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SideXSide: ATT or Verizon?

By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 01-11-2011 Print
Now that Verizon Wireless will finally offer the Apple iPhone 4 alongside its archrival AT&T, the time has come to decide which of the two dominant U.S. carriers is best for your operation.

Although U.S. mobile market is dominated by four major wireless carriers -- Verizon, AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile --  the former two claim the greatest market share. And, now that Verizon will finally be offering the Apple iPhone 4 in February, it's time to take a look at what each of these behemoths has to offer your enterprise.

 As of Jan. 4, 2011, Verizon states that it serves 93 million U.S. customers. In its 3Q 2010 earning report, issued on Oct. 21, 2010, AT&T stated that it has 92.8 million subscribers in service.  Sprint claimed more than 48.8 million U.S. subscribers at the end of 3Q 2010, while T-Mobile said in its 3Q 2010 report that it serves 33.8 million U.S. customers.

AT&T and Verizon each offer some of the most appealing smartphones on the market, plus they have millions more subscribers than their nearest competitors, T-Mobile and Sprint. Simply put, the mobile market is quickly becoming a two-company race to see which firm can reign supreme.

That's precisely why we wanted to take a SideXSide look at Verizon Wireless and AT&T. Chances are, you already have service with one of these carriers. Depending on how big your operation is, you  may already have wireless deals with both. But, as we've discovering, combing through these companies' respective service offerings to find the services that are best for you can be a daunting and time-consuming task.  In this edition of SideXSide, we take a look at the simple stuff, like phone selection, but also examine whether or not the providers deliver a level of service that can meet the needs of demanding business customers.SideXSide: AT&T or Verizon Wireless 


Verizon Wireless


Phone Selection

Huge. Dominated mainly by RIM's BlackBerry devices and Android-based products, like the Motorola Droid Pro.

Huge. Heavily invested in RIM's BlackBerry products, but not so much in the Android department. However, the company makes up for that with Apple's iPhone.

Mobile broadband plans

Yes. Pricing varies based on plan type and data usage. Connectivity through 3G starts at $20 per month for 1GB of data with certain devices and goes up to $80 for 10GB of usage. Prepaid plans are also available.

Yes. Pricing varies based on data usage. Connectivity through 3G is available for $40 with 2GB of data without tethering. DataConnect Plans are also available, starting at $20 per month.

3G coverage

Although spotty in some areas towards the Western part of the U.S., quite well spread out around the country. Better 3G coverage than AT&T's offering

Especially centered on big cities with spotty coverage in several areas around the United States. Not quite as strong as Verizon's coverage.

4G connectivity?

Yes. LTE service available in 38 cities and 60 major airports.

To be made available commercially in 2011.

Global Service

Robust international services, ranging from cruise ship coverage, global phone, global e-mail, and mobile Web access in over 220 countries around the world. Over 125 of those countries offer 3G connectivity.

Robust international services, ranging from voice coverage, data access in 170 countries, and e-mail access, thanks to data connectivity. AT&T has GSM/GPRS/EDGE network available for data in 70 countries.

Customer service

Difficult to rank, due to insufficient data. However, Consumer Reports placed Verizon customer service towards the top in its evaluation.

Difficult to rank, due to insufficient data. However, Consumer Reports placed AT&T customer service towards the bottom in its evaluation.

Voice coverage

Ubiquitous. Some areas are without service, but they are few and far between.

Ubiquitous. Some areas are without service, but they are few and far between.

Non-Calling Service

Offers several "mobile office solutions," including vehicle tracking, machine-to-machine service, private network support, and other turnkey wireless offerings.

Offers sales force automation, vehicle tracking, and field-based automation. Several other solutions also available, including Airtime manager and mobile dictation.

Industry-Specific Service

Yes. Several industries supported, including education, construction, technology, retail, and many more.

Yes. Boasts several industry solutions, ranging from financial services, retail, consumer goods, and many others.

Pre-purchase information

Saving time on learning about carriers is important. Verizon's business pages are extremely informative, limiting amount of time needed to contact the company and seek information.

Saving time on learning about carriers is important. AT&T's business pages are relatively informative, but don't necessarily limit the amount of time needed to contact the company and seek information. The pages could be improved

Source: CIO Insight based on company information.



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