There’s this big fight going on here in the US between AT&T and Verizon (the two largest wireless carriers) about who’s network is better than the other. Verizon has taken the approach that their 3G network is bigger than AT&T’s network and AT&T has taken the approach of arguing that their network is faster than Verizon’s network and allows simultaneous voice and data which Verizon’s network does not.  It’s important to note that I work for AT&T, so have to be careful what I say here.

The ads are funny and I’m not sure who’s winning but there’s an interesting point to be made here….

What normal, every day mobile user has any idea what a 3G network is? I know because I work for AT&T and used to work for Research In Motion, but what about the every day user for which these ads are targeted? They’re being inundated with all of this talk about 2G and 3G networks (not to mention the 2.5G networks [whatever those are]) – and it all just doesn’t matter since the normal consumer has truly no idea which G network they need for their smartphone. They probably think that 3G is better than 2G and 4G will be better than 3G, but they probably just don’t know why. They’re only using about 10 to 20% of the features of their smartphone, so faster speeds probably don’t mean that much to them.

The big issue here, and I intend on writing about this when I get a chance, is that no matter what network you’re on, it’s likely that it will be saturated with all this traffic being generated by all of these smartphones running all of these applications that have no respect for the network (more on that later too). As soon as the carriers upgrade to the new 4G (faster than 3G) networks, more and more smartphones and more and more network unaware applications will fill those networks too. As the processing speeds and capabilities increase on these smartphones, all they’ll do is use even more bandwidth and there’s likely no way the carriers can keep up (just my humble, personal opinion).

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