrandIndex has additionally found that as Motorola has risen in the public’s esteem, ratings for both Apple and RIM/BlackBerry have fallen.
Sprint added, in its statement: “The Nielsen test data continues to show Sprint leading in 3G signal strength. As a result of this and other factors, we stand by our -most dependable’ claim and we are confident that it is well-supported by timely and appropriate data.”